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Romania Returning 'Dracula's Castle' To Pre-Communist-Era Owners

The 14th century Bran Castle is in Transylvania (RFE/RL) 3 February 2006 -- Romania's government today said authorities will return two castles which belonged to members of the former royal family.

The Peles Castle, located in the mountain resort of Sinaia, will be returned to Romania's former monarch, King Michael, of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family, who owned it before it was confiscated by the communist regime in 1948.

The 14th-century Bran Castle, which is located in Transylvania and is also known as the Dracula Castle, will be given to members of the Habsburg family, who inherited the estate of Romania's Princess Ileana.

Goverment spokeswoman Oana Marinescu said the two castles will be returned within 30 days.

In November 2005, a court rejected a $35 million settlement between the government and King Michael that was offered compensation for the property seized by the Communists.

But Michael will have the property returned to him under a law calling for property seized by the communists to be returned to its former owners.


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