Administrator in Memoriam
- Jan 22, 2005
Not quite, but it's certainly up for discussion and they seem agreeable to listen seriously to any reasonable offer made quietly and privately by sympathetic investors. The article begins with Corin Rose, the Habsburg family lawyer, quoted as stating "Bran Castle is not for sale." He added that if it were put up for sale the Romanian government would have the right of first refusal.
The owners, Archduke Dominc (76) and his sisters Archduchesses Maria Magdalena (74) and Elisabeth (72) of the Habsburg Tuscan branch have restored the castle to a reasonable condition following the communist regime's many years of neglect. Annual visitor numbers are at over 500,000 and Bran Castle is currently making over €1m [near US$1.4m, £815K, AU$1.5m] annual profit.
However, to continue to improve the castle facilities, expand the attractions (such as a proper Dracula-themed museum) and provide good-standard accommodation, a large investment and lots of energy will be required. The Habsburg siblings believe they are too old for the task. [All three have families, with nine children between them, but they aren't mentioned anywhere and don't appear to be part of the equation]. The only offers they would consider would be those made by parties who shared their view of the historical, cultural and economic significance of the castle to Romania.
Dracula remains a popular figure in the English-speaking world so there is little fear of a drop-off in visitor numbers. With its spectacular setting and close associations with the unlikely trio of the larger-than-life Queen Marie, the fictional Count and the real Vlad III, Voivode of Wallacia - the dreaded and posthumously-titled "Impaler" of Turks (and others) - Bran Castle should, in the right hands, have a bright future and continue to be Romania's no 1 tourist attraction and 'national monument'
Forbes has valued the castle and property at US$140m [€102m, £83m, AU$150m]. It is believed that Archduke Dominic offered it to the Romanian government for US$80m but that information is unconfirmed.