In 1897, author Bram Stoker created a horrifying and classic monster in his novel “Dracula,” a blood-sucking vampire from Transylvania. The caped creature was known for living secluded in a castle up on a hill. This castle was based on Bran Castle near Brasov, Romania belonging to Prince Vlad the Imapaler, the historical figure who served as Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula. Now, this medieval castle is up for sale to any Dracula fan with the means and interest in purchasing it.

Bran Castle was put on the market on Monday without a specific selling price. It contains just as much interesting factual history as it does literary history. The castle was built in the 14th century as a fortress to protect against the invading Ottoman Turks. Prince Vlad is said to have spent a night there and is known for the horrific torturing of his enemies. In the 1920’s, the royal family moved into the castle and lived there until the communist regime confiscated it from Princess Ileana in 1948. It was turned into a museum in 1957. In the 1980’s, it was restored after the communist rule ended in Romania and became a popular tourist attraction known as “Dracula’s Castle. In May 2006, it was returned to Princess Ileana’s son, a 69-year-old New York architect named Archduke Dominic Habsburg. He decided to keep it open as a museum until 2009. He then offered to sell it to local authorities last year for $80 million, but he was rejected.

When Habsburg received the property, it came with a contract that the government would pay rent to Habsburg to run the castle as a museum for three years, charging admission. After 2009, it would be his to do as he pleases. About 450,000 people visit the castle each year to see where several films have been made and watch the bats flying around it at night. Habsburg believes the castle and its 22 acres will sell for $135 million.

For related articles visit

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20070702/ap_tr_ge/travel_brief_dracula_s_castle and http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/06/28/draculas.castle.sale.reut/index.html.

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