Fresh blood required at Count Dracula's castle

Romania's Bran Castle is believed to be the inspiration for Count Dracula's residence. Photo / iStock
Romania's Bran Castle is believed to be the inspiration for Count Dracula's residence. Photo / iStock

If you're looking for a holiday home with a spooky twist, this could be the property of your dreams - or nightmares.

Count Dracula's Transylvanian castle has been put on the market with a reported asking price of at least £47 million ($100.5 million), the Daily Mail reported.

Bran Castle, Romania's biggest tourist attraction, is currently owned by an archduke and attracts 560,000 visitors annually.

"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," said Mark Meyer of Herzfeld and Rubin, the New York law firm handling the sale.

The castle dates back to 1211 and owners have ranged from Saxons to Hungarians and Teutonic knights.

While Bram Stoker's Count Dracula may be a fictional character, he is said to be based on the sadistic Vlad the Impaler, prince of Wallachia in the 15th century.

Dracula's castle is believed to be based on Bran Castle, described by the author as "'... on the very edge of a terrific precipice ... with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests".

Bran Castle was handed down Romania's Habsburg royal family to Queen Marie, the last Queen consort of Romania and granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

After her death in 1938, the castle was bequeathed to her daughter Princess Ileana, before the family was exiled by communists in 1948.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the castle was restored to the family, with Ileana's son Dominic and daughters Maria Magdalena and Elizabeth running it ever since.

It is understood they have offered the Romanian government the chance to buy the castle but are open to other offers.

"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," said Mr Meyer.

"The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further and make Bran 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, with a light show featuring Dracula and the whole history of the place."

- nzherald.co.nz

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