Looking for a piece of prime real estate? Bran Castle, the reputed humble abode of one famous vampire called Dracula, is on the market by its Habsburg owners. If a 13th century fortress on the brink of a rocky crag rich in history and legend sounds like home-sweet-home, give the Romanian Government a run for their money. (They’ve got it locked in at $80 million, at least for now.)
For a thorough description of the property, just ask Bram Stoker. He’s got it all covered in that 19th century masterpiece we all know and love: The castle is on the very edge of a terrific precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.
But if you can’t afford the hefty price tag, the Habsburg restoration has made the castle the ultimate tourist attraction. Bran Castle’s debatable connection to both historical and fictional Dracula makes it the most-visited place in the entire Transylvanian region. What had once served as both a defense tower against Ottoman invaders in the mid-1500s and a toll-collector’s headquarters is just the sort of place a vampire might have lived.
In reality, the last documented residents were of the Romania royal family, until 1947 when the castle was taken by the communist regime. Bran became a museum 10 years later, but not without paying homage to possible vampiric heritage; the haunting highest levels do, in fact, house displays about Dracula.
Check out more on Transylvanian travel (vampires aside) here.