Jun 22

BUCHAREST-THE OLD TOWN AND ITS YOUNG NIGHTS

The area known today as the Old Town of Bucharest is placed between Splaiul Independentei (Independence Embankment), I.C. Bratianu Boulevard, Calea Victoriei, Elisabeta Boulevard and is made up of several streets of historical value: Lipscani, Gabroveni, Blanari Selari, French Street, Stavropoleos.

Lipscani is today one of the oldest streets of Bucharest, being attested by documents since June 5th, 1589. Known as the “Main Street”, Lipscani was the most important commercial and handicraft center the city. Archaeological discoveries made at Hanul cu Tei (Linden Inn), in the basements of Gabroveni Inn and Lipsacani Passage prove that the area was inhabited since the 15th century.

Strada Doamnei is another important street in the Old Town arwa of Bucharest. Its name derives, as many other street names in Bucharest, from a place of worship – Biserica Doamnei (the Church of the Lady – referring to the Lady Mary, the second wife of Serban Cantacuzino, a noblemen from a prominent family). Most buildings were built between the late 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, among which there were churches, but also banks, residential buildings and cinemas.

The French Street is bordered by houses built in the nineteenth century. Most of them were erected after the great fire of 1874. Here we find perhaps the most important historical monuments in the entire Old Town: Old Court Church and the Manuc’s Inn.

Smardan Street is one of the first streets of the Romanian capital. On this street, at number 39, in Hotel Concordia, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was named Lord of the United Principalities of Romania. Up to this day, there stands a memorial plate attesting the historic event: “In this building, in the years of the union of Romanian Principalities, there was Hotel Concordia, where in the evening of January 23, 1859 Alexandru Ioan Cuza was decided ruler of Romanian Country by double election of the leading men of the National Party.”

Covaci Street has an interesting history: that of the famous mititei – the delicious fried sausage. On this street, at number 3, there was a famous restaurant frequented by many writers, until the middle of the last century – “La Iordache,” Ionescu Iordache’s Restaurant, the place was also known as “La o idee” because one of the daily customers was a famous pamphleteer Nicolae T. Orasanu. Here it’s said that is where were the mici, one of the culinary delights of the Romanian cuisine, were invented.

Architecture of the buildings has been influenced by various styles prevalent being the Renaissance and Baroque. Under the pavement of Lipscani Street there were discovered the ruins of several medieval inns. The buildings were nationalized in 1948, and in 1980, the communist authorities gave them in use to the Rroma ethnics but they have brought them to an advanced state of decay, turning them into a slum of dilapidated houses.

The degradation continued until the 1990s, but after a few years of restoration, the image of the area between the Union Square and Cismigiu Park was completely changed. Thus, in recent years, Bucharest residents and tourists enjoy their evenings spending time at large terraces, appetizing cafes, restaurants and clubs.

Old Town preserved the charm of the old times, but nowadays it has turned into a realm of contrasts: recently restored elegant buildings next to tired houses that seem to almost fall apart; modest terraces are reflected in the windows of luxury cafes; an elegant theater near a dilapidated courtyard all of these may seem a bit disconcerting; however the place has a poetry of its own.

Yet, the Old Town, whose meanings cannot be discovered fugitively, is a world that deserves to be known step by step and appreciated at its true value. Basically, each corner of the Old Town is a testimony of the beginnings and heritage of the becoming and lasting of a great city. Touristic circuits have been introduced in this area of the city that lives day and night by good mood and a slight interwar mood and flavor.

The Old Center of the capital has become in recent years the headquarters of fun, night life and entertainment. Every night, it attracts thousands of locals, expats or foreign tourists; There is nobody who lived or visited Bucharest who hasn’t spent at least one night on the streets of Lipscani, Smardan, Blanari Covaciu or the French Street. Currently, there are over 200 pubs here for all tastes, from bars and restaurants to pubs and bistros.

Today, the restaurants in the Old Town can be ordered by their specific, and some have become very famous, such as Divan, a highly appreciated Turkish; but other than this, you can find St. George Restaurant with Hungarian cuisine, and no less famous Romanian restaurant Caru ‘cu Bere.

All locations in the Old Town welcome its customers with a spacious terrace, most of them featuring cooling system for hot summer days when nothing is more appropriate than a frappe and a corner shadows.

Options for cafes and clubs are no less numerous, and the area has become one of the most frequented at night by both tourists and locals. Regardless of age, tourists and locals stop at least one evening a week, if not the whole weekend to listen to trendy music, to participate in a karaoke or dance until dawn, hence the variety of clubs in the Old Town area, which compete in a variety of offers and parties of all kinds.

In this period, the old center of Bucharest is passing through an extensive process of recovering. Known mostly for restaurants and bars, there have begun to appear reputable shops slowly turning it into an important commercial area.

The regular Saturday night, regardless of the season –this is what you can encounter in the Old Town: the crowd gathered on the promenade, pubs and terraces are full of happy people having fun or standing in line in front of the stands with delicious food, drinking beer and fill the scenery and the narrow intricate streets; all these are reasons enough to come and see for yourself what happens on a Saturday evening in Bucharest.

Photo source:

Picture 1: romania-tours.ro; Picture 2: east-tour.com; Picture 3: stophavingaboringlife.com; Picture 4: puravidahostels.ro; Picture 5: agoratravel.ro; Picture 6: romaniavip.com; Picture 7: viewthrumygloballens.blogspot.ro
Jun 21

HERASTRAU PARK, A WONDERLAND IN THE HEART OF BUCHAREST (HERĂSTRĂU)

Herastrau is located in the northern part of Bucharest and at this time, Herastrau Park is the largest park in Bucharest; moreover, is the largest park within a city in Europe. It is a favorite place for residents of the Romanian capital because of the many possibilities of fun: cultural activities, water sports and all sorts of glam events.

By the year 1806, the fancy faces of the Romanian capital used to go out for a walk on the banks of Herastrau Lake. In 1936 Herastrau was built by reclaiming the marshy area during 1930 and 1935. Also, in 1936, thanks to the efforts of the renowned sociologist Dimitrie Gusti, the Village Museum was created it was created on the perimeter of Herastrau Park. It is one of the largest institutions of its kind in Europe, which leverages through specific means the entire ethnographic and folkloric legacy of the people in different regions of Romania. The Village Museum in Bucharest is the first open-air ethnographic museum in the world. Its creator, sociologist Dimitrie Gusti wanted the museum to be a synthesis of all villages in Romania. King Carol II himself attended the official opening of the ethnographic museum.

In 1920, several Romanian personalities founded the Sports Association “Country Club” which later became the “Diplomatic Club”.

Herastrau is a special residential area, consisting of the Elisabeta Palace built by architect Mark M. Cornelius, becoming the official residence of King Michael of Romania. Here in December 30, 1947,the King signed the forced abdication and went into exile.

If you want to be closer to this park, while visiting Bucharest, there are numerous accommodation spots and you can find many welcoming hotels with facilities; you can find them everywhere, which makes your visit to Bucharest and Herastrau Park even more enjoyable.

Herastrau Park is actually a leisure complex which today embodies among its attractions a summer theater, exhibition halls, water sports clubs, night clubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels and many other facilities, while Herastrau Lake itself is used for recreation, fishing, water sports and sailing.

Herastrau is the place where you can practice almost any kind of sport and has areas for recreation and culture and areas for sports and entertainment.

This way, the new park has grown to include a rich arboreal vegetation consisting of willows, poplars, ash, linden and maple. These trees used to frame statues of historical figures from both the domestic and international culture.

One of the most beautiful spots of the park is the Rose Island with its dream-like colorful garlands of roses contrasting with the verticality of the load-bearing white columns.

There is also a statuary ensemble named “Grotto”, made up of three statues, representing two giants and a virgin. The latter is the well-known and highly appreciated “Sleeping Nymph” built in 1906.

In the Herastrau Park two main areas were subsequently developed: a quiet area dedicated to rest and an amusement area dedicated to culture, active leisure and sports.

In 1995 a roller track was built: this particular area of the park has later gained the name of Skate Park. Moreover, in 1998 the Japanese Garden was added with the support of the Japanese Embassy in Romania.

Currently, Herastrau contains Expoflora, an area organized along 15 hectares where every year there are different impressive floral ornamentations. There are also two theaters: one designed for children and one for adults.

Also, Herastrau encompasses two pavilions for exhibitions, libraries, an arbor dedicated for reading or chess, wharf, an amusement park, a train that tours the entire park, terraces, restaurants and cafes.

In another article we will mention about the crazy and hectic night life around Herastrau area, with its countless clubs, theme parties, luxury galas and fun, fun, as much fun as you can imagine. So, with all these activities, no wonder everybody falls in love with Herastrau.

Photo source:

Icture 1: fotohdr.ro; Picture 2: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 3: mygola.com; Picture 4: john77.deviantart.com; Picture 5: goingoutpedia.wordpress.com; Picture 6: flikr.com; Picture 7: pinterest.com.
Jun 17

LINDEN INN, BOHEMIAN ATMOSPHERE AND GREAT BEER

Linden Inn is the only inn in Bucharest that has kept intact the original form of the early nineteenth century. Linden Inn was built in 1833 by Anastasie Hagi, Gheorghe Stefan Polizu and Popovich. The letters A.P. and S. P. – the initials of the owners – and the date when it was constructed have remained preserved above the entrance corridor, since then until today. Along Gabroveni Inn, Manuc’s Inn, the Old Café or the Princely Palace, Linden Inn is one of the most representative buildings of Romanian architecture and also one of the few places that preserve the very special atmosphere of two centuries ago.

Currently, Linden Inn houses the largest art gallery in Romania. At Linden Inn Art Gallery you can find ancient artifacts, such as vintage furniture, paneling, tapestries and carpets, paintings, photographs, albums, old documents, watches, cameras and gramophones, coins and medals or icons. The gallery has several lounges: Louis XV Hall, Louise-Philippe Hall, the Rococo Hall and Louis XVI Hall. The “Spanish type” courtyard of the Inn has a rectangular shape and the access is through two arched entrances and heavy iron gates that are closed overnight.

The brewery is the place where history continues to be written. The impressive design, the pictures displaying scenes of Bucharest in the old days creates a feeling that you have travelled in time, during the ’30s. In addition, the location is among the few in the historical center with a capacity of more than 300 people.

The evenings at the Linden Inn continue the specific legend of the place: live bands and concerts with renowned artists, football matches, stand-up comedy performances, theater and improvisation. From the menu of a successful evening you should not miss a cold beer; the guests can have the pleasure to serve it, together with the delicious food at the special tables with incorporated drafts. All these and many others are great reasons that make you want to come back to this place.

During the summer, the inn’s courtyard becomes a place where you won’t be sorry for losing your nights with your friends drinking beer. The terrace, away from the crowded Old Town, offers intimacy and warmth becoming a cozy corner that you need to relax.

Currently, Linden Inn is also home of the Embassy Restaurant and several art galleries, which preserve old artifacts, such as paintings, photographs, albums, old watches, gramophones, collection coins and many other precious picturesque remains of the past.

Photo source:

Picture 1: horeca.ro; Picture 2: one.ro; Picture3: restograf.ro; Picture 4: berariahanulcutei.ro; Picture 5: hotnews.ro; Picture 6: madrina.ro; Picture 7: hotnews.ro.
Jun 16

TOP FIVE CLUBS IN BUCHAREST OLD CITY

In every club in the Old Center of Bucharest you’ll find a unique atmosphere, entertaining parties that will make you feel good, people eager to have fun and many other attractions. While you’re here, make a pledge to go to a different club each week end, just to compare and see what’s new.

Local revelers and party people know well which the best clubs are in the Romanian capital and particularly in the Old Town. For those who are expatriates or foreign tourists, here are some fun options.

Club Bound

Those who love nightlife know that on Smârdan Street at no. 30 you will find Bound Club: nightclub, bar and dance club – the place for the best parties. Prices are acceptable for all budgets. A beer can cost 9 lei depending on the brand chosen, and customers who come here are always satisfied. Do not miss!

Cliche Club & Lounge

Very close to the previous, again on Smârdan no. 4, in the heart of the Old Town, we find Cliche Club & Lounge, with a capacity for up to 150 people. It is a modern and elegant lounge where you can escape during the day to enjoy a coffee and a club where you only listen and dance on good music and get to the peak of enjoyment. Events held here every night are the most pleasant way to forget the hectic working days. Every night is special: rhythms for all tastes, varied and colorful, and a fun show of live cocktail making. Cliche Club & Lounge is open Monday to Sunday from 12.00 until the last customer.

Bastards Club

On Lipscani Street no. 28 there is the Bastards Club, the perfect place to have fun with friends. Bastards Club in the Old Town awaits you with many surprises, dancing parties and good music. Menu prices are more than decent, you won’t believe it.

Chat Noir Club

Chat Noir Club is a groovy hideaway where you can enjoy unique cocktails that you will not find elsewhere; it’s not just a night club, but a concept that embodies several genres mixed in perfect balance, where you can enjoy funk, swing, jazz, big-band, soul, blues, reggae, African and Balkan beats. Every Wednesday, Chat Noir Club invites you to the After Work Soiree, the new series of parties dedicated to those who know that the best reward after a hard day’s work is: quality time when you can have an original cocktail with friends. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday there are parties at student prices. The address is Blănari Street no. 5, Old City Bucharest. As for prices, they are for all budgets starting from 6 lei for a beer, a special Chat Noir shot 10 lei, up to to 200 lei and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Maraboo

Street Blănari no. 12 you find the poshest club in the Old Town – Club Maraboo: the perfect combination of modern café on the first floor and nightclub club located in the basement, where parties last until morning! Addressing an exclusive concept, which relies on unique theme parties and invited artists, with exotic landscaping, Maraboo Club has a capacity of 200 seats, sofas and chairs. Marabou organizes various parties and weekly events Wednesday to Saturday and other private parties and corporate anniversaries, product launches, presentations, etc. in any day of the week, except that a reservation is needed, obviously. The club is closed on Monday.

Now it’s time to make up you mine and chose the first one starting from tonight!

Photo source

Picture 1: localuri-bucuresti.ro; Picture 2: orasulvechi.ro; Picture 3: eatermagazine.ro; Picture 4: metropotam.ro; Picture 5: pelipscani.ro; Picture 6: bestofromania.eu, Picture 7: bestofromania.eu
Jun 15

CARU’ CU BERE – MEET WITH HISTORY AT A MUG OF BEER (CARU’ CU BERE)

Caru ‘cu Bere is a legendary restaurant in Bucharest, right in the core of the Old Town, preferred by tourists and foreigners, where they serve traditional Romanian food sprinkled with palinca, where wine is pouring and delicious beer is prepared by a special recipe.

You live history at Caru ‘cu Bere in the heart of the Romanian capital. Bustle and cheerfulness are at home in this majestic edifice, built in 1899. However, the name of the business is slightly older, and emerged somewhere beyond the Transylvanian mountains, between Sibiu and Brasov, in 1879 – the foundation year of the Caru ‘cu Bere (The Beer Tank) franchise, which is proudly engraved on the pints of beer.

The same architect who projected the famous Peles Castle in Sinaia, the Austrian Zigfrid Kofczinsky conceived the project of the edifice owned by Nicolae Mircea and Victor & Ignat Bros. The elegant and distinguished building has always been a favorite place to socialize for bohemian figures like actors and Romanian writers of international stature – especially George Cosbuc or Ioan-Luca Caragiale.

According to specialists, the building is the result of the influence of the German Romanticism School, visible both in the exterior and interior architecture and ornamentation. Mrs. Monica Mărgineanu-Cârstoiu, Romanian architect, points out the numerous Gothic details exhibited all over the surface. The panels, themes of the paintings, the stained glass, the richness of metal decorations, stucco elements are reminiscent of the medieval architectonic style, according to several art historians. The place is a unique mixture of styles that make up a wonderful aesthetic aggregate.

A family business founded in late 19th century by a family from Transylvania and extended in other Romanian cities and towns, Caru’ cu Bere has become a franchise and is one of the oldest and currently best-known restaurants and taprooms in Bucharest.

The entry is through a huge revolving door of wood and outside we encounter emblem of the Beer Tank: a rooster on the left and a cat to the right, which may suggest the visitor to: “Wake up in the morning as a rooster and be keen like a cat during nighttime”.

The restaurant is grandiose and can easily be likened to a museum – the decor seems to be taken out of a fairytale, with large arches, stained glass and paintings, so it will be hard to not get yourself seduced by the architecture and design.

Right after you pass the revolving door at the entrance, you are greeted by the extra polite and always smiling staff who will lead you to one of the dozens of wooden tables. The wooden tables are one of the emblems of the place and they are never covered by table cloths.

When it was finished, the building was not only a piece of jewelry, but also a modern technical appliance. It had its own air conditioning system, water source, an external freight elevator used for supply and the debris perished in a combustion installation of its own. It still works perfectly and even today, the smoke is absorbed through the vault through a facility that is not visible to the naked eye. And somewhere in the walls there are invisible slits which filter the hot or cold air, in order to adjust the temperature inside. The 1899 facility is still in perfect shape!

The artistic patterns in which the interior is decorated present a particularly complex and varied technical execution, which constituted a challenge to restorers. Each element of ornamentation – paintings, moldings, furniture, fittings and woodwork items – has been reviewed and renewed respecting the original architecture without introducing modernity in this place full of history, preserving its timeless essence.

Gone through many transformations, Caru` cu Bere still evokes the atmosphere of the early twentieth century Bucharest, becoming a living legend, a real milestone both for foreign tourists and for seekers of the “treasures from another time” of the Romanian capital.

“It was a taproom which made itself remarkable through nobility and refinement, and the lack tablecloths. A simple man on the street and a magistrate could enter and was treated equally. Sometimes, people kept partying until morning. One evening, three revelers refused to leave until morning. They called a cab to take them home, but misplaced the addresses and returned to the brewery. Here, they pinned notes with the revelers’ address on their chest”, says the legend.

The effective area of the restaurant is 1,600 square meters, and the two-storey dwellings with seven rooms up to 50 square meters. Nowadays, the waiters at Caru ‘cu Bere are renowned for their parades. “Currently, there are 160 employees, about as many as in the old days,” reflects the business heir and grandson of its founder, Mr. Mircea Niculae, who often guards the activity and the guests from the balcony at first storey, without being noticed.

One of the first breweries in Bucharest, the impressive building is known and preferred, not only for its original recipe beer but also for the sausages with horseradish, Frankfurter or baked black radish with pork -the specialty of the house.

Few people know that warm beer and hot sausages with horseradish represented the whim 1900s boyars.

Up to this day, the cuisine is varied: you will find all kinds of hearty traditional Romanian dishes, and advantageous breakfast and lunch, dedicated to pensioners or students.

The menu looks like an old epoch newspaper and will lure with delicacies among which I mention only a few: soups, grills (sausages, skewers, chicken breast, pork neck etc.), salads, homemade dishes (Hungarian goulash, baked beans or stuffed vine leaves), fish and seafood, plus salads, desserts and beverages of all kinds.

Almost every night there are artistic programs and the orchestra enchants the guests with performances of symphonic repertoire, or traditional music from different cultures and, quite often, the aisle between the tables is filled with guests who are invited to dance.

One of the highlights of the busy evenings is when the waitresses and waiters mysteriously disappear for a few moments just to return in full formation, parading through the tables on the music rhythm and in the applauses of delighted customers.

The atmosphere is flawless and the setting is absolutely exquisite. If you look around, at the ornament of fine wood and the frescos representing noble coats of arms of the most important institutions in Romanian and even world history (you will notice one representing ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, looking like a frame from Aida), you might get the feeling that you find yourself in a museum where somebody had the idea to throw a party!

Don’t leave without asking for the beer of the house and ask one of the waiters to tell you the legend of the wooden statue of Ghiță the Cellarman, guarding over the tables from the right bannister, holding a lantern in his hand!

Photo source:

Picture 1: eastcomfort.com; Picture 2: carucubere.ro; Picture 3: for.ever2.ro; Picture 4: foodcrew.ro; Picture 5: travel.coolnewz.info; Picture 6: heybucharest.com; Picture 7: romania-insider.com; Picture 8: romania-insider.com; Picture 9: orasulvechi.ro; Pitcure 10: nuntabucuresti.ro
Jun 14

THE OLD CITY AREA OF BUCHAREST – A GAZILLION REASONS TO GO OUT AND HAVE FUN (CENTRUL VECHI)

You’re spending your holiday in Bucharest and thought to go out and do not know where? Bucharest is one of the most fun capitals to go to, due to the great diversity of possibilities to enjoy your time: from cultural events, art festivals, galleries, theaters with international repertoire, translated into English, concerts and lot, lot of restaurants and pubs.

Located in the most beautiful scenery of the Romanian capital, surrounded by elegant buildings of exquisite architecture, the most crowded collection of pubs is gathered in the Old Town – the historical center of Bucharest, a beautiful area with old, elegant buildings, narrow streets paved with cobble stone, lots of chic shops and a great number of lounges and restaurants, some of them lasting since the 18th century.

So, now that you know about how vivid Bucharest is, you have a choice between clubs in the Old Town and the rest of the city and you have no idea where to have fun better? We give you some reasoning that will hopefully make you choose the ones in the Old Town, at “Kilometer 0” – like it’s called around here – , at least for now.

The first and main reason is that you have a choice. There are so many clubs that you find the right one for your tastes can be very easy. They are very close to each other. If you walk into one and you don’t like the music or atmosphere across the street you’ll find other 2-3 which will provide the alternative you need.

Another reason why you should begin your epic experience in the Old City is related to the variety. They have locations for each style: dance, rock, oldies, you can choose between student clubs or luxury, biker’s clubs, or oriental style – you name it! It’s such a wide variety that you will surely find the one that suits you best – at least for today! – even if it can be a difficult task, because everything looks so tempting.

You think these are the best reason? Wait to hear this one: prices. Good prices. Bucharest is already known for having some of the lowest beer prices in Europe. You do not pay for the entrance in almost none of them, and bar prices are the lowest, incomparable with other “exclusive” clubs, where you will get the same thing and a quadruple cost. 😉

Another good reason is the atmosphere. If you had already been in a club in the Old Town before, then you certainly know what I mean. It is an outpouring of energy, good humor and nonconformity that you won’t find elsewhere.

Have I lost counting? Well, yet ANOTHER reason is, perhaps the first in many respects, the quality of the people. Old Center already has its own community, the open, beautiful, merry fun people of the capital without putting on the Ritz. And it’s a non-violent place, probably one of the safest in Europe. Even if there’s a black sheep who took one too many drinks, there are plenty of security companies and police officers around Old Town who are always on duty and ready to protect the citizens.

Another reason is represented by the facilities take in the Old Town. You’re in the club and you get hungry? You have so many restaurants and pubs that you can chose from; at this chapter also note that there are plenty of ATMs, exchange offices etc. And if you need a taxi, there is a taxi station at one of the main entrances in the Old City, at the entrance on Selari Street. But if you’re not too late and you are still on time to catch the public transport, you can choose the subway, or take one of the night bus lines.

The last reason consists in the feeling you get when you stroll around the bohemian streets of Old Bucharest. It’s something worth writing a novel, it’s a state that you feel with every step you take, every street corner and every building that preserves a memory of this fascinating city; an iconoclast adventure that will charge you for another week or another adventure.

So come along and we promise you that you will get a beautiful addiction and you will ask for more!

Photo source:

Photo 1: pinterest.com; Photo 2: eualegromania.ro; Photo 3: radiocluj.ro; Photo 4: bucurestifm.ro; Photo 5: economica.net; Photo 6: da.zf.ro; Photo 7: sfgate.com

 

Jun 13

MANUC’S INN – THE PLACE WHERE HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE (HANUL LUI MANUC)

One of the inns in Bucharest who have enjoyed a great fame in the first half of the nineteenth century is Manuc’s Inn, currently and important tourist and historical monument and the last traditional inn in all Europe.

Its founder, an Armenian entrepreneur named Maniuc Mirzaian or Manuc Bei, was born in 1769 at Rusciuk (Ruse today), where his family, who originated in the Karp village, Ararat region, had settled after leaving Armenia.

According to historians descriptions in local archives, “Maniuc was endowed by nature with exceptional qualities: handsome and majestic, highly intelligent and educated, distinguished and elegant, deeply knowledgeable of people, skillful and shrewd, generous and broad-hearted, speaking twelve languages perfectly, knew to be both courteous and volunteer.

His biggest quality was to foresee the end of things before it occurs; therefore he was never caught off guard and always knew what to do.

He enjoyed being rich and managed to have a huge fortune in money and property. Through its native qualities he served the Ottoman Empire and Russia, when these two powers were at war; these services have been paid not only with titles and letters of thanks, but also with gold.

He died too soon however, at the age of 48, right when he fully climbed scale of success.”

The Russian-Turkish war, which began in 1806, forced led him to settle in the capital of Romania. Protected by Russian headquarters in Bucharest, and applying his merchant abilities and enormous capital he had at its disposal, Manuc Bei decided he had to do something to differentiate the yesterday merchandise. Thus, in the second half of 1806 Manuc Bei began to build the inn that will bear his name.

The construction differentiates itself from the rest of the inn-fortresses in the eighteenth century, by adopting a much less severe and more attractive architecture. From the inner courtyard, broad and monumental stairs are leading you to wooden arcade-carved galleries, with stucco ornaments above and below the doors and windows, with wooden balusters of the bulwarks; the staircase of oriental style represents an element of persistence and equilibrium.

Featuring a totally innovative architecture which does not follow the patterns of those times, the building is described as being composed of basement, ground and first floor. In the basement there are 15 vaulted cellars, 23 shops on the ground floor, two large lounges, ten huts, 16 rooms for the servants and cooks, four side rooms and a tunnel that can hold about 500 people. The upper floor has 107 rooms, most of them being used for guests.

In the middle of the courtyard paved with river stones there used to be a café with all its outbuildings and a garden with a lovely fountain.

The historical importance of Manuc’s Inn is mentioned in the international historical archives, for at least one important event hosted here: during the Six-Year War between the ottoman and the Russian Empire, which took place between 1806 and 1812, Manuc’s Inn had hosted for five months the Russian and Turkish plenipotentiaries who signed the Peace of Bucharest, which eventually ended the war.

After the end of the Russian-Turkish War, Maniuc moves with his family in Bessarabia. Remoteness caused him to start proceedings for selling the inn, but he died in uncertain circumstances before having found a buyer and the fate of the inn entered a period of nebula being affected by earthquakes, among others.

After decades of uncertainty and prevarication, the inn was bought by Lambru Vasilescu who turned, repaired and renowned and renamed it “Hotel Dacia”. The reopening of the inn that went by the name “Grand Hotel Dacia” was finally announced in 1874.

The two large halls of the Inn started being used for high-life parties of the Romanian capital socialites and important cultural and political figures and for various class events.

Here, at Hanuc’s Inn took place the discussions regarding the entry of Romania in the First World War, while hosting several meetings of political parties.

During the Communists era, the inn managed to survive the demolitions imposed by Ceausescu, thanks to several negotiation tumbling, and it turned into a nationalized institution which was a part of the catering establishment circuit.

With a history of over 200 years, Manuc ‘s Inn had suffered several changes and is still going through an extensive process of restoration and historic rehabilitation.

A local legend says that Manuc’s ghost is still haunting and place, giving friendly pieces of advice to the workers and cooks regarding how to prepare good quality food.

The Inn of Manuc is still one of the most popular places in the Romanian capital, being preferred for its idyllic atmosphere – which preserves the mark of its vast history -, for the traditional menu and excellent service, for the interesting and imposing architecture and the beautiful courtyard, always crowded with people during the warm season, and for the bohemian parties that always take place.

Photo source

Picture 1: romaniidinjurulromaniei.ro; Picture 2: restograf.ro; Picture 3: citybest.ro; Picture 4: hanumanuc.ro; Picture 5: hanulluimanuc.ro; Picture 6: spatiulconstruit.ro; Picture 7: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Jun 10

JUST A FEW OF BUCHAREST ATTRACTIONS

Bucharest is among the most beautiful European capitals and we have plenty of good reasons to say this. A true urban center that invites you to let yourself captivated by museums with rich collections, by the great vibe that reigns in the historical center, the multitude of buildings with beautiful architecture and many attractions for free. If you’re planning a city break in Bucharest you will be amazed by the quality of hotels and the beauty of the Romanian capital, too little known among international tourists. Moreover, regarding visiting hours, Bucharest can compete for the status of one of the cheapest capitals because most sightseeing and touristic attractions are free; among the many beautiful and interesting spots, we will name a few.

The Historical Center aka Old Town is one of the most chic and crowded places in Bucharest. It’s the heart of the capital – a place studded with elegant buildings built in Baroque and neoclassical style. Downstairs, visitors can delight in one of the numerous terraces, restaurants, pubs or cafes with coffee, juice, tasty and cheap beer and delicious meals from all over the world. Walking around the historical center of Bucharest will give you the feeling that you are back in time, in the Bucharest of yore, when it was nicknamed “Little Paris”, due to its elegant atmosphere, and that feeling will be overwhelming especially when crossing the Lipscani Street.

Manuc’s Inn is one of the best-known and appreciated attractions in the Old Town. It is worth going and admire this historical building with wooden beams, with a huge patio which once was the most loved meeting and negotiations place among the bigwigs back in the old days. Do not forget to pay a visit to the café; there you will admire the classic style of the old time cafés, with velvet sofas and big chandeliers.

You have surely heard of the castle of Vlad Tepes in Bucharest. If the figure of Vlad the Imparels fascinates you, then you surely know about the town of Poenari and the house in which it is said that Vlad was born. Besides that, there is a castle of Vlad the Impaler in the Romanian capital, as well. This castle is located near Carol Park and acquired this name because it is the faithful replica of the fortress in Poenari.

“Caru cu Bere” (the Beer Cart) and “Hanul cu Tei” (the Linden Inn) are two taprooms and historical sites in Bucharest that should not be missed. The entry is free, you can look, take pictures of the beautiful exquisite architecture and leave, but it would be a shame not to stay for a beer and why not, a copious traditional meal, especially as prices are acceptable and the atmosphere is delirious!? However, you’d rather make a reservation, as it might get crowded, especially in the second part of the day.

Stavropoleos Church is definitely worth seeing.  Part of UNESCO heritage, it is an architectural gem built in 1724 in Brancoveanu style and it is one of the oldest monuments in Bucharest. It’s very small and very easy to find, near “Caru cu Bere” and Lipscani.

Cismigiu Park is a lovely green oasis in the middle of a crowded metropolis. You will be thrilled when they discover this corner of of tranquility with beautiful tall trees and wide shadowed alleys, where the nobles of the past centuries used to stroll around. In hot summer days, Cismigiu is ideal for walking and relaxation, so why not ride a water bicycle on the lake!

If you want to admire Bucharest from 137 m above, go to Sky Tower. The entry is also free and the elevator will take you to the 34th floor.

Herastrau Park. If you walking outdoors becomes you, if you enjoy being surrounded by nature, then put Herastrau Park on the must-see list of sights in Bucharest. It was built on the lake with the same name sometime in 1936. You don’t have the “chance” to get bored here: boat trips on pedal boat or on the ship, tennis parties, admiring the Arch of Triumph, the Japanese Garden and  the Herastrau Aquarium; and these are only a few of the park’s attractions.

Free tour of Bucharest: every day, the visitors of the capital receive a free guided tour on double-deckers for about two hours. It starts at Piata Unirii (the Union Square) any time of the day.

Another objective that is also obligatory to visit is the National Military Museum, whose exhibits are divided into various collections such as: Romanian uniforms throughout time, white and fire arms, carriages and harnesses, cosmology and aviation. Exhibits include valuable items such as the sword owned by King Carol I of Romania or the Mannlicher gun belonging to King Ferdinand I.

Do not miss the collection of uniforms which include those of King Carol I, Ferdinand I and Carol II, and also gowns of the Queens Elizabeth and Mary or the Princesses Elizabeth, Mary and Ileana of Romania. The Military national Museum also preserves the largest collection of orders, medals, plaques and badges and comprises over 10 500 exhibits from 53 countries.

And these are only a few of the many interesting places to see and great experiences you can have. To be continued…

Photo source

Picture 1: mercibynovotel.ro; Picture 2: economica.net; Picture 3: radiocluj.ro; Picture 4 puravidahostels.ro; picture 5: hotelelizeu.ro; Picture 6: zilesinopti.ro

 

Jun 09

SIGHISOARA – A MEDIEVAL FRAME IN PLAIN MODERNITY (SIGHIȘOARA)

Wandering through this city bearing the history of the Middle Ages, you are actually stepping on the narrow streets paved with river stones, climbing steep slopes and passing under the dark vaults and admiring the multicolored cheerful houses that shine under the sun. From the upper plateau, the Fortress wall and the towers create a rather bleak picture, but haughty. These towers used to greet passersby in times of peace and warned the residents to be prepared to resist attempts of conquest during troubled times.

Sighisoara is presented today as the best preserved medieval complex across Romania. Nowadays, we can admire these beautiful monuments and other exhibits kept in the History Museum, but the milepost seems to be the splendid clock tower, which reflects the economic and political life of the inhabitants of ancient times until today.

If your steps take you to the wonderful lands of the citadel, you can consider yourself lucky because you have reached the heart of the country and the “Pearl of Transylvania” and it seems to be the most inspired holiday choice due to the variety of attractions that can be visited.

Each image that displays before your eyes will take you on a fascinating journey into what some call the quintessence of the Romanian nation.

Among the few inhabited Medieval fortress- cities in Europe and only one perfectly preserved in Romania, Sighisoara is a complex of medieval military, civil, ecclesiastical architecture that offers a beautiful and interesting lesson of medieval urban planning.

Overlaid with massive gates and protected by strong towers and walls, the citadel of Sighisoara is now open to the world, offering its inhabitants as well as its visitors a dream-like scenery and a timeless refuge once roamed by knights and princesses.

The churches are essential elements that give a peerless charm of these places, giving you the “excuse” to make a return in time to a world full of mystery.

Situated on the lower shelf of the city, close to the Clock Tower, there rises the monastery, a monument of Gothic architecture, mentioned for the first time in 1928 in the archives of the times and it belonged to the Dominican Order. Of 1550, after the secularization of the monasteries, the Dominicans are forced to leave Sighisoara and the church was taken over by the city council. Since then, it became the Evangelical Church of Sighisoara community.

The church went through several constructive stages: early Gothic phase; Late Gothic-phase; Baroque phase; the final construction phase.

Between the outside and the inside the ecclesiastical building, there are no noticeable stylistic differences. The Gothic facades, blackened by the flow of weather are dominated by a steep roof with tiles, sheltering a Baroque interior.

The exterior is dominated by Gothic elements, very high triangular gable windows ending in pointed arches and a portal with a richly decorated finishing.

The glamorous interior that bears the imprint of Baroque style is absolutely fascinating, exposing some extremely valuable heritage objects. Here is kept a bronze baptismal font, decorated with Biblical and heraldic elements, vegetal motifs being a frontline exemplary of bronze casting in fifteenth century Transylvania.  The church of the Monastery holds a precious collection of 39 Anatolian carpets dating from the seventeenth century that adorn the pillars and railings of the balcony on the north side, a means of decoration used in Lutheran churches, especially as the Reform strictly forbade the display of religious figurative images.

Monastery Church is inaccessible to tourists between May and October, but you can attend the services of the Evangelical community in the city, which take place here every Sunday at 10 a.m.

A U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage, after the restoration efforts, Sighisoara regained its atemporal glory, a city between heaven and earth, between reality and historical legend that makes you easily slide in the past, in the times of the mythical knights and dames.

If you want to become one for a few days, or more, there are plenty of hotels, pensions, inns and locals who offer you accommodation in very comfortable places specifically decorated to preserve the exact fairy-tale atmosphere.

Photo source

Picture 1: dangerous-business.com; Picture 2: dangerous-business.com; Picture 3: sibiutourguide.com; Picture 4: historia.ro; Picture 5: centruturistic.ro; Picture 6: identitatea.ro
Jun 06

CHIAJNA MONASTERY, A MYSTERY REMAIN OF THE MIDDLE AGES (MANASTIREA CHIAJNA)

Chiajna Monastery is a place of worship located on the outskirts of Bucharest, at the periphery of Giulesti-Sarbi neighborhood. The historical monument is the subject of many legends and urban myths, gaining its notoriety especially in recent years, since the monastic life restarted in the area. In 2008 the monastery gathered patron “Saint John Jacob the Hozevit”.

The Fanari Prince Alexander Ypsilanti (ruling years between 1774-1782), begins the construction of a large church belonging to a monastery, as a chronicle of the time mentions: “They started to build a monastery at Giulesti, close to Bucharest, and it remained unfinished.”

The one who will carry out this monastery will be another Fanari ruler, Nicolae Mavrogheni (1786-1790), according to the testimony of the same historical document: “They have finished the Giuleşti monastery”, fact that is acknowledged by the archaeological excavations in the 1970s, revealing monk cell foundations all over the area.

This ecclesiastic, cultural and architectural construction of late Middle Ages impresses with its grandeur, with 43 m long, 17 m wide, 1-2 m thick walls and eaves height of 12 m, the largest church ever built in its time. It is unique in terms of architecture because it is the only place of worship, which harmoniously synthesizes original Romanian and post-Brancoveanu style architecture with the neo-Classical pattern. The architect who conceived the church is Johannes Rathner, a Saxon craftsman.

Due to its fortress-like appearance, the monastery housed the residents of its surroundings who found shelter from the invaders. It was bombed by the Turks in 1814, and after 1821 it was abandoned altogether, remaining only the ruins of the great church of the complex.

The church survived several large earthquakes over time, and even those who tried to steal pieces of brick of which it was built, and all this, along with construction of the railway passing some 30 meters close to it has weakened its structure, so today it is in danger of collapsing.

There were many plans and attempts to restore the monastery, especially after 1900; the most recent attempt was even during the socialist regime during 1950-1970.

The monastery is known as the “Chiajna Monastery” or “Mrs. Chiajna” because the land around it passed into the possession of Chiajna County. However, this is not the correct name.

A mysterious face that resembles an angel, a dame, or maybe the Romanian Sphinx was discovered under the plaster on one of the walls.

An urban legend states that there is a curse haunting the place for centuries and that during some nights, locals have noticed gigantic shadow lurking on the walls of the ruins; but there are several variants of the legend: allegedly the former abbot had died of plague and the church didn’t get to be consecrated; others say that Mrs. Chiajna, a boyard lady killed her own daughter because she decided to marry her loved one, not the husband that was imposed on her; and another version is that, in order for the Turkish invaders to not notice the place, the locals took down the church bell and threw it in the waters of the river, hence bringing the curse upon them. It is not certain whether any of these legends are real, but the beauty of the place still preserves a surreal serenity, despite the gloomy tales.

Due to the impressive size and mysterious past, Chiajna Monastery has aroused the interest of many photographers, but also artists who filmed footage for their artistic projects.

Restoration of the Church would be too expensive and its demolition is forbidden, as has the status of historic monument and the clerics are still trying to find a way to bring it back to life.

Chiajna monastery is one of the most important sights in Wallachia, an objective which should not miss it if you are near.

If you want to visit it and admire its still lasting grandeur, there are plenty of accommodation possibilities in the nearby, such a many pensions with very good conditions and prices.

Photo source

Piture 1: infopensiuni.ro; Piture 2, 3; Picture 4: cultural.bzi.ro; Piture 5 chiajna.com: Piture 6 romanianturism.com.