Post by natalie on May 14, 2014 13:44:04 GMT -5
Goths and Vampires Looking for a New Home: Dracula's Castle is for Sale
Bonnie Burton, May 14, 2014
The real estate market can be a bloodthirsty business, especially when a castle named after a famous vampire comes on the market. Dracula’s Castle – officially called Bran Castle – is located on a remote Romanian hilltop between the borders of Transylvania and Wallachia. While the castle has been called home by Teutonic knights, Hungarian kings, and Romanian royalty, its most interesting lore is that Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia – also known as Vlad the Impaler and son of Vlad II Dracul – was imprisoned inside the castle for two months. Even though it is referred to as Dracula’s Castle, the Bran Castle website is quick to admit that Vlad the Impaler’s actual castle is now in ruins in the Principality of Wallachia. But because Bran Castle is the only castle left near Transylvania that fits author Bram Stoker’s description of the home of fictional vampire Dracula (who’s name is directly influenced by Vlad the Impaler), it is called Dracula’s Castle.
Stoker described the Count’s ominous castle through his character Jonathan Harker’s eyes as being “on the very edge of a terrific precipice ... eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.” Ironically, Stoker never visited Romania and based his description on whatever travel books and materials he could find, including Charles Boner’s book, Transylvania: Its Product and its People.
“Visitors to Bran Castle should make the distinction between the historic reality of Bran and the character of the Count in Bram Stoker’s novel,” the Bran Castle website states. “Dracula exists in the imagination.”
Granted owning your own castle may sound like a romantic getaway, but it comes with its own pitfalls like questionable plumbing, a truly remote locale (good luck getting a pizza delivery truck to find you), and an endless array of tourists wearing plastic fangs beating down your doors to take Goth selfies. According to The Telegraph, 560,000 people visit the castle yearly, so buyers of the castle will have to accommodate tourists hoping to sink their teeth in the castle’s dark mythology.
Bran Castle is currently a tourist museum displaying a collection of art and antique furniture from its previous owner, Queen Marie of Romania, however the current owner, Archduke Dominic, is open to offers if the right person comes along to take it off his hands. “If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing, and will seriously entertain the idea,” Mark Meyer, of the New York law firm Herzfeld and Rubin, told The Telegraph.
It has been reported by news sources that Archduke Dominic proposed selling Bran Castle to the Romanian government for a mere $80 million, but Meyer won’t say if the castle’s price tag has gone down. “What you have to remember is that this castle is the real thing,” Meyer explained. “We don’t need men going around dressed up in old-fashioned costumes; the place speaks for itself.