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When Bram Stoker was imagining the castle that Dracula would inhabit, he quite literally had Bran Castle (and two others) in mind. Looking at it, it's pretty easy to see why. And it's got a bit of a history with Vlad the Impaler: While Vlad never actually lived in or owned the space, he did supposedly spend some time locked up there.
Bran Castle is located on the border between Wallachia and, you guessed it, Transylvania and has existed since around 1377. It's big, scary-looking and, oh, did I mention the lack of bathrooms?
But Castle Bran is also beautiful, with a rich history. Plus, it's one of Romania's biggest tourist attractions.
And now it's for sale by the owner, Archduke Dominic, through New York-based law firm Herzfeld and Rubin. The attorney handing the sale, Mark Meyer, has a lot to say about the property.
If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing, and we will seriously entertain the idea. What you have to remember is that this castle is the real thing. We don’t need men going around dressed up in old-fashioned costumes; the place speaks for itself.
Despite the "old-fashioned costumes" riff, Meyer actually has tourism in mind for the castle and wants the eventual new owners to keep the castle open to the public.
The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further, reroute the road and make Bran a destination, the kind of place people will stay for two or three days. That’s why we’d like whoever buys the castle to continue running it as a tourist destination. This isn’t just a national monument, it’s the largest and most significant attraction in Romania.
Of course, the cost of Bran is another matter. It could go for as low as $80 million, but could go well beyond the $135 million value it was estimated at back in 2007. Then again, Meyer believes there's income to be generated, saying, "At present, it makes a tidy profit, but in the right hands it has the potential to generate far more revenue than we could ever imagine."
So think of this purchase as an investment. And if you do buy the place, maybe get some plumbing set up in there. Then invite me over for LARPing.