James King
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As proper mood music for this news story, I have chosen Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, the first 23 minutes (the first three movements) of which might better have been called the Dracula Symphony because it sounds very much like a musical score for a Dracula movie. This version of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra is by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. (The music begins after the short one-minute intro.)





> Excerpt from the May 11, 2014 London Daily Mail news story by Paul C68SkzGb6WwDonnelly entiled:

Dracula's Castle in Bran, Roumania Is Up For Sale For Only $79,000,000.00




Count Dracula’s Transylvanian castle has been put on the market by its Romanian archduke owner -- with a reported asking price of at least $79,000,000.00.

Hilltop fortress Bran Castle is the eastern European country’s biggest tourist attraction and attracts 560,000 visitors annually.

Mark Meyer, of Herzfeld and Rubin, a New York law firm handling the sale, said: "If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing, and will seriously entertain the idea."



Bran Castle in Bran, Romania has been put on the market with a $79,000,000.00 price tag. Bran Castle attracts more than half a million vampire fans to the eastern European country each year


Previous owners of the castle, which dates back to 1211, range from Saxons to Hungarians and Teutonic knights.

Bloodsucking vampire Count Dracula may be fictional but he is said to have been based on the sadistic Vlad the Impaler, prince of Wallachia in the 15th century.

Bram Stoker is believed to have based his description of Dracula’s castle as "...on the very edge of a terrific precipice... with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests" on that of Bran.

In the days of Romania’s Habsburg royal family, Bran Castle was given to Queen Marie, the last Queen consort of Romania and granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

When she died of cirrhosis, on July 18, 1938, she bequeathed the castle to her daughter Princess Ileana. 



Archduke Dominic von Habsburg and his family care very much for the castle, and it's in far better shape now than it was when run by the government, But after the Communists came to power in 1948, the family was given 24 hours to leave the country. 


After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Bran Castle was restored to them -- and Ileana’s son Dominic and daughters Maria Magdalena and Elizabeth have been running it ever since.

All three children are now in their 70s and want a new owner to continue their ambitious vision for the site’s future.



Members of the Habsburg family, Elizabeth, Dominic and Mary Magdalena in the courtyard of Bran Castle


They are understood to have offered the Romanian government the chance to buy it for $79,000,000.00 but are seeking alternative offers.

Mr Meyer said: "Archduke Dominic and his family care very much for the castle, and it’s in far better shape now than it was when run by the government."






Bran Castle attracts over half a million visitors every year and is on sale for offers in the region of $79,000,000.00.






A Tour of Castle Dracula





> Excerpt from the July 17 2013 International Business Times business news story by Mark Hohanson entitled:

Romania’s Dracula Problem: Tourists Love It, But Locals Hate It!

The Romanian Federation of Tourism and Service Employers announced its grand plan this week to lure international tourists to the country -- and in particular a place so obscure that many think it’s fictional: Transylvania -- by enlisting the help of the mythical vampire Dracula. The agency tapped Transylvania as the most-promising destination in the country, despite years of opposition to “vampire tourism” from perturbed locals.

Vampire legends are thought to have originated from the disturbing appearance of decomposing bodies during the plagues that ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages. The legends play a major role in the Balkan region's folklore and were the basis for Irishman Bram Stoker's classic tale, Dracula, which was first published in 1897. The story has been retold in numerous filmic versions and forms the basis for modern vampire fiction.

Though Dracula takes place in Transylvania, Stoker never actually visited the place. And while it’s destined to be forever associated with the book’s lurid content, the people who live there are none too pleased about it.

Indeed, Romanian officials’ attempts to exploit the legend have never gone over well with the public. The government failed to find investors to launch a $15.6 million Count Dracula theme park near Bucharest just over a decade ago. The planned location was next to the burial site of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), the real-life Romanian prince who inspired the myth. The park was later moved to Transylvania, but that never got off the ground either -- perhaps because Vlad is revered there as a national hero who fought for independence against the Ottoman Empire, not a bloodthirsty vampire.

With the reemergence of vampire fiction, however, the Romanian tourism board says public perception has changed. Moreover, it says Dracula tourism in Transylvania could be the nation’s biggest draw with huge advantages for the national economy.

“Finally the local authorities in Transylvania understood that the Dracula myth represents an unrivaled vehicle for promoting tourism,” Dan Matei Agathon, president of the tourism federation, said in announcing the plan, according to the national news agency of Romania, Agerpres. “All those places full of history in Transylvania can now finally become tourism destinations internationally renowned, with the benefit not only to the tourism in the region, but to our economy in general.”

The Federation of Tourism and Service Employers said Dracula tourism could be a “huge” boon if it is rebranded and packaged in a modern manner using European funds through 2020. Last year, the agency teamed up with S&S Travel to launch a pilot project in select Asian markets called the “Discover Dracula Tour” in an attempt to enhance foreign tourist flow. The project was to be expanded into the U.S. and across Europe but appears to be inactive in 2013.

Whether the current push to attract foreigners and forge an indelible tie between Romania and Dracula will work remains to be seen. If history is any indication, however, the curse of Count Dracula could hamper efforts once again.

 
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Neon Joe, Werewolf He-yump
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You can really see the historical arc of Central Europe's last century here: the titled scions of the once-mighty Hapsburg Dynasty selling off an ancestral castle, recently restored from Communism, to be run as a tourist trap
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I don't have that much money in my pocket today.
 
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Do they accept GeekGold?
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Do they accept bitcoin?
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Does it come WITH Romania?


Cause I don't want that part.
 
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I visited the place on a skiing holiday about 20 years ago. Weird place. Half of it was the original gothic stonework, the other half was white artex walls (Disney style...). I think the govt ran out of money half way through the 'restoration'.
 
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James King
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toku42 wrote:
You can really see the historical arc of Central Europe's last century here: the titled scions of the once-mighty Hapsburg Dynasty selling off an ancestral castle, recently restored from Communism, to be run as a tourist trap

Now all Castle Dracula needs is for its gift shop to be selling copies of a "Monopoly" game themed around former Hapsburg-owned castles and mansions to complete its final capitalistic touch. laugh
 
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

toku42 wrote:
You can really see the historical arc of Central Europe's last century here: the titled scions of the once-mighty Hapsburg Dynasty selling off an ancestral castle, recently restored from Communism, to be run as a tourist trap

Now all Castle Dracula needs is for its gift shop to be selling copies of a "Monopoly" game themed around former Hapsburg-owned castles and mansions to complete its final capitalistic touch. laugh


When I visited there were a couple of stalls outside selling wolly jumpers for the equivalent of £1 each. The wool used was 'raw', replete with twigs and bits of foliage!
 
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James King
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AdrianPHague wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
toku42 wrote:
You can really see the historical arc of Central Europe's last century here: the titled scions of the once-mighty Hapsburg Dynasty selling off an ancestral castle, recently restored from Communism, to be run as a tourist trap

Now all Castle Dracula needs is for its gift shop to be selling copies of a "Monopoly" game themed around former Hapsburg-owned castles and mansions to complete its final capitalistic touch. laugh


When I visited there were a couple of stalls outside selling wolly jumpers for the equivalent of £1 each. The wool used was 'raw', replete with twigs and bits of foliage!

What are "wolly jumpers"?
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wolly jumper (a.k.a. 'wolly-pully') = pullover = sweater = knitted garment covering the torso and arms
 
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