Britain’s Prince Charles who arrived on a private several-day visit to Romania, spent the night in Miclosoara, Covasna County (country center), Baraolt region, in an old mansion owned by Count Tibor Kalnoky.
The 16th century hunting mansion in Renaissance style was refurbished and introduced in the tourist circuit as a facility dedicated exclusively to foreign guests who seek a vacation in a village „unaltered” by civilization.
The Kalnoky family that returned to Romania after the fall of the communist regime has an old ancestry. The locals contend that around the thirteenth century, a Szekler local called Kalnoky saved the life of Hungary’s king while on a big game hunt, shooting with his arrow the bear that had lunged at the sovereign. In sign of gratitude, the monarch is said to have presented him with the Miclosoara estate and bestowed on him a title of nobility. The family crest represents a bear pierced by an arrow.
According to official sources, Prince Charles will spend three days in Romania where he is likely to visit several villages in the counties of Covasna, Brasov and Mures, mainly seeking medieval views. One of the destinations is Zalanului Valley, a hamlet in Covasna County with just 150 souls, where the Prince bought several years ago three old buildings aged over one hundred years, at the margin of the settlement, which he renovated and turned into holiday cottages.
Far from the pomp of the palace, when he comes to Covasna the Prince spends time enjoying the simple things – the locals sighted him walking through the forest and riding on a horse-drawn cart through the bumpy roads, mowing grass, eating traditional meals or just resting under an old walnut. In previous years Charles has invited local authorities to lunch but this is unlikely now, with local elections just round the corner.
Concerned about the preservation of historical monuments, especially those in Transylvania, His Royal Highness has been involved in the rehabilitation of several Saxon villages that were established in Transylvania in the twelfth century, some of which are also included in the UNESCO heritage, and even bought several old houses in some localities, including Viscri in Brasov County and Saschiz – Mures County. The Prince is a staunch supporter of Romanian organic farming performed through the Transylvania Authentica Foundation, which aims to promote a Transylvanian brand and encourage small local producers to perpetuate traditional agriculture.
This year, Prince Charles’s, youngest son Harry spent Easter Holidays at Zalanului Valley with friends. He sped along the surrounding hills in enduro races and ate traditional foods.