At the beginning of the 13th century, the first Bran castle, called Dietrichstein, of the Teutonic order, was built in the form of a wooden fort. It was destroyed by the Mongols in 1242 and Sigismund of Hungary began building a stone castle in 1377, when the settlement of Bran began to develop. Both the castle and the settlement were strategic points, protecting the passage between Transylvania and Wallachia.
Bran, a name that means gate in Turkish, remains to this day an important territory, which has found in recent decades a touristic role, being among the most popular settlements in Romania, because it offers in return a lot of interesting and generous options: Bran Castle, mountain landscape, good air, local events, museums, mountain trails, nature corners and slopes, close to big cities, being historical place and also a small center of weekend fun.
However, despite the popularity of the whole area which sometimes comes with certain disadvantages, we discovered in the middle of Bran a small oasis, with a French air, called simple and warm chalet.
French style with authentic Romanian details
It caught our attention from the street. Even if it is secluded, it is easily distinguished and seems torn from another world: a beautiful wooden chalet, with small shutters and terraces, such a friendly and warm air. Just 300 meters from Bran Castle, Zara Chalet is different from the local landscape, with a design that makes you easily think of the beautiful cottages in the mountains of France.
Zara is the perfect mountain cottage. Inside, however, we find authentic details, Romanian symbols, images with old traditional costumes and picturesque areas. So, getting closer to Romania and finding it once you meet the chalet.
Take a well-deserved break in the cottage discovered in the middle of Bran; next to the fireplace, on the comfortable sofas in the lounge area, watching through the window the hustle and bustle of a commune that doesn’t seem to be resting. Total relaxation, dreaming. And winter is the most beautiful inside the chalet, from where you can watch the perfect snow outside, in silence. From the small terraces of the rooms you can see the mountains, at the foot of which you just stopped.
There is also a spa relaxation area, a generous and green courtyard in the warm season, small corners, both inside and outside, where you can find time for yourself.
Modern but authentic, cozy, details close to the soul
The rooms are carefully arranged and so warm, giving exactly that concept of cozy feeling. Details, objects, a lot of wood, textiles, warm blankets, images of authentic Romania and its people, brick, many warm lights, yellow, white and cream. This is how we would describe the bedrooms in which we would have lingered, for the peace of mind, the warm shades and the mountain atmosphere. Modern but authentic at the same time, warm, current, details close to the soul.
At Zara Chalet you can only have breakfast, organised in the same beautiful atmosphere of the welcoming chalet. For a special lunch or dinner, however, very close to Zara, we recommend the Tea House, inside the courtyard of Bran Castle, where you can enjoy dishes and drinks with a twist, in a wonderful atmosphere.
Close to the most beautiful sights of Bran
We are in the center of Bran, just a few minutes walk to the famous Bran Castle, the medieval fortress that you will definitely want to discover or revisit. The castle became private, but open for tourists and in a better shape than ever. The private tour can also be an option to consider, for an experience of knowing the castle in a more intimate atmosphere, with access to many rooms and details of the construction.
Then there is Bran National Museum, a public institution of culture, with a cultural heritage of artistic, historical, documentary and ethnographic value. Here you can find objects from the royal collections of Bran Castle, decorative art, plastic art, book with bibliophile value, weapons and an ethnographic section in the open air.
Bran area also has a ski area, Bran-Zănoaga slope being located a few kilometers from the center of the town and recommended for intermediate and beginner skiers.
We enjoyed the peace, warmth and dreaming that, from time to time, a place can offer, in the middle of a world in constant motion. We were delighted to discover Zara Chalet, to remind us perhaps of what we lack from traveling abroad, but to get so close to home, through all sorts of details, images and colors. The beautiful mix between what we discover on the road and what remains in us, the old and the new, us in contact with the world that is not really foreign to us, it has only other colors, textures and horizons.
Zara Chalet, Sextil Pușcariu Street 37, Bran, Brașov County
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