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Fairy Castle near Sibiu (Clay Castle in the Valley of Fairies)

Need to know

Website: https://valeazanelor.ro/
Opening hours: 10.30-17.30
Admission charge: 5 lei
Distance from Sibiu: around 40 km
County/area: Sibiu county

 

Lots of fantastic places revolve around Sibiu like satellites orbit the Earth. No, this is no exaggeration! Today we are visiting a place that looks like borrowed from a fantasy land.

So, join me for a fairy-tale place! Like all good stories, this one spread fast too! All you need is a fully charged phone, as I guarantee you’ll want to take lots of pictures in the most photographed place from Romania.

Fairy castle https://www.facebook.com/casteluldelut/

Contents:

Directions
Legend of the castle
True story of the Clay Castle
What to do at the castle?

 Directions

We are heading to the Clay Castle in the Valley of Fairies (Castelul de lut, Valea zanelor). It is 40 km SE of Sibiu, next to a village called Porumbacu de Sus (treehouse accommodation here) on the road to Transfagarasan and Balea lake. Coming from Sibiu, you turn left at Porumbacu de Jos and continue for 9 km.  

If you come from Bucharest, you have two options, but the first route takes usually less:

  • Bucuresti – Pitesti – Ramnicu Valcea – Porumbacu de Sus
  • Bucuresti – Ploiesti – Brasov – Porumbacu de Sus

Legend of the castle

Romanians simply love legends, so a story about this place couldn’t be more appropriate!

It reads that some fairies used to live here a long time ago. As they lived in a forest near the river, they called the place the Valley of the Fairies. But one day, a dragon who loved the forest and river troubled the peace of the land and decided to settle there.

The castle in spring
https://www.facebook.com/casteluldelut/

Neither the fairies, nor did the people want to have around such a fearful creature, so they fought for three days and three nights (this is how things happen in typical Romanian stories) with all means possible against the dragon till they defeated him and was forced to leave.

However, the forest burnt down completely, so the fairies had to leave promising the humans they would return to the valley. So, in 2014 a family who had fallen in love with the land, started building a castle for the fairies. As they used a lot of clay, they called it the Clay Castle in the Valley of Fairies to spread the news to the fairies that it is time to come home!

It is the shape of the roof imitating the ridge of the mountains from behind that makes you think about fairy tales, with sharp but also curved edges. The entrances complete fairyland, being oval, like in Hansel and Gretel, and the white façade contrasts with the brown roof.

Knock-knock…Princess, are you inside?
https://www.facebook.com/casteluldelut/

The castle of the fairies gets to be compared to many stories, such as “the Hobbit”, “The Lord of

the Rings”, even Grimm tales, but the owners originally had Snow White in mind. It is as if you wait for the doors to open and see the princess and seven dwarfs work on their daily chores and dance!

True story of the Clay Castle

A couple from Bucharest sold their house in the capital to build the castle of their dreams in the Valley of the Fairies as they sensed the place is magical. They were lucky enough to meet an architect (Ileana Mavrodin) who understood exactly what they had in mind and put it into practice.

She had already been involved in green projects that meant nature-friendly houses (like the Sasca house in Banat), so the architect started from scratch to give shape to a castle.

To build these houses, Mavrodin uses a mixture of clay, water, straws and sand, called cob. For such houses, no moulds are needed, they are formed by hand, hence the interesting shape they get! It is amazing that every piece of furniture inside is handmade, just like the place!

Castle and mountains covered in snow
https://www.facebook.com/casteluldelut/

What to do at the castle?

There is always hustle and bustle around the castle, and I presume that the immense popularity of the castle comes from its unique appearance. There has been much rumour going on about the castle’s availability to accommodate on the premises, but it must be a matter of papers that prevented it from happening yet.

There are 10 rooms on two storeys (some of which you can visit) and you can breathe in the beauty of Fagaras mountains from the towers. (If you continue the road you get to Negoiu chalet. (Negoiu peak is the second peak from Romania: 2535 m).

You can spend half a day enjoying the nature, the fresh and brisk waters of the Porumbacu river that passes right in front, grab some snacks and buy souvenirs…and take lots of pics! There is a rustic area designated for food. Everything is picturesque, such as the place itself.

Panoramic view

It is a place with good vibes, that makes you instantly get rid of daily stress, and even if for a few hours, you let yourself carried away by the story! Come to be part of the fairy tale!

 Recommended by TTF:

  • It will make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale
  • Situated in an idyllic environment with lots to see and do around

One Response

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