(ENI) – Church leaders in Romania have condemned government plans for a 120-hectare Dracula Park to encourage tourist interest in Transylvania’s legendary vampire.
“The Dracula myth has nothing to do with the Romanian people or its history,” said Costel Stoica, spokesman for the Romanian Orthodox Church’s Bucharest patriarchate. “It gives a false image of our country, deriving from an Irish writer’s fantasy.”
This fall, Romania’s senate approved a tourism ministry ordinance setting up the park outside the northern town of Sighisoara. Orthodox church leaders were not consulted about the project.
The government plans were also denounced by Romania’s minority Lutheran church, which said the park would violate environmental regulations and fuel interest in the occult.
“Universally known and recognised Christian and humane values are being imperilled by this attempt to promote entertainment and games based on cruelty, horror, occultism and vampirism,” the church said in a statement.
Work on the site, in Sighisoara’s Breite national park, was started in November as part of a campaign to regenerate tourist interest in Romania. Organisers predicted Dracula Park would attract a million visitors yearly to the medieval town.