Vlad the Impaled

Romanian Government Puts Final Nail in the Coffin of Dracula Theme Park

from AFP

BUCHAREST - Dracula's eternal sleep can remain undisturbed after Romanian authorities decided to scrap a project for an amusement park dedicated to everybody's favourite vampire.

Following a plague of difficulties, the Romanian government spelt the death of the theme park project in Snagov, a resort town some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Bucharest once favoured by late Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu.

The Dracula Park company had under the former Social Democrat government in 2003 acquired the right to build the park on a 460-hectare (1,150-acre) piece of land near Snagov, where Dracula himself or rather Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for the fictional character of the vampire, is buried.

It had also been promised state funds for construction but the contract was found to be full of "irregularities" and was cancelled, the government said Friday.

Initially, the park was to be built near Sighisoara, a medieval city and UN World Heritage site in central Romania where Vlad, also known as The Impaler, was born.

But the idea was abandoned following criticism from UNESCO, environmental groups and historians, including the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a foundation dedicated to maintaining Transylvanian heritage, supported by Britain's Prince Charles.

The project's supporters then chose to move it to the outskirts of Bucharest which could guarantee better infrastructure and a greater number of potential tourists.

But major investors with a stake in the project gradually withdrew following its well-publicised difficulties and the company found itself without funds.

Dracula, the dentally-challenged creation by Irish novelist Bram Stoker based on the figure of Vlad, a 15th-century prince who notoriously impaled his victims, was to be the central figure of the theme park.


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