Businessman buys iconic prison in Romania to turn it into hotel
Romanian-Turkish businessman Mohammad Murad, active in the hotel industry on the local Black Sea coast, announced that he has bought the Doftana Prison and wants to turn it into a hotel complex. He plans to invest some EUR 25 mln.
Doftana was a Romanian prison, sometimes referred to as "the Romanian Bastille" because nobody ever broke out of this prison. It was built in 1895, during King Carol I's reign, in connection with the nearby salt mines. From 1921 it began to be used to detain political prisoners. Among those who were incarcerated there were legionnaire leaders Corneliu Zelea Codreanu and Horia Sima, as well as communist leaders Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej and Nicolae Ceausescu. During the communist regime, it was used as a museum to illustrate the harsh conditions faced by communists before WWII.
"I have seen a lot of positive and negative comments in recent days on the latest acquisition. A tender has been held for Doftana Prison. I have expressed a desire to make a large investment there. I've been doing it for over 20 years, where there are abandoned assets that were and are some of the symbols of Romanian history. I didn't know much about Doftana Prison, I heard Ceausescu, and Gheorghiu-Dej [served sentences here], the area has a lot of history. I think there is no sustainable business if it doesn't have a history behind it," Murad said on June 8 in a press conference, Bursa reported.
He said the prison would be turned into a hotel complex with more than 1,000 beds.
"We will make the largest conference centre in Romania, with over 1,000 accommodation places, the first hotel complex for conferences. Everything that will be consumed there will be organic products. The area is attractive to people and has many advantages, one of them being the proximity to Bucharest. It's a beautiful landscape. We are ready to invest. The investment will amount to EUR 25 mln in the first phase and will be extended if necessary," Murad said.