A medieval fortress in Romania known as “Dracula’s Castle” has been returned to its pre-World War Two owners.
The former royal family of Habsburg were chased out by the communist regime almost 60 years ago. But after a lengthy legal battle, Dominic Habsburg, is happy to have the keys back: “I had a great deal of difficulty coming back as a tourist. Then circumstances prevented me from coming but I must say that I’m here now and I actually feel like I never left.” Perched among forests on the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, the Bran Castle is one of the first prominent pieces of real estate given back by the Bucharest government under Romania’s troubled property restitution law. Its handover raises hopes for many Romanians still waiting to win back the houses, factories and land they lost to wartime fascists or post-war communists who tried to dismantle capitalism. The former royal family says it plans to keep the fortress as a museum and a tourist attraction.