In 2006, The Prince of Wales acquired an 18th century farmhouse in Viscri (Deutschweisskirch).
The house had already partly collapsed in 2001, but was still lived in by old Sarah Fernolend, who died in 2003. It is thanks to her neighbour and village responsible Caroline Fernolend, that the building could be saved. The structural restoration of the house was carried out by the Mihai Eminescu Trust, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales. Restorer Colin Richards and architect Gabriel Lambescu supervised local craftsmen who gradually brought the house back to its former shape and character.
Three years after the old lady had died, His Royal Highness decided to buy the property and asked us to assist with the interiors and the courtyard. During the works, we have discovered many personal items, textiles, some furniture and many farming tools of the last inhabitant. We cleaned, washed, mended and ironed most of the wonderful original textiles, and managed to save most of them.
We used these original features to recall the atmosphere from times when the previous inhabitant was still alive, and arranged the courtyard in a similar way. We added little more furniture, some rugs, and three beds. We tried to make the house comfortable enough to be used as a guesthouse, yet keeping it in line with what it may have been like previously. We even repaired the old radio so that it is working again.
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The Prince of Wales hopes that his guesthouse in Viscri will encourage more people to visit Transylvania and in this way promote sustainable development.