Indeed Vlad, born sometime between 1428 and 1431, probably in Sighişaora, Transylvania, gained the infamous nickname from his cruel method of execution. During the fight against Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire in 1462, he impaled some 20,000 people outside the city of Targoviste. The sight was so shocking that the Ottomans retreated to Constantinople.
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As for Vlad's secret daughter, a historical figure named Maria Balsa does exist, but there is no account which links her to Vlad, whose recorded offspring are only sons.
Most historians believe that Dracula was killed on a road between Bucharest and Giurgiu, Romania, during a fight to reconquer Wallachia from its Turkish ruler Basarab Laiota.
Laiota beheaded Vlad and sent the head as a trophy to Constantinople.
"The body was buried without special ornaments or a more distinguished tombstone, in the nearest church built by or connected to his name," medieval historian Constantin Rezachevici, chief researcher with the Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, wrote in a paper presented at a symposium on Vlad the Impaler in Romania in 2001.