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Former principality, south-central Europe. It lay between the Danube River and the Transylvanian Alps in what is now Romania. It was founded in 1290 by Radu Negru, a vassal of Hungary, and achieved independence from Hungary in 1330. The capital from the 14th to the 17th century was Targoviste. Walachia was ruled by the Turks in the 15th century, though some princes resisted, notably Vlad II Dracul (1436–47) and Vlad III Tepes, who are often cited as the historical bases for the Dracula vampire tales. Walachia briefly annexed Moldavia and Transylvania in the late 16th century. Russian influence grew in the 18th century, and in 1774 Walachia came under Russia's protection, though it continued to recognize Turkish suzerainty. Russia's protectorate ended after the Crimean War, and in 1859 Walachia united with Moldavia to form Romania.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Walachia, visit Britannica.com.