Wednesday, January 10, 2007

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Vlad the unique selling point

Blood-spattered Bran Castle is Transylvania's hottest property, reports Ben Travers

Say what you will about his personal habits, but when it comes to spinning gore into gold, Vlad the Impaler, enthusiastic champion of man's inhumanity to man, can be said to have few rivals.

Bran Castle
Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle

The 15th-century tyrant - the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula - is known to have resided at Bran Castle, near Brasov in Transylvania, as either pampered guest or shackled inmate, according to conflicting reports.

What is indisputable is that the imposing, 14th-century fortress-turned-museum has never baulked from cashing in on its association with bad lad Vlad, whose preferred mode of execution secured his place in history. Today, it is for sale at a spine-chilling £40 million.

Castle Dracula, as it is commonly known, is a failsafe tourist attraction, pulling in 450,000 visitors a year. The former residence of Queen Victoria's grand-daughter, Queen Marie of Romania, it was appropriated by the country's Communist regime in 1956.


Rene said...

According to a doco I saw a couple of years ago, the real "Castle Dracula" is a much less impressive, much older building that is mostly in ruins. The Castle Drac in the picture is apparently the one they've been showing since Ceausescu's day because it's a much more impressive building & closer to what the vampire loving tourists expect to see. What's that quote, "when the myth reads better than the fact, print the myth" (?)

Bill Crider said...

That quote's from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. And it probably describes the Dracula's Castle situation accurately.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

You should buy the place, Bill. It looks just big enough to hold your book collection.

Bill Crider said...