site.btaVisiting King Charles in Viscri Village
An elderly woman knitting outside an old house. Thick woolen stockings hanging from the gate. A noisy tractor crawling along an unpaved road. Geese walking on the lawn. A fortified church looming on a nearby hill. Viskri is a well-preserved Saxon village in the heart of Transylvania. It became an international star when it was revealed that its residents had a very special neighbour - King Charles III. He bought a house here in 2006 and has been coming every year since then in late May or early June.
"This year was his first visit as King of the United Kingdom. As soon as he was crowned, he came to Viscri," locals say proudly. A tourist guide meets me outside the blue house at number 163. Above the door I catch a glimpse of the coat of arms with the three ostrich feathers from when Charles was still Prince of Wales.
We cross the threshold and walk past carefully arranged information panels that show Charles' blood ties to the royal family of Romania. We take shelter from the rain in one of the large rooms where the book “The Transylvania Florilegium” is prominently displayed. It was made at the special request of King Charles. The cover of the first volume is made by hand from the skin of a wild goat and is stitched with gold thread. The pages are of marble dust. There are only 150 copies in the world, and one costs EUR 15,000. The project took five years and involved 30 botanists. The book includes 124 species of plants from Transylvania and contains information and a drawing for each plant.
There are also different types of plants in Charles' vegetable garden in the backyard of the house, where he likes to spend most of his time. The children from the village also work there. And they take the vegetables home.
"Before the  revolution [when the communist regime and longtime dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania were overthrown], every house had a garden. After the revolution, many people started to buy vegetables and fruits from the store or the market. Our project 'Little Gardeners' has a goal - to teach children how to work in a garden, how to live in a village, how to be independent and not to need a supplier who brings us products, how to respect nature," the King Charles Foundation in Romania told BTA.
"Charles' house in Viscri is very modest. Its purpose is not to impress. The king doesn't want a palace, he wants something simple, traditional, ordinary. He wants the house to be a place for local people, where their culture is preserved, and a place for visitors from abroad who want to learn more about Romania," the Charles Foundation in Romania told BTA, adding, "King Charles III promotes Romania in all its natural and cultural diversity, not only because he is a king, not only because he was a Prince of Wales. An outsider who shows so much love for a country that is not his homeland. He wants to promote it, he wants to save nature. And he's not doing it for money."