Sep 27

THREE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN ROMANIA

Romania is a wonderful country with friendly people and great cuisine, where tourism has encountered a setback in the past quarter of a century, but it’s catching up and it is ready to have you as a host.

Let us see three of the most important sites that you must not miss while traveling to Romania.

Suceava

Once the capital of Moldovia (an ancient European principality), Suceava is an intriguing place that’s undergone recent regeneration. It lies quite a way off the usual backpacking trail in Europe (as does much of Romania, beyond Bucharest and the Dracula tours) but it’s worth the trek for the seven painted churches of Northern Moldovia located nearby. These unique and beautifully preserved monasteries are adorned with frescoes and are masterpieces of Byzantine art.

To really see the city in full swing, you should time your trip to coincide with the lively Moldavian Furrier Fair in mid-August or for Suceava Days, a giant street party held in late June. The area will be difficult to explore during the hard winters, but it’s hard to pass up the opportunity of a sleigh ride eh?!

There are only a few hostels in Suceava and they’re a little way out, but for a good time, check them – they are a lively place with bars and nightclubs of their own, and it’s a not very pricey 15 minutes bus ride away from the center.

Sibiu

Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania that has a cultural magic all its own. It will have you instantly spellbound with its striking medieval charm, breathtaking views of surrounding landscapes and delicious food. Its historical center was built into two very pedestrian levels filled with most of Sibiu’s historical sites, colorful houses and cobble stone streets.

An artsy yet traditional vibe exists in the city that appealingly permeates the litany of cafes, festivals and exhibitions that thrive there. Some great things to experience in Sibiu are the Brukenthal Museum, and the Crama Sibiu Vechi restaurant, a great place to enjoy authentic Romanian fare and the view of the historical center from the top of the Council Tower.

Bucharest

We just could not leave the biggest and most important city aside! Bucharest, the capital of Romania is a dynamic modern city with a wildly sensational history. Nicknamed “little Paris” in the early 1900’s Bucharest really plays the part with hip cafes, impressive tree lined boulevards and dramatic modern and historic architecture. Home to many attractions, the most remarkable landmark in this vibrant city is the monstrous Parliament Palace. Being equally enormous and ostentatious, it is a mind-blowing architectural feat trumped only in size by the Pentagon.

Where there are many examples of Bucharest’s cultural and architectural splendor the highlights include the Romanian Athenaeum, an elaborately domed circular building that is the city’s main concert hall, Bucharest University and the National History Museum.

Photo source:

Picture 1: apartamentelavanzare.ro; Picture 2: mydracula.com; Picture 3: raredelights.com; Picture 4: рчц-дфо.рф; Picture 5: goista.com; Picture 6: en.wikipedia.org
Jun 28

BUCHAREST, A CITY OF WIDE BOULEVARDS AND LUXURIOUS PARKS (BUCUREŞTI)

The Romanian capital, cultural and economic center of the country, was founded more than five hundred years ago and is the best starting point for a tour of Romania. In the ’30s, Bucharest was known as “Little Paris” because of its boulevards delimited by trees. Here you can also admire an Arc de Triumph on the impressive Kiseleff Boulevard that is longer than the Champs Elyses and during springtime you can admire the splendor of the trees in bloom.

Despite extensive reconstruction plan in the ’80s, Bucharest remains a pleasant city full of parks, greenery, with cafes open on sidewalks in the summer and pleasure boats on the lakes and rivers that flow through it.

It is easy to handle Bucharest. The underground network is spread all over the city, and the fare for a journey is unique. The main avenues through the town are displayed on the north-south direction – from the Arc de Triomphe to the Civic Centre -, and are intersected by others that stretch from east to west. Calea Victoriei, which continues the Kiseleff Road, is the favorite promenade place for the city residents especially on summer evenings.

Here you will find majestic public buildings like the National History Museum and the Palace of the Post Office and towards the southern end of the avenue there is Cismigiu Park. Magheru Boulevard is parallel to Calea Victoriei and it contains travel agencies and airlines, cinemas, theatres, galleries and hotels.

You will probably be surprised by the eclectic mix of architectural styles in Bucharest: from Curtea Veche, the remains of the 15th century palace of Vlad Tepes – who was the founder of the city -, the old Orthodox churches, the second Empire style villas, heavy Stalinist architecture of the communist period and ending with the Palace of Parliament, a colossal building with six thousand rooms, the second largest in the world after the Pentagon.

Bucharest is always very interesting things waiting to discover them. While in Bucharest, do not miss its museums, especially in outdoor Village Museum located in Herastrau, near the Arc of Triumph. Here you see examples of architecture and handicrafts from all over Romania, including the famous wooden churches in Maramures and it’s the first such museum ever opened in the entire world.

Other “musts” include the National Art Museum, located in the former Royal Palace, the National History Museum on Calea Victoriei, housing the superb silverware of national treasure, and Curtea Veche / the Old Court, with its painted church in the sixteenth century.

Nearby there is the splendid Patriarchal Church, built in 1657, and now represents a contrasting note of the Civic Center’s modernity. And do not miss the Stavropoleos Church near Curtea Veche, a real jewel of Romanian Orthodox architecture. If you are lucky you are in one of these churches during a christening or a wedding, you will witness an unforgettable ceremony.

Bohemian life in Bucharest

The city’s artistic life has always been at the height of its Parisian nickname and today it is more active than ever. National Opera always keeps a classic repertoire – Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Mozart.

In the splendid neo-classical style building of the Romanian Athenaeum international concerts are held or supported by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. However, the ticket price is much lower than in other countries.

All tourists like to shop; you will find shops in Piata Unirii / the Union Square area and the main avenues. If you want to make a change, you can walk into a small bazaar belonging to the merchants on the streets of Lipscani Street, near the Old Court.

Here you can acquire beautiful souvenirs made by local artists, most of them unique, made of ceramics, glassware, fabrics and wood carvings. Another unforgettable experience would be to visit the bustling Flea Market on a Sunday morning, meaning a flea market on the banks of Dambovita River.

The restaurants of the capital have come to life again; roast beef, chicken or pork are the basis of many typical dishes and are followed by a wide range of pastry specialties or desserts. For a better appetite, taste the Romanian wines and tuica, the national drink.

The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere in bars, restaurants and night clubs is welcoming, brighten up by rhythms and beats from all over the world. Romanians are a full of life people, who like to party and feel good. Join the locals and fun is guaranteed!

And if you get exhausted by the hectic vibe of the city, you can escape for a few hours and discover the surroundings of Bucharest.

Bucharest is surrounded by forests and lakes, with old palaces and monasteries located in this picturesque landscape. Snagov Monastery, which dates from 1408, is treasured by Bucharest citizens who also go to this area to practice water sports on the lake.

Also, the elegant Mogosoaia Palace, built in the eighteenth century, which is at a distance of 14 km (9 miles) north of Lake Mogosoaia is worth visiting. And there are many other places and events – such as theatre, music, handicrafts festivals – that take place all year long, which will leave you a wonderful impression and will make you want to come back for more. eleff

Photo source

Picture 1: torp.no; Picture 2: www.bucharestdailyphoto.ro; Picture 3: ro.wikipedia.org; Picture 4: metropotam.ro; Picture 5: hotelelizeu.ro; Picture 6: snagovclub.ro; Picture 7: hotelarcdetriomphe.ro.
Jun 27

COTROCENI PALACE – THE CORE OF POLITICAL DECISIONS FOR ALMOST FOUR CENTURIES (PALATUL COTROCENI)

In 1679 Mr. Stefan Cantacuzino raised the Cotroceni hill a monastery. In 1888, Prince Carol I of Romania built a palace monastery to serve as residence in Bucharest. Building plans were made by architect Paul Gottereau in classic Venetian style.

Later, Romanian architect Grigore Cerchez redesigned the north wing national romantic style, adding a large room with a terrace and two gazebos above the columns, one of which was a replica of the famous Hurez gazebo.

Cotroceni Palace is part of the Cotroceni National Museu, an institution specialized in presenting the medieval and modern history of the palace, and its evolution and transformation over time. Cotroceni Palace, the church and monastery reflect three centuries of history where political, military, diplomatic, religious and cultural aspects are directly interwoven with the general evolution of Romanian society. Unfortunately, in 1977, former President Nicolae Ceausescu converted the palace into a guest house and in 1985he ordered for the church built by Stefan Cantacuzino to be demolished.

Thus, over three centuries, a long line of remarkable personalities have made decisions and ruled Romania from here, starting with the founder of the palace, the rich prince Serban Cantacuzino. Among them, we should remember Constantin Brancoveanu, Nicolae Constantin Mavrocordat, Alexandru Ypsilanti, Gheorghe Constantin Hangerli, Alexandru Mourousis, Barbu Stirbei, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and Ferdinand I.

By its content, the museum displays a rich variety of art belonging to Romania’s national values, as well as decorative arts from all over the world. Cantacuzinian space seems to be a space suitable for organizing presentations of works of art that highlights the exceptional value of old age. Among notable items on display there are richly carved tomb stones – an expression of admirable art of carvers and decorators, as testimony of the vigor the art of Cantacuzino and Brancoveanu architectural styles.

Currently the Cotroceni Ensemble proves that architectural design has a clear unity and artistic composition. The core of the ensemble is the monastery built in the late 17th century by Serban Cantacuzino, an exceptional piece of Romanian medieval art and architecture. It has undergone many changes over the three centuries of existence; some are remarkable in design and proportions, and others being totally inadequate. But they did not affect the initial conception of the building, its structure and general expression of volumes.

The interior architecture of the museum and the spaces within the buildings that are part of the Cotroceni ensemble is perceived as a stylistic conglomerate, at first leading to a slight confusion caused by putting together or overlapping several functional and aesthetic remodeling interventions. Until today, the most typical works are the initial construction of the monastery (late 17th century) and the royal palace (late 19th early 20th century), as well as the recent restoration and expansion of the whole.

Photo source

Picture 1: www.presidency.ro; Picture 2: mediafax.ro; Picture 3: paginadepolitica.ro; Picture 4; romaniadacia.wordpress.com; Picture 5: garbo.ro; Picture 6: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 7: panoramio.com; Picture 8: cultural.bzi.ro
Jun 23

CASA CAPSA – THE MOST FAMOUS DELICACIES IN THE BALKANS (CASA CAPŞA)

One of the most famous families of Bucharest was the one of Dimitrie Capsa. Shopkeepers by vocation and having traveled all over Europe with strong business and connections all over the continent, the Macedonian by origin Capsa Family decided to settle in the heart Bucharest

Up to 1850 being a merchant, bringing loads of great fairs, mean danger, uncertainty. Dimitrie Capsa was lucky, had 12 children and had never faced any dangers; four of his sons established a bakery-confectionery that become famous throughout Europe.

One of the brothers was educated in France at Boissier, the foremost master chocolatier of the time. Two other opened in 1852 the sweet store named  “Two brothers”. The wonderful sweets soon began to put in the shade all oriental goods (baklava, sarailie, Tukish delights, cataif, sorbet) made by other chefs.

At the beginning of the Crimean War, one of her brothers leave to Sevastopol with merchandise; on the way it had spoiled and arrived in Bulgaria without a penny in his pocket. But there, on borrowed money, he began preparing jams. And this is when fame and legend begin. He moves in the center of Bucharest to the place where the cafeteria- restaurant stands today. They begin importing merchandise from France that are being introduced to a new and curious clientele that is astounded at the impressive delicacies: absinthe, pineapple, ice-cream in forms of perfect compositions.

In just two decades, Capsa defeated all competition. A new restaurant was added to the confectionary; the walls of the new place were adorned with red marble – hence the name “tomb of the pharaohs”.

Grigore Capsa invented the “Joffre” cake.

At the invitation of King Ferdinand and Queen Mary of Romania, the famous French Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre arrived in Bucharest in 1920. The grand confectioner Grigore Capsa, who meanwhile had become the supplier of the Royal House, created in honor of the Marshal a chocolate cake in a cylindrical shape suggesting the French military helmets.

Marshal Joffre had diabetes, and because of this fact the master pastry chef who studied in Paris invented a cake that could be consumed without risk of the guest. The cake was named after the acclaimed French personality and was made of butter, sugar, eggs, flour, flavorings, cocoa of the highest quality, and was dressed in chocolate. The “Joffre” Cake began to circle the world being taken over by French cuisine, from whose tradition was inspired. However, the recipe has entered the Romanian confectionery offer and there is virtually no confectionery in Romania that does not prepare the cake in question.

The regulars clients of the place were politicians, diplomats, journalists, painters and musicians. The atmosphere at the tables inside or outside was similar to that from Paris (Procope) or Vienna (Sacher). You could hear a lot of French being spoken.

In December 1916, at the outbreak of war, Bulgarian occupation troops established their headquarters at Casa Capsa. They robbed the cellars of all the treasures gathered by Capsa brothers: French wines from the cellars of Napoleon III since 1848-1858. Until 1918, Bulgarian troops now ate, bean soup in clay bowls at the tables once belonging to one of the most elegant restaurants in Europe. It was a reason for them to feast, with undisguised pride, at the most famous culinary Balkans location.

Between the wars, Capsa acquired a new profile, becoming a literary café. All the country’s brightest minds have been there. Gossip, words of wisdom, they all formed under an unequaled intellectual emulations.

At the same time, Casa Capsa was providing the most sumptuous dining for restaurants belonging to the Royal Palace, Jockey Club, diplomatic missions, ministries. The menus were printed, painted or written by hand and on their back there have signed the customers: from royalty, ministers, parliamentarians, famous artists – it all represents today an archive of the Romanian royalty and high class.

The outcome of Warld War II and the arrival of the Communist regime meant a steamroller over the elitism promoted at Capsa. The classic menus that were pieces of art on their own were now typed, some in Russian; the place was renamed simply called “Bucharest”, the silver cutlery was replaced with ordinary pieces, waiters of “healthy origin” – all these have trivialized the place, so proud not long ago.

But still, Capsa was a flashy café during communist times as well, but without the spiritual meetings and discussions that once took place here. After 1989, the attempt of regaining the cultural vibe, but the glory and importance of yore failed to lift to the level that was once known, remaining but a select local with many memories and a history that cannot be overlooked when we refer to Bucharest past.

Photo source

Picture 1: en.wikipedia.org; Picture2 welcome2romania.wordpress.com; Picture 3: getlokal.ro; Picture 4: cazari.ro; Picture 5: booking.com; Picture 6: amfostacolo.ro; Picture 7: mancare.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 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