If you ever want to buy a holiday home that is steeped in history and horror in equal measure, it will be hard to trump Count Dracula’s Transylvanian castle.
The spooky old edifice is up for auction at a reported asking price of £47 million.
The Daily Mail reports that Bran Castle – the biggest tourist attraction in Romania – attracts over half a million visitors each year and is currently owned by an archduke.
The sale of the historic building is being handled by a New York law firm. Mark Meyer of Herzfeld and Rubin, said if they got a reasonable offer, they would take a serious look at it.
The castle has had a chequered history. Dating back to the thirteenth century, its owners have been many and varied – from Saxons to Hungarians, to Teutonic knights.
Dracula written by Dublin’s Bram Stoker
Although Dubliner Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula character may be from the pages of fiction, he is understood to be based on the sadistic Vlad the Impaler, prince of Wallachia from the 15th century.
Bran Castle is said to be the inspiration for Dracula’s homestead. It was handed down through the generations from Romania’s Habsburg royal family to Queen Marie. She was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the last Queen consort of Romania.
The castle fell into the ownership of her daughter Princess Ileana before the communist regime exiled her family in 1948.
However, following the collapse of the iron curtain in the 1980s, it was returned to the family’s ownership, with Ileana’s three offspring running it ever since, reports nzherald.co.nz.
They offered to sell the castle to the government but their invitation was turned down.
Mr Meyer said the property was in much better shape now than when it was with the government.