Did you know Prince Charles and Vlad The Impaler – the Wallachia’s ruler who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula – are actually related?
The Prince of Wales is considered to be the great-grandson 16 times removed to Vlad The Impaler through his great-grandmother, Queen Mary. He took a keen interest in Transylvania a few years ago and decided he could do more.
Why? That’s what we’re here to find out. Keep on reading if you’d like to know what makes Transylvania so special that Prince Charles considers it his second home.
Transylvania – The Land of Myths, Legends, and Dracula
Have you ever seen imagines of Transylvania? How can you not love the place?
Granted, Transylvania, the center of Romania, is best known for Dracula – Bram Stoker’s story about vampires. But even if you won’t be able to find such creatures, Transylvania is shrouded in myths and legends. Especially the old villages and their architecture.
The stories behind them, the traditions, the medieval manufacturing processes involved in different activities, the slower pace of life… and even the villagers’ efforts to restore everything with monumental dedication.
So it’s only fair to say Prince Charles loves the place because of its natural beauty and mystery. Just take a look at this short video to understand why the statement above is true:
Viscri is Prince Charles’ Favorite Place in Romania
The Prince of Wales owns a 18th century guest house in the village of Viscri. One of the most beautiful of all the saxon villages and their fortified churches, Viscri is also impressive because it’s a “survivor”.
In fact, the communist regime wanted to turn the entire village to dust. The Prince of Wales gave a speech urging Ceausescu regime against the destruction of its villages.
At the same time, the foundation called Operation Villages Romania was started in France, Belgium, and Holland. They chose a village that was on the communists’ list to be bulldozed – Viscri – and saved it.
Prince Charles visited Transylvania for the first time in 1998 and has returned here every spring since.
Promoting Eco-tourism and The Beauty of Medieval Villages
Ever since his first visit, the Prince of Wales has invested a lot of time and efforts into promoting the entire Transylvanian area with all its key aspects.
But his love for the historic estates and the peasant homes didn’t stop there. Back in 2015, the Prince of Wales Foundation Romania was officially launched. It is aimed at preserving the structures built around courtyards that house a well, barn and granary that reflect the traditional pursuits of the area’s extended families.
Prince Charles has also been the chair of the Mihai Eminescu Trust for over 13 years. Accomplishments? Many, more than we can note here. The charity managed to plant some 1.5 million tree saplings and help over 400 master craftsmen in various medieval villages in Transylvania.
You Can Even Visit The Prince’s Own House in Transylvania
That’s right, the Prince of Wales’ property is opened as a guest house. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site fully restored to its original glory but you can actually spend the night there.
However, you’d get a lot more by choosing a complete tour of all the Saxon villages and their fortified churches. Doing so, you’ll be able to see Prince Charles’ involvement to its full extent and the overall beauty of Transylvania.
If you are interested in top things to do and see in Transylvania read more about it in this article.
We’ve prepared a special tour for you which will take you from Bucharest through all the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Romania, over four days. You can book the tour from here or get in touch with us for more details.