A Romanian couple have spent two years building an eco-friendly “fairytale castle” in the mountains of Transylvania, using only natural materials.
Razvan and Gabriela Vasile sold their home near the capital Bucharest to build the “castle” in a village 24 miles (40 km) from the city of Sibiu, Casa Mea website reports. Called the “Clay Castle of the Valley of Fairies”, it is made of “100% organic” clay, straw and sand, with all wooden pillars and not a lick of modern paint or varnish. As the couple are singers rather than master builders, they enlisted the help of a professional architect to make their dream come true.
Casa Mea says the building “looks like something out of the Hobbit” rather than a castle in the conventional sense, and the owners hope eventually to open it as a hotel, given its location in the spectacular Carpathian Mountains and proximity to the famous Transfagarasan highway and medieval Sibiu. Clay Castle is already a tourist attraction in its own right, and one couple even hosted their wedding reception there. It has a Facebook page with 18,000 “friends”, where the Vasiles recently said they plan to open a restaurant using only local organic food by the end of the year.
Their enthusiasm for ecology also extends to heating, as the ten rooms will be kept warm in the harsh winter months with traditional wood-burning fires – although the Vasiles haven’t yet explained how they’ll keep Clay Castle cool in the summer.