Gerald Axelrod was born in 1962 in Hard (Austria). At the age of 13 he started to develop and enlarge his own black and white photos. In 1997, he published the illustrated book “…als lebten die Engel auf Erden” (…when angels lived on earth) that quickly turned into a success and was followed by numerous other publications. With well over a dozen exhibitions in Europe and USA (e. g. Leica Gallery New York) Gerald Axelrod stands among the most renowned photographers worldwide. He lives next to Vienna, but also feels right at home in Transylvania that he explored on several journeys. Throughout Europe, Gerald gained fame for his guided tours about Dracula and the ,Vampire-Countess’ Elisabeth Báthory at Castle Lockenhaus.
May 1897 the Irish Writer Beam Stoker released a book in London called „Dracula“. Within his investigations the Irish author bumped into a Romanian Prince, who’s real name was: Vlad III. Draculea (1431-1476/77).
We want to go on trace search to investigate the sources that inspired Bram Stoker to write his novel. In the first part of his reading Gerald Axelrod will describe the life of Dracula. Dracula was born in 1431 in the Transylvanian city Schäßburg. Later he became the ruler over the adjacent princedom of Wallachia. He was known as the most cruel and bloodthirsty ruler of his time and until now there are myths gathering around him. Was Prince Dracula a Vampire?
In the second part of the reading we will get to the bottom of the question – How did the belief in vampires develop? Do vampires exist? The Romanians still strongly believe in vampires. This lead to hangings of vampires until February 2004!
Bram Stoker connected historical facts about Vlad Dracula and reports about vampires to a sophisticated mix of superstition, fear, history and reality, whereby the most fascinating vampire of all time developed.
In the end Gerald Axelrod will show photos of his journeys through Transylvania and will tell stories about his experiences in the land of bloodsuckers and living dead.