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Home Is Where The Heart Is (Stakes Not Included)
January 12, 2007 12:59 AM   Subscribe

Dracula's Castle is for sale. The gothic fortress (also known as Bran Castle) was once home to Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. The local government has the right of first refusal, but if they choose not to make the purchase, the property can be offered to private buyers (as long as any potential new owner agrees to let it remain a state-run museum for at least three years).
posted by amyms (63 comments total)

 
As a side note, the full text of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" can be read online here, here and here.
posted by amyms at 1:02 AM on January 12, 2007


Trent Reznor is so going to buy that.

And record a mediocre album inside.
posted by Jimbob at 1:04 AM on January 12, 2007


That first link leads to perhaps one of the greatest web designs ever created. Pixelated gifs, animated gifs, primary colors - what more could you ask for?

And if you did hard enough, you may even find this on the web designer's own page.

But seriously, thanks. I always wondered what the actual thing looked like... and if it existed.
posted by RobertFrost at 1:11 AM on January 12, 2007


I'm thinking porn studio. I know I can't be the only one.
posted by dreamsign at 1:23 AM on January 12, 2007


That site sure impaled the hell outta my Firefox 2.0.0.1....
posted by pjern at 1:23 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


That first link leads to perhaps one of the greatest web designs ever created. Pixelated gifs, animated gifs, primary colors - what more could you ask for?

Poor design, no doubt... but there's a reason for the primary color color pallate, you know.
posted by cadastral at 1:42 AM on January 12, 2007


killed Firefox for me too.

And that picture is NOT Dracula's castle. I have played every one of the Castlevania games and that castle is not big enough, is not inside of the moon or floating in midair, and there does not even appear to be any water for the mermen.

I'd still buy it if I were an eccentric billionaire.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:48 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry about the Firefox troubles (no problems for me with IE)... The rest of the links should be okay...

I'd still buy it if I were an eccentric billionaire.

You don't have to be a billionaire... The asking price is a mere $78m (£40m).
posted by amyms at 1:54 AM on January 12, 2007


A visit to the tomb of Dracula.
posted by Ljubljana at 1:55 AM on January 12, 2007


Dracula was partly inspired by Slains castle in Cruden Bay, Scotland.
posted by fire&wings at 2:30 AM on January 12, 2007


It would make a great Bled & Breakfast.
posted by pracowity at 2:46 AM on January 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


This castle should not be mistaken for the
actual Castle Dracula (now in ruins), which
is located on the Arges River, at a more secluded site.


This was just Dracula's summer home.

And ouch, pracowity. I should have realized there'd be jokes in this vein.
posted by Malor at 3:10 AM on January 12, 2007


This is a true story. I knew a Balkan feller called Vladimir who loved to smoke vast quantities of marijuana. Vlad the Inhaler we called him.
posted by imperium at 3:36 AM on January 12, 2007


Please! You're killing me.
posted by hal9k at 3:43 AM on January 12, 2007


I'd say pracowity and Malor are neck and neck in the Dracula comedy race. These vampire jokes, though, they really bite. Plus they suck. They are bloody stupid.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:22 AM on January 12, 2007


I am so going to buy this castle, and then fill it with really expensive tables that unfold into bigger tables.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:48 AM on January 12, 2007


Apropos of nothing really, but I was riding my bike through the Scottish Borders a couple of years ago. My girlfriend and I were new to the area and we were exploring some of the back roads over the hills. The weather was turning to rain though, and being around February it was still getting dark towards mid afternoon. It was then that we came across this place with not another soul in sight for miles around. Those pictures don't really do justice to what solid, intimidating edifice it really is. I'm not at all superstitious but I had a hard time going past the place in the near dark.
posted by vbfg at 4:51 AM on January 12, 2007


Not the best investment. Too much at stake.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:01 AM on January 12, 2007


Sono il conte Draaaaaaaacula minchia !
posted by elpapacito at 5:08 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll finally have the perfect place to start my vampire watermelon farm.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:22 AM on January 12, 2007


Oh, brother. This is why those Roma are having so much trouble getting their genocide recognized.

Anyway, remember Castle Stalker from Monty Python & the Holy Grail? 15 yrs ago when I visited Scotland it was closed to visitors, but now you can book a tour! Let's hear it for the estate tax.
posted by Tuffy at 5:27 AM on January 12, 2007


Ooo, and Smart Dalek goes right for the jugular.
posted by Malor at 5:54 AM on January 12, 2007


Ooo, and Smart Dalek goes right for the jugular.

By that, I think you're implying that he has a way of getting right to the heart of the matter?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:00 AM on January 12, 2007


Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula

Actually, that is a highly debated question. Some scholars say Stoker knew very little about Vlad. For example, why would Stoker, who used historical detail throughout the novel to make it more horrific, completely fail to mention that his villain had impaled his victims? Vlad is an ethnic Vlach but in the novel, Dracula claims to be a Székely. There is really no direct factual evidence that Stoker knew about Vlad or based it on him.

Finally, there is no agreement on which castle Stoker intended or even if it was based on a real castle at all - Stoker never personally traveled to eastern Europe.
posted by stbalbach at 6:09 AM on January 12, 2007


Buongiorno sono Nico.
posted by romakimmy at 6:12 AM on January 12, 2007


I'm thinking porn studio. I know I can't be the only one.
posted by dreamsign at 9:23 AM GMT on January 12


There is an established history of sucking people dry...
posted by slimepuppy at 6:16 AM on January 12, 2007


I like the bled & breakfast idea.
We could call it Bloodbath & Beyond.
posted by Floydd at 6:25 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nice one Floydd. The extra d i s for deliriously funny, no?
posted by Mister_A at 6:28 AM on January 12, 2007


That site borked my FF AND my leet typing skillz.
posted by Mister_A at 6:29 AM on January 12, 2007


Wolfdog, I will treasure the memory of today, the day I first learned of vampire watermelons and pumpkins. Thank you for that.
posted by amro at 6:30 AM on January 12, 2007


The castle looks more cartoonish than creepy to me. Not enough fog in the pictures, perhaps?

(That Vlad the Impaler guy though - he's plenty creepy. One of the articles said that he had an allergy to blood that made him crazy... his own or other people's? And how many people really find out that their allergic to human blood? Is drinking blood a bigger pastime than I imagine?)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:33 AM on January 12, 2007


That first link leads to perhaps one of the greatest web designs ever created. Pixelated gifs, animated gifs, primary colors - what more could you ask for?

A quicktime installer window that closes the firefox window if you press 'cancle'?
posted by delmoi at 6:47 AM on January 12, 2007




Bran Castle is such a joke. There is no evidence to suggest Vlad Ţepeş even set foot in it. My Romanian wife (whom I met in Braşov, not far from Bran) hates the Dracula myth almost as much as she hates gymnast jokes. When I met her, I expressed interest in seeing Dracula's castle, which was met with the now completely familiar "fucking Americans" eye roll and an explanation that the castle is just a tourist trap whose sole function is to take money from idiots looking for the "I vant to suck your BLOOD" mythos. Subsequently, I followed my future wife down the mountains to Bucharest, never laying eyes on the castle.

As an example of Medieval architecture, it's not bad. But it's pretty much a let down to hear the locals talk about it.
posted by quite unimportant at 7:04 AM on January 12, 2007


This cannot bode well for humanity. You see, the castle had been sold before, back in the 1970s by a distant blood relative of the original Dracula, a swinging, down on his luck rich boy named Frank Drake. After running through his family’s money, he inherited the mysterious Castle Dracula and in hopes of turning it into a tourist trap he traveled there with his fiancée Jean and his business partner Clifton Graves. Already, things did not look easy for Frank as Clifton and Jean were ex-lovers and nothing can be more awkward than a long trip through a stereotypical Eastern European countryside with your lover and her ex.

Little did he know that Dracula awaited his arrival and would proceed to make things very awkward indeed!

After blundering their way into the castle, the group split up. Clifton, being a jerk, pulled out the stake that had pinned Dracula in his unholy slumber for the past 80-60-35-3 years (time was different in the 70s). Dracula awoke and promptly started a reign of terror and soliloquies that ended in Jean being turned into a vampire and Clifton becoming enthralled to the Lord of the Vampires.

Frank was understandably troubled by this turn of events and somehow decided that he might turn into a vampire some day because of his Draceritage. So he decided to throw himself off a bridge. Again, this was de rigeur for the 1970s. Potential vampirism was a death sentence for the afflicted. It wasn’t until the late 80s after the AIDs crisis captured the world’s attention that potential vampirism (PV) was finally recognized by the AMA and treated. Nowadays, suffers of PV and the more acute HIPV (Hyper-Introspective Potential Vampirism) can be treated with a daily regimen of pills and swift slaps to the face and buttocks.

Anyways, Frank is stopped from jumping off a bridge by Rachel Van Helfing (pronounced Van Helsing, and even spelled that way except for the first time the name Van Helsing is mentioned) who initiated an emergency treatment of slapping. Frank was saved and agreed to join Rachel and her manservant (again, remember it’s the 70s!) Taj in their quest to hunt and kill Dracula (who had only been awake for something like 45 minutes at this point, but in a small society like vampire hunters, word travels fast).

Dracula, meanwhile, was having a rough time adapting to life in the modern world. So of course, he turned to drink and began to frequent local bars and taverns in search of wenches. His attire, which was a bit too retro in a pre-retro world, made him stand out at bars, which was helpful in attracting wenches’ attentions, but a decided drawback in staying anonymous. Well, that and the killing spree. The killing spree made things difficult all-round. Perhaps drawn to the glare of torch light from his widow’s peak, local toughs seemed to be attracted to Dracula like moths to a flame. Dracula is actually solely responsible for the decline in general thuggery (and corresponding reduction of the average thug’s lifespan) in 1970s London.

So Dracula traveled the countryside righting what was once made wrong and generally killing any big cheekboned women he met. Frank, Rachel, and Taj pursued him, sometimes attempting to kill him, but tended to fail more often than they succeeded. This was partially due to Rachel Van Helsing’s minor retardation – she insisted on trying to shoot Dracula with a crossbow even though he’d just turn into mist every time she tried - as well as Dracula’s extensive network of creepy dudes that lived just at the edge of town that provided him with safe havens and, no doubt, child pornography.

If the modern world, with its exploding yachts and wheel-chair based rocketry, was too much for Dracula, then the altra-modern world with its Bigfoot-like scions of rich families, Lords of Lightning, and witches with mirrors to Hell didn’t help at all. Just as thugs were drawn to Dracula, so was Dracula drawn to these creatures. The great vampiric psychologist, Zombie Sigmund Freud, wrote about this stage of Dracula’s life in his book, Die Zukunft einer Delicious Brains, where he blamed Dracula’s turbulent relationships with other creepy-crawlies on the Lord of Vampire’s inability to make friends, modulate the volume of his speech, and excessive need to avenge the death of his wife. Also, Dracula smelled bad.

One of Dracula’s biggest foes at this time was the illustrious Dr. Sun, a world-famous Chinese scientist guy who, for some reason that seems cloudy even today, somehow became a brain in a vat. It is unclear why Dr. Sun took such issue with Dracula, as the Doctor had already conquered death, reanimated dead tissue, created a stasis ray, and managed to build a giant pagoda-filled compound off the coast of Ireland without anyone noticing. Perhaps he felt that, but for the destruction of Dracula, there was nothing left for him to accomplish. Creating an army of vampires was a big deal back in the 1970s due to Cold War restrictions on nuclear weaponry and China, for some reason, was at the forefront. Anyways, Dracula defeated Dr. Sun by beating his champion, the vampire Brand, and knocking over the doctor’s vat. It is one of the tragedies of modern times that a super-intelligent brain attached to a computer, an intellect bright enough to devise a teleportation device that could transport itself anywhere at anytime, could not figure out how to attach a jar to a sturdy table. Or remember that it had a stasis ray that could have frozen Dracula in his tracks. Or realize that somehow what had begun on a pagoda-filled Irish seashore somehow got moved to the Alps in the midst of all the punching. But I digress. This was, after all, the 1970s.

It should be noted that this period brought us one of our greatest public figures, Blade the Vampire Hunter. Originally armed with wooden throwing knives and an afro, Blade first strutted foot on the world stage in pursuit of Dracula. Unlike the Blade of today, this Blade had no super powers outside of being black, using jive lingo, and bedding hot chicks the world over. His “day-walker” status would not be gained until he, in a sort of reverse-Samson, cut his hair and died a few times.

Eventually, Dracula was stopped, but at a great cost to humanity. Beyond the severe trollop and thug depletion, the destruction of several foggy English hamlets, and the outright suspension of the laws of physics, Dracula cost us our innocence. It was not uncommon for even the most open minded of 12 year old child to say, “What the fuck is this shit? How does being set on fire give a vampire power over lightning?” or “Even I find this incredulous, and I eat my own boogers” when exposed to Dracula-related current events of the day. Our kids grew up fast and confused and before we knew it, disco was a popular form of music and a peanut farmer became President.

That’s why I can’t support the sale of Castle Dracula again. It’s just irresponsible to risk awaking another centuries old evil that will make us question our very sanity. Please, won’t someone think of the children? The children that, if Dracula awakes, are at a very real risk of being turned into a mindless army of knife-wielding psychotics under the control of a Vincent Price-knockoff in a bad Halloween costume?

If you’d like to know more, please feel free to consult this, which I feel is one of the most in depth studies of this most turbulent time in recent memory.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:04 AM on January 12, 2007 [10 favorites]


ZZzzzzzzz. Wake me up when CHOCULA'S
posted by The Straightener at 7:05 AM on January 12, 2007


CASTLE goes on the block.

(fucking fat fingers)
posted by The Straightener at 7:05 AM on January 12, 2007


Tourist trap or not, I'm in for $50. Anybody else? It could be a MetaFilter time share.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:16 AM on January 12, 2007


That's a bunch of baloney, robocop! Everyone knows the castle belonged to a literary agent in the 70's. Forgot the guy's name, but one of his clients was the famous writer, Oscar Greenberg.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:45 AM on January 12, 2007


Listen, I've had it up to here with all you 80s Revisionists!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:49 AM on January 12, 2007


All jokes aside, I'd hate to be the English real estate agent sent to oversee the details.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:50 AM on January 12, 2007


I am so going to buy this castle, and then fill it with really expensive tables that unfold into bigger tables.

XQUZYPHYR, for the win.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:50 AM on January 12, 2007


Wait a minute, when you go to the "step inside" Dracula's Castle page, the last paragraph says this:

"This castle should not be mistaken for the actual Castle Dracula (now in ruins), which is located on the Arges River, at a more secluded site: Poenari Castle."

Soo... okay.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:19 AM on January 12, 2007


wow amyms, What a fabulous castle. Only 73 mill. A deal for the person with the bucks.

It's true, quite unimportant, that people who live near a tourist attraction get fed up with tourists and their simple oohs and ahhs, predictable jokes, legends and facile admiration often mixed with ridicule. But then, that's just the way tourists are about the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal or any of the 'attractions' around the world.

vbfg, spooky and sinister Hermitage Castle is part of my ancestral heritage as a member of the Elliot clan (granny was an Eliott and the clan chief is a cousin). "In truth, though, Hermitage needs no myths. It already has a history of family murders, illicit affairs, romantic trysts, torture, treason, and intrigue sufficient for a host of castles."

Nice photo of Bran Castle from above.

Castle Dracula, the ruin. ooooh.
posted by nickyskye at 8:46 AM on January 12, 2007


"This castle should not be mistaken for the actual Castle Dracula (now in ruins), which is located on the Arges River, at a more secluded site: Poenari Castle."

So this is just a fly-by-night scam, then?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:49 AM on January 12, 2007


When I met her, I expressed interest in seeing Dracula's castle, which was met with the now completely familiar "fucking Americans" eye roll ... Subsequently, I followed my future wife down the mountains to Bucharest, never laying eyes on the castle.

Boy, she really sunk her teeth into you, didn't she?
Could. Not. Resist.

Anyway, yeah with the no evidence for it being Vlad's, yeah with the no evidence Vlad was the inspiration for Stoker anyway. It seems like an awfully cheap way to drag people into the tours, but if you're a poor village in a still-pretty-poor country, I suppose one does what one can.

Which makes it all the more appalling that the Hapsburg guy sued for the place only to turn around and say he'd sell it back, all the while floating scare stories about a Dracula theme park. The guy is a major league twat, if you ask me.
posted by dhartung at 8:59 AM on January 12, 2007


I'm amazed no one has mentioned the actual former owner of the castle, Queen Marie of Romania.

Granddaughter of Queen Victoria, beloved of George the Fifth, Romanian patriot, Red Crose nurse, author, strategist, diplomat, and a very early member of Baha'i.

Forgive the wikipedia, but I haven't found any other sites that do her any justice.
posted by anotherbrick at 9:18 AM on January 12, 2007


I love that nickyskye's Castle Dracula link includes a recipe corner.
posted by tula at 9:23 AM on January 12, 2007


For that price he should throw in Gary Oldman too. Doesn't seem like he's up to much of anything these days.
posted by Mister_A at 9:33 AM on January 12, 2007


Oooh, that Gary Oldman razor slurping thing was almost as good as Hopkin's fava beans lip sucking. "And I never drink...wine."

Yeah, tula, the Got Blood? thing gets a bit old after a while. And the beef, anise, cabbage almond soup sounds delish. Reminds me of another beef anise concoction.

More info and pics about the differences between the Dracula ruin and the Bran Castle tourist attraction.

More pics and about Queen Marie of Romania.
posted by nickyskye at 10:35 AM on January 12, 2007


Dracula was partly inspired by Slains castle in Cruden Bay, Scotland.

Hmm, I think I like that one better, actually. The Art Nouveau remodel of Bran Castle kind of sucked out all the gloom.

BTW, the title "Earl of Erroll" is serious Python bait.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:38 AM on January 12, 2007


Astorzombie, I have my 50.00 and I am ready. You know...One of these days I predict the whole Metafilter group will own something incredible.
posted by winks007 at 10:53 AM on January 12, 2007


Like a condo in Hell?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:58 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


You can timeshare in my Hell-condo if you like. And I'd love to get in on the Castle Dracula thing, I'm in for 50 dollars (if someone will lend me 45 dollars).
posted by arcticwoman at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2007


Tourist trap or not, I'm in for $50. Anybody else? It could be a MetaFilter time share.

I'd love to contribute to the time-share effort, but it would bleed me dry.
posted by amyms at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2007


ZZzzzzzzz. Wake me up when CHOCULA'S CASTLE goes on the block.

That leads me to wonder if Count Von Count (from Sesame Street) has any real estate for sale, and if so, how many rooms does his castle have... One!... Ahaha... Two!... Ahaha... Three!...
posted by amyms at 11:33 AM on January 12, 2007


New Republican Party HQ?

Hell, I'd love to live there. Who wants to be my sugah mamma?

Also, I couldn't let this pass without comment (from the sale link): "We would like Castle Bran to remain a symbol of everything that is honourable and good in Romania[.]"

Nice.
posted by LordSludge at 12:11 PM on January 12, 2007


for those who checked this thread out as much out of a sense of "ooo, castle ruins" as one of "ooo, impending vampire jokes", this part
As the arrival of gunpowdered artillery changed the face of warfare, so great castles like Hermitage lost their advantages. Attempts to modify defences, such as the great ravelin that dominates the castle's western approach, were never destined for success.
of nickyskye's Hermitage links reminded me of the beginning of W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz, where the narrator describes the futility of fortress building and seems to pronounce on the futility of the modern condition at the same time.

No vampires, not exactly exciting, but pretty great anyway.

posted by felix grundy at 12:19 PM on January 12, 2007


I would love to live there, but the isolation might drive me batty.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 12:23 PM on January 12, 2007


oops, not 73 mill but $78, 000,000.

felix grundy , Gunpowder outdid stone. The end of castles. They they had their day. unnng. I'm glad things changed. Or have they?
posted by nickyskye at 1:33 PM on January 12, 2007


Buongiorno sono Nico.

Brava romakimmy :)
posted by elpapacito at 5:53 PM on January 12, 2007


Now that I've reached a certain age, I make sure that I spend plenty of time in my bran castle every morning. It's as refreshing as a cup of coffee.
posted by dhartung at 8:38 PM on January 12, 2007


I've actually been to the castle in Bran, as well as the ruins of Vlad's old place. The former was lame, but the town was out of an honest-to-God fairy tale, and a creepy one at that. On the way there I picked up a hitchhiker who was drunk in the middle of the afternoon. He also had dried blood all over his hands. I spent that night on a straw bed in a room above the local tavern where woodsmen (woodsmen?!) had lined up their axes outside the front door. They kept me up with their singing and shouting. And I swear dogs began to howl outside my window when the moon rose. I actually wrote a letter to my girl that night, just in case anything happened to me. A fond memory.

The actual Impaler's castle/ruins was much cooler. A hike to get to and in the middle of nowhere, but worth the sidetrip. As I recall, a stone from Vlad's castle actually found its way in my luggage. Somehow. Shall we start the bid at 2... pints?
posted by rough at 9:02 PM on January 12, 2007


If I had the money, I would buy a stake in the castle.
posted by sparkletone at 1:12 AM on January 14, 2007


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