imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, May 27, 2006
VELCOME TO MY HUMBLE ABODE
It may be be his home, not yet anyway, but Bran Castle, better known as Chez Dracula, has finally been returned to its rightful owner, New York architect Dominic Habsburg.
Dracula's castle returned to heir: A Transylvanian castle famous for its connections to the 15th-Century medieval ruler who inspired the book, "Dracula," was returned Friday to a Romanian royal heir, more than a half-century after it was seized by the country's communist regime. … Habsburg said he did not want the castle's name to be associated with Dracula. "We are talking about a fable, a novel, I don't think that's OK," Habsburg said.
Each year more than 400,000 people visit the castle -- mainly because of its loose association with Prince Vlad, who punished wrongdoers by impaling them on stakes. He once impaled all the elderly people in a community in an act of revenge following the killing of his father and brother. Vlad did not own the castle but is believed to have used it during incursions.
For now, the castle will remain a tourist attraction:
Habsburg has promised to keep the castle, which attracts 400,000 visitors to the tiny mountain village every year, open to the public for at least three years. He said he would speak with Bran residents before deciding its future after that. Many of those residents earn a living from the castle's Dracula association, selling "Vampire" wine and souvenirs at its gates.