Owners of Dracula Castle offer to sell

In May I posted about the Romanian government returning Dracula's Castle to its' former owners. It seems now the family has decided to sell it for $78 million. Dominic Habsburg, the owner, insisted his family had honorable intentions for wanting to sell the castle. "We are trying to find the best way to preserve the castle in the interest of the family and the people of Bran."

After the restitution, concerns were raised that the family could sell the castle to a hotel chain and that the site could end up being the centerpiece of a Dracula theme park that would blight the surrounding, pristine countryside some 105 miles north of Bucharest. Faced with the enormous expense of the castle's upkeep, Habsburg said he wanted to place the property in the hands of the local council with an eye toward ensuring its historic character is preserved.

Lia Trandafir, an attorney for Habsburg, said local authorities are interested in buying it. "They'd like to see it coming back to the community and they consider it a central pillar of tourism in Brasov county," she said.

Aristotel Cancescu, head of the local city council, is due to travel to Vienna, Austria, on Monday to open discussions about a bank loan. If he manages to secure one, it will need to be approved by local councilors.

Culture Minister Adrian Iorgulescu has criticized the planned purchase of the castle, saying it is worth only a fourth of Habsburg's asking price. The castle is part of history. I guess it raises the question of how much would you pay for a piece of history.

"I have nothing against the castle being bought by the city council if they are stupid enough to pay this money," Iorgulescu said.

In recent years, the castle — complete with glimpses of bats floating around its ramparts in the twilight — has attracted moviemakers as a backdrop for films about Dracula and other spooky themes.

More on the Bran Castle: http://www.brancastlemuseum.ro

Source: Associated Press via Yahoo News


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