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out this monastery will be another Fanari ruler, Nicolae Mavrogheni (1786-1790), according to the testimony of the same historical document: “They have finished the Giuleşti monastery”, fact that is acknowledged by the archaeological excavations in the 1970s, revealing monk cell foundations all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.
May 17

THERME CENTER IN BUCHAREST, A PLACE TO BE ENJOYED WITH YOU FRIENDS AND FAMILY (THERME)

Therme Center is a new attraction spot located close to Bucharest, in the nearby suburb named Balotesti.

It was opened in January 2016, and it is a complex of spas, theme saunas, pools and aquatic fun, with everything that it implies.

http://www.onlinesport.ro/

http://www.onlinesport.ro/

Once you enter, the wide space, which resembles the set of a futuristic / sci-fi movie, will overwhelm you. And so will the gentle personnel who is always there to serve you and make you feel comfortable and very helpful.

It is made up of three sections: Elysium, the Palm and Galaxy. For each zone you will receive a particular wrist-watch that will serve as an electronic wallet that will help you buy whatever you need inside the area and have access to your locker.

http://www.economica.net/

http://www.economica.net/

Elysium has six saunas – each has a unique motif – , a selenium and zinc panoramic pool, where you can relax and have a drink at the pool bar, sky lounge and terrace, showers, massage, nine different areas with deck chairs and a restaurant which is open daily between 12.00 and 15.00.

The Palm area is a miniature rain forest that hosts about 500 palm trees from all over the world that surround the gigantic pool. There are three other pools dedicated to aromatherapy and Jacuzzi, where you can relax and enjoy a tropical day, regardless of the season you are in.

click.ro

click.ro

Galaxy is the family zone, where children and adults as well can enjoy the spectacular slides that look like giant snakes rambling around each other. There is an open-air pool, and another covered one, which simulate sea waves. In the same perimeter there are: another restaurant, a snack bar, several smaller pools and playgrounds, where you can spend quality time with your dear ones.

Therme Complex hosts several scientific workshops with educational and informative purpose, where you will find out more about the secrets of our planet and the cosmos, all you have to do is stay tuned and keep an eye on the schedule.

www.europafm.ro

www.europafm.ro

It is opened daily, and if will offer you a great deal of summertime fun, even if you are in the middle of the winter.

May 13

MOGOSOAIA PALACE, THE PERFECT PLACE FOR A GETAWAY OUTSIDE BUCHAREST

Since summer is almost here, a few hours closer to nature are always welcome. If you are in Bucharest and you fancy going out in the open, but a regular park doesn’t sound so interesting, or you do not want to further away from the city too much we suggest Mogosoaia Palace.

Mogosoaia is located about 15 kilometers further from downtown Bucharest and within easy reach, being an accessible spot even for those who have no personal car. A halt at the lake and a walk among the tall trees in a warm and sunny day, the beautifully attended walkways are a comfort for the soul and luckily picnics are allowed, so things can get even better.

mycountry.ro

mycountry.ro

Mogosoaia Palace was built by Constantin Brancoveanu and was completed at the beginning of the eighteenth century, on a piece of land that belonged to the wife of a boyard named Mogoş – hence the name of the assembly. Afterwards it was taken into custody by the Brancoveanu family for about 120 years, and then turned over to the Bibescu family. The palace is designed in a Renaissance style Romanian known as Brâncovenesc – an eclectic style that combines elements Renaissance, Baroque and Oriental.

turistderomania.ro

turistderomania.ro

You will be seduced from the beginning by the beautifully sculpted statues placed on one of the gates of the domain and the floral details on buildings that are absolutely fascinating.

The buildings are in very good condition, recently renovated, there is no advertising banner that affects the fairytale-like charm of the place. Alleys also integrate into the landscape and welcome you to discover every corner of the place.

turistderomania.ro

ioanabudeanu.com

Entrance to Mogoşoaia complex is free, you pay only if you want to visit the Museum of Art situated in one of the buildings.

St. George Church is right outside the complex, at the entrance. As you pass the gate, it appears in front of a wide, airy yard, inviting you to relax and step into the world of voivodes and dames of past times.

An exterior ladder will help you reach the gate tower, and from here you can admire the whole domain. The atmosphere has something of the simplicity of a monastery and exposes a discreet elegance.

ioanabudeanu.com

ioanabudeanu.com

Overall, that architecture of the ensemble is rather transparent, uncomplicated, but pleasant and harmonious: brick and romantic floral decorations or other plant motifs are predominant. The façade that faces the lake guards an Italian-style garden with clipped hedges that form a small maze and the steps leading to the water are guarded by two stone lions. On another side of the Palace there is a parcel full of colorful flowers and another one with purple irises, that make it look like a set from Kink Arthur’s tales.

An important side of the palace we have the Cuhnia, an archaic word signifying the Brancovenesc style kitchen; it was built between 1681 and 1702 and now hosts exhibitions and different events.

The guest house had been built by George Bibescu in 1870 on the site of a seventeenth-century mansion and it was restored by George Matei Cantacuzino between 1922-1930. Currently, there is a terrace where you can serve something.

Other impressive elements that make up the Mogoşoaia complex are greenhouses, ordered by Nicolae Bibescu at a workshop in Paris in 1890 and rebuilt in 2002; the Bibescu family vault, which is beautifully nestled between tall trees; and the ice supply, which in the past, blocks of ice from the lake Mogosoaia used to be kept under thatched.

http://mapio.net/

http://mapio.net/

The best time to visit this magnificent place is during the week, when the area is fairly quiet and there is hardly anyone around. On weekends when the weather is good, the place fills up, but the atmosphere is as delighting, it only depends on yourself If you like to be surrounded with crowds, or you prefer to stroll along and meditate without being disturbed.

Mogosoaia Palace organizes all kinds of events, concerts and festivals, the best known being MogoşoaiaClasic Fest.

Apr 11

THE ROMANIAN PALACE OF PARLIAMENT (PALATUL PARLAMENTULUI ) – CONTEMPORARY GRANDEUR AND ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE

The biggest administrative building in the world is located in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, and it is probably one of the most controversial edifices build in the recent history.

http://www.blog.wellcome.ro/palatul-parlamentului-romania

http://www.blog.wellcome.ro/

The building plan begun in the year 1978, after the great earthquake of 1977, when a great part of Bucharest – a city with an architecture that lasted since the pre-World War I period – had been knocked down by the seism. At that time, the incumbent president of Romania, the Socialist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, saw the destruction of Bucharest as an oportunity of renewal and “The House of the People” – as it is known by its original name – was considered the crown jewel of the Romanian capital. The chief architect was Anca Petrescu, a reputable architect who gained Ceausescu’s respect; she brought the project to an end and lead a team of as many as 700 architects and 20.000 workers.

casa_poporului2

http://zoom.mediafax.ro/

Fun fact: speaking of Pharaohs, The Romanian Parliament is bigger then the Pyramid of Kepos in Egypt by two percent!

At that time, it was one of the most lavish and exorbitant  buildings of the 20th century, as it represented about one-third of the country’s budget on a period of five years (in 2006, its costs have been estimated at around 3 billion Euros) and it implied great pecuniary and human  endeavor.

There has been used a great deal of resources and materials, such as tones of marble, crystal, expensive wood essence, leather, glass and Romanian manufactured carpets and curtains that add to the elegance and exquisite furnishments.

The numerous conference halls of the Romanian Parliament Building have hosted countless events and meetings of the most important contemporary political figures and they are opened to the public eye almost every day (except for those days when official events take place), according to the visiting program.

casa_poporului1

http://www.casapoporului.ro/

There still is a lot of hard feeling around this building coming from some of the residents of Bucharest, as, to many of them, especially of older age, it represents a painful wound that reminds them of how Nicolae Ceausescu forced them to relocate from their elegant old mansions, in apartment buildings in different parts of the city, because the construction perimeter is settled on the area of the former bourgeois quarter “Uranus”, where everything was demolished from Ceausescu’s orders. We can conclude that every colossal masterpiece involves a great sacrifice.

The Romanian Parliament has 12 levels above the land surface – offering a spectacular view of the city – and eight levels underneath. Its substructure is also a subject of many urban myths, as it is believed that the hidden face of the building shelters a nuclear bunker and a net of mysterious catacombs that lead to secret escaping gates. But that is, of course, legend that adds to the remarkable character of the construction.

Whether it is true, or not, you can see it for yourself and reserve a day to visit the Romanian Parliament during the established program.

http://www.artline.ro/