Literary homes to visit from the pages of great literature

Date Posted: 30/10/2014

History and literary buffs, this list is for you – we discover where you can pay a visit to the past homes of these five fictional icons and famed authors.

Dracula

It is generally accepted that Bram Stoker’s famous character Dracula was based on the historical figure Vlad Tepes, also called Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler, whose hometown is Sighisoara, Romania.

As ruler, Vlad earned the title ‘Impaler’ due to his propensity to punish his victims by impaling them on stakes and displaying them publicly. But he is also revered as a hero by Romanians for fending off the Turks who were invading his country.

For those interested you can visit Casa Vlad Dracula (pictured), where reportedly Vlad was born, which now houses the Museum of Medieval Arms on the first floor and a restaurant downstairs serving such delicacies as Tepes Steak covered in blood (tomato sauce).

Victor Hugo

In 1832, Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, rented an apartment in Paris for 16 years, which is now a museum with exhibits on his life.

Entrance to the Maison de Victor Hugo, which is located at 6 Place des Vosges, is free, with a small charge to see the exhibitions on the first floor. On the second floor, where he lived, you will find some of his personal collections of art and manuscripts.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm and is within walking distance of three Paris Metro stations.

Hans Christian Anderson

It was in the small town of Odense, Denmark that the fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson was born. When he was aged two, his family moved to a small house close to St Knud’s Cathedral, now known as H.C. Andersen's Childhood Home.

The house, that measures just 18 square metres, opened as a museum in 1930 and contains many original and copies of Andersen's books, sketches and collages.

Pictured: H. C. Anderson's Childhood Home.

Make sure to also visit the Hans Christian Anderson Museum that’s also located in Odense.

Karen Blixen

Danish author Karen Blixen is famous for the novel Out of Africa which was a tale of her adventures in her beloved Kenya. She led a tumultuous life, but one that made for a very good story. Fortune brought her to Kenya, but her love for Kenya is what made her stay and call it home for as long as she did.

It was the autobiography of the life and times of Karen Blixen, an unwitting foreign transplant brought into Kenya by her husband to help him run a coffee plantation. Blixen was eventually abandoned by her husband to manage the plantation and during her time in Kenya she managed to win the affections and respect of the people.

Open daily, the home is now a small museum that is located ten kilometres outside of Nairobi.

Anne Frank

During the Holocaust, Anne Frank and her family and friends hid in the attic of Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, now commonly called the Anne Frank House.

During her two years in hiding, Anne detailed her struggle in the international bestseller The Diary of Anne Frank. On 4th August 1944, the hiding place was betrayed. The people in hiding were deported to various concentration camps and only Otto Frank survived.

Today, the rooms of the Anne Frank House still evoke powerful emotions. Quotations from Anne’s diary, historical documents, photo enlargements, film clips, and original ephemera that belonged to those in hiding bring to life the events that took place here. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks can also be seen in the museum.

The Anne Frank House is a 20 minute walk from the city’s Central Station. Groups are advised to reserve a time slot before visiting and you can also book lunch in the museum cafe.

This list was compiled by VirtualTourist.com, a resource for travellers seeking an insider’s perspective.

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