Tuesday 6 December 2016

Charles opens Transylvania training centre during trip to Romania

Published 01/06/2016 | 15:36

Charles listens to a trainer at a traditional sewing class in the Transylvanian village of Viscri, Romania (AP)
Charles listens to a trainer at a traditional sewing class in the Transylvanian village of Viscri, Romania (AP)

The Prince of Wales has opened a training centre in rural Transylvania to encourage conservation, farming and sustainable development in Romania.

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Charles, who has long been enamoured by Romania's rural traditions, opened The Prince of Wales's Training Centre, which will help foster skills and knowledge among rural communities.

A year ago he launched The Prince of Wales Foundation Romania, a charity that supports the East European nation's heritage and rural life, and sustainable development.

Charles, a regular visitor to Romania, arrived in Bucharest on Monday and discussed Romania's cultural heritage, durable rural development and traditional architecture with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.

Charles, who first visited Romania in 1998, owns two properties in the central region of Transylvania.

The training centre is an 18th-century converted barn in the Unesco-protected village of Viscri.

More than 150 people this year will "benefit from free training in heritage preservation, farming, traditional fabrics and how to start a business in the countryside, which is always, of course, an enormous challenge," the prince said.

Charles toured the centre, which is painted a traditional hyacinth blue, in the village 156 miles north-west of Bucharest, speaking to local women who were stitching traditional embroidery designs on white cheesecloth.

"I felt excited ... but because he is natural and knows how to be pleasant with people ... words began to flow and it was very easy to discuss with him," said seamstress Ana Negru. "He empathised with us ... he asked us whether we sew every day and whether we enjoy traditional stitching."

As well as training rural Romanians, the centre will host other events and charities. The barn was converted into a lecture room and a cafe with funding from Raiffeissen Bank.

Press Association

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