Who wouldn’t want to buy Dracula’s castle? Privacy. An imposing view. Lots of cellar space. Great night life. A colourful history. No mirrors. The reasons are endless. Now, you actually have the chance, because Dracula’s castle is for sale. The truth, though, is perhaps even more bizarre than the fiction.
The 57-room mansion sits atop a hill not in Transylvania, but on the region’s border with Wallachia. Dracula, of course, never really lived there, on account of being a fictional character. Bran Castle, as it is called, though, was briefly home to an equally monstrous figure: Vlad The Impaler, who was imprisoned there for a few days.
The owners, on the other hand, are far from the neck-biters you might expect: they are, in fact, the Romanian royal family, the Habsburgs. Queen Victoria’s granddaughter was eventually given the place, only for the family to be run out of Romania altogether in 1948.
In 2006, though, Bran Castle was restored to the family, who have been running it since. Not as a place to stash their coffins, but a tourist attraction with a steady drip feed of income. Last year, 560,000 people paid £4 to visit the legendary fortress.
“Archduke Dominic and his family care very much for the castle, and it’s in far better shape now than it was when run by the government,” Mark Meyer, of New York law firm Herzfeld and Rubin, tells The Daily Telegraph . “The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further, re-route the road and make Bran a destination, the kind of place people will stay for two or three days.”
“We’re also installing a glass elevator that will lead to a tunnel in the mountain,” adds Meyer, “with a light show featuring Dracula and the whole history of the place.”
One thing they will need to install? Toilets. There are some for the visitors, but none in the residential part of the property at all. Is it because the Habsburgs are too busy drinking blood and scaring villagers to use the facilities? No, they were just ripped out years ago.
For the right figure willing to sink their teeth into tourists’ wallets, though, the potential is strong.
“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,” confirms Meyer.
The attraction’s official website is sure to establish the distinction between history and Bram Stoker’s novel: “Dracula exists in the imagination,” it states bluntly.
Only buyers wanting a stake in a piece of real history, then, need apply. Still, the prospect is a mouth-watering one: Vlad the Impaler, 57 rooms, a constant flow of humans. There are even mirrors on the walls.
Just don’t expect to go the toilet. Unless, of course, you’re a vampire. In which case you’ll fit right in.