Bran Castle in Romania\'s Carpathian Mountains.
Bran Castle in Romania\'s Carpathian Mountains.

Castle Dracula, deep in the heart of the Transylvanian mountains, is up for sale, an estate agent has revealed.

Though no price tag has been attached, offers will be considered for Bran Castle, where the infamous Vlad the Impaler, inspiration for Bram Stoker's vampire aristocrat, once lived.

"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," Mark Meyer, of Herzfeld and Rubin, told the Sunday Telegraph. The New York law firm is handling the sale.

The first records of fortifications on the site in Romania's Carpathian mountains date from 1211, and the castle has withstood sieges, wars, and the collapse of dynasties.

In the 1920s, the castle was owned by Queen Marie, grandaughter of Queen Victoria, whose daughter set up a hospital in the castle to treat soldiers during the second world war.

When the communists came to power, the royal family were ordered to get out.

"In 1948, the entire royal family was given 24 hours not just to get out of the castle, but out of the country," says Meyer. "They were packed off in a train."

After the fall of the Ceausescu regime, the castle was restored to Marie's grandchildren, who have been running it ever since.

The fortress is one of Romania's top tourist attractions, with approximately 560,000 visitors paying £4 to look around every year.

However, with all three of the grandchildren now in their seventies, they are unsure whether they have the time or money to bring the site into the 21st century.

Communists tore out the lavatories in the residential areas, and a road through the heart of the nearby village has been built.

"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," said Meyer. "The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further, re-route the road and make Bran a destination, the kind of place people will stay for two or three days."

He said that there is enough land on the estate to build a small hotel. "And we're also installing a glass elevator that will lead to a tunnel in the mountain, with a light show featuring Dracula and the whole history of the place.

"That's why we'd like whoever buys the castle to continue running it as a tourist destination. This isn't just a national monument, it's the largest and most significant attraction in Romania."

Batting aside claims that the current owners had offered it to the Romanian government for £47 million, Meyer refused to quote a price.

"What you have to remember is that this castle is the real thing. We don't need men going around dressed up in old-fashioned costumes; the place speaks for itself.

"At present, it makes a tidy profit, but in the right hands it has the potential to generate far more revenue than we could ever imagine."