The Inn on Balaban, Bran (Romania) Construction

Built by local craftsmen, the Inn is modeled on a Carpathian Mountain-style peasant home particular to the Bran valley (see original house). Its principal features are an enclosed courtyard and steep shingled roof lines.

Two architects, Attila Zakarias and Kazimir Kovacs, adapted the original peasant vernacular architecture to the modern requirements of a government approved Inn. None of the elegant proportions or characteristic hand-crafted features were sacrificed.

Built around an enclosed courtyard, spacious attics normally used for hay or smoking meats and storing food were made into comfortable lodgings with private bathrooms. Furniture is hand made and painted in Saxon style by local craft artists. The dining and living-room surround a traditional hearth.

In 1968, while covering Romania for a National Geographic Magazine story (see), the architectural style was first sketched (below) by the owner in nearby Magura village. Coincidentally, that house was moved several years later to the Village Museum in Sibiu, 100 miles away; and 35 years later it became the model for the Inn on Balaban.

See the Inn today ...

Tp: Front View Tp Lft: Architects Kovacs and Zakarias Lft: Cross-section
River stones were brought from 100 km away; trees were cut near Covasna (70 km away) and locally.
All timbers are hand hewn and joined with wood pegs. Shingles (250,000) were hand made locally from specially selected winter-cut trees.
Construction continued during winter despite severe cold and snow including (above) restoration of an existing barn on site.
SEE: Work by Hamlet Heavy Timberwork (Quebec, Canada) company on restoration activities of Banffy Castle, Bontida, Romania)
Copyright © BtF-Bran srl, Bran, Romania
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