Places of interest29 March 2024

The Clay Castle in Fairies’ Valley–the castle at the foot of the Făgăraş Mountains, seeming to come from a tale with fairies and princes, has become an attraction for travellers around the world

Thirty-five kilometres from Sibiu, in the town of Porumbacu, within a superb landscape, an estate of clay and straw was built in a unique architectural style, like a sweet gingerbread castle in our childhood stories

The Clay Castle in Fairies’ Valley

The Clay Castle in Fairies’ Valley

Răzvan and Gabriela Vasile left Bucharest, deciding to turn a childhood’s dream into a fairy tale reality. Their dream was to live in a fairy tale castle, built only from natural materials.

And where could that happen, if not in an enchanting area, loaded with magic, with the mountain above and a river at the foot, away from the madding crowd of the city. This story began in 2006 when the two spouses decided on the location of their future home. The construction itself started only in 2014, with the help of some craftsmen from Maramureș, based on a design drafted by Ileana Mavrodin. The materials used are exclusively organic: clay, straw, stone, sand and wood. The foundation is made of concrete and stones, the structure is made of wood and the walls are made of "cob" (a mixture of soil, water, straw, clay and sand).

The outer plaster is made of lime and sand and the towers are made of river stone, bricked with lime and sand. The exterior walls are 60 cm thick and the interior walls 45 cm. The ten rooms of the castle are finished with natural plasters, which allow a unique design with strange shapes inspired by the mountain peaks.

The ideas of architect Ramona Pop are used for the interior design.

The windows and doors differ from one room to the other, which determines a unique appearance both inside and outside.

The building materials and the natural plasters ensure the inner coolness during summer and keep the heat given by firewood in the winter time. By the end of 2018, the owners hope to open up the guesthouse, to complete the restaurant and some of the ten rooms which will be used for tourist accommodation.

There are thousands of people already coming to visit the wonder castle which is famous throughout Europe, America, Mexico, Canada and even New Zeeland. The travellers can also enjoy the scenery around, the magnificence of the Făgăraș Mountains and of the Porumbacu River flowing down by the castle. They can climb up to Negoiu peak, or go see Bâlea Lake or Făgăraș Fortress.


Elena Radu




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