The castle dates back to the 14th century and Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, the brutal Romanian ruler who inspired the vampire Dracula, was once imprisoned there. Despite its dubious connection to Vlad (and the fact that Dracula author Bram Stoker placed the count’s fictional home in an entirely different location), Bran Castle has had a hard time shaking off its ties to the toothy ghoul. For instance, most everyone calls it Dracula’s Castle.
To be fair, it’s a bit more interesting than Poenari Castle, Vlad’s actual home. That was essentially an empty ruin, while Bran Castle is gorgeous and well kept. More than half a million tourists visit annually to see the lovely views of the valley below, 50 rooms, and a picturesque courtyard.
However, it doesn’t seem to have a working bathroom, aside from some facilities near the main gates for visitors. In 1948, Romania’s Communist government seized the castle and expelled Princess Ileana, its then owner. Then they tore out all the bathrooms for some reason. In 2009, the government returned the castle to Ileana’s son, Archduke Dominic von Habsburg. He and his sisters quickly turned it into a museum. It’s been a major tourist hub ever since. Despite earning them millions every year, Dominic recently said he’d be willing to sell the castle to the right person.
Being familiar with the culture and customs of Romania, in addition to a willingness to keep the castle open as a tourist attraction, potential buyers also need a lot of cold, hard cash Dominic has offered the castle to the Romanian government for the equivalent of $80 million. If they don’t bite, he’s reportedly set to ask $135 million from private parties.
There’s also one more thing we should warn you about. In addition to being a magnet for everything from vacationing goths to bloodthirsty vampires, Prince Charles also owns property in the area. There’s always the chance that he might stop by.