Fairy Cottage

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.