Bran Castle, the fortress on the border of Romania's Transylvania thought to have inspired the architecture of Bram Stoker's Dracula, is unofficially on the market, according to a lawyer for the international firm that represents it. Completed in 1388, the Romanian national monument was never home to Stoker nor, technically, Vlad Dracul, the guy on which Stoker based his book's titular character. That being said, Dracul, known as "Vlad the Impaler," operated his, uh, impaling business nearby, and was imprisoned in the castle for a few months in the 1400s. All literary pedigree aside, however, the estate offers up a 57-room manor perched on a remote, hill-topping 22 acres, all for a rumored $135M. (There's no ask price right now, though the castle asked for $135M in 2007, when a dollar amount was last specified.)
It may sound like a lot for a place whose plumbing "is reported to require some work," but as one lawyer told the Telegraph, right now it gets 560,000 tourists in a year, all of which pay about $6.70 to see the castle: "At present, it makes a tidy profit. But [there's] the potential to generate far more revenue than we could ever imagine." Plus, as the UK newspaper writes, its "sheer walls" are "proven to be cannonball-resistant, no surveyor's report required."
Records indicate that the landhold has been a fortress at least since 1211, and, prior to it being gifted to a member of the Romanian royal family in 1920, this castle, named "Bran" for the Turkish word for "gate," had been a thorn in the sides of Ottoman invaders. Over the centuries, it's been occupied by mercenary soldiers tasked with halting the Turkish expansion, gifted to Princes of Transylvania, and bought by the Saxons of Brasov. It was in the hands of the royal family until, in 1948, the line of ascendancy dissolved into revolution. In 2006 Bran Castle was given back to the royal family, who have been in charge of it ever since. The Telegraph has the details.
· Buy a stake in Dracula's castle [Telegraph via Huff Post Home]