Cultural Postcards + [Southern Europe]

Romania: Romania's Castle Dracula up for sale?
The castle that inspired the setting of gothic horror story Dracula is open to bids from buyers - but a new owner would need to stump up an estimated £50million to have any chance of a look-in.

Romania's Castle Dracula up for sale?
Dracula's castle has gone up for sale. The 57-room mansion has been
around since the 14th century [Credit: TouchVision]

Bran Castle in the mountains of Transylvania is thought to have provided the basis for Count Dracula's residence in the tale penned by Bram Stoker. As a result it has become Romania's largest tourist attraction.

Dating back to 1211, the castle has a long and often turbulent history that began centuries before Dracula was published.

Five years ago it was finally returned to its legal heirs after decades of government ownership. Now siblings Archduke Dominic, Archduchess Maria Magdalena and Archduchess Elisabeth, are open to selling the castle having spent time restoring it.

The family hopes that the area can continue to build upon the lure of the castle for tourists with the construction of a hotel and further attractions that will make Bran somewhere people want to stay longer.

Hundreds of thousands of people already flock to the area to see first-hand the monument that was behind the inspiration for the home of the world-famous fictional vampire.

But this is more than Stoker did. The author never actually visited the castle or Romania, instead using books in Britain that detailed Bran Castle for reference.

Count Dracula is loosely based around Vlad the Impaler (also known as Vlad Dracul) but Bran's local legends of evil spirits that hunted for prey during the night were thought to be behind the character's blood-thirsty ways.   

Author: Lana Clements | Source: Yahoo Finance UK [May 14, 2014]