Sep 05

BUCOVINA VILLAGE MUSEUM, A TIME CAPSULE OF THE ANCIENT LOCAL TRADITIONS (MUZEUL SATULUI BUCOVINEAN)

Located right next to the fortress of Suceava, this outdoor museum is a true delight of the spirit, where you will find popular architectural landmarks specific to the area of northern Moldova. Basically, you will discover a village of Bukovina, which you can admire, both from the outside and in the inside; there are different types of houses and farms in the area, with annexes, and the center of the village with a church and bell tower. There are also a pub, popular technical installations with specific workshops for pottery, blacksmithing, weaving etc.

The excellent settling of the interior of the houses will show you what the way of life is like in this area, and how each element has a clear purpose: from furniture to stoves, from textiles to interior parts of costumes.

Bucovina Village Museum is the highlight of the architectural heritage of folk in the “Upper Realm”. The newest of all open-air museums in Romania, it was open in the 1980s, when the Bukovina village disposed of countless monuments of folk architecture, and it took shape after 1990, when new homesteads and popular settlements have been transferred, reconstructed and open to visitors.

The overview of the museum reflects the complex organization and activity of a village, envisioned as a synthetic model of the Bucovina village. Along with households formed by the house and its annexes, located along the streets, from the center of the village – the polarizing center of community life -, the church and belfry, dating from 1783 are present. Besides all these elements, you Cn also see the local pub from the village of Saru Dornei and technical installations: water mill, mill of peasant coats, carding comb, oil mills.

Trades and crafts are represented in specific workshops such as pottery, spoons etc., and also workshops for weaving, painted eggs , furrier and so on.

The interior settlement is a unique ethnographic exhibition which has complied with the objectives of the regional peculiarities of folk architecture. Ovens, stoves are found in the museum in a wide variety of types; traditional furniture, interior textiles, pieces of folk traditional civilization completes the picture of Bucovina. The peculiarity of Bucovina Village Museum is the representation of the spiritual life of the peasant by marking the rites of passage. In the Straja House, there are exposed props for the ritual of baptism, and the Cacica House the funeral ceremony is marked – the two major thresholds of life.

Beyond the essential function of conservation, restoration and recovery of cultural heritage, Ethnographic Museum Bucovina Village has imposed itself on the national cultural landscape by organizing folk performances and festivals (held on the open air stage), craftsmen fairs to promote traditions and authentic creations, art camps for students, the museum becoming a polarizing center for the cultural life of Suceava.

There are many of them and each deserves a special description, but we will only mention a few, just to get you an idea; among the monuments of folk architecture there are Vama Church and Belfry, Household Bilca, Household Campulung, Household Humor Monastery, Household Moldoviţa, Household Rădăşeni, Household Straja, House Breaza, House Cacica, House Campulung, House Dorna Candreni, House Holohoşca, House Humoreni, House Iacobeni, Sadova Fountain, the Marginea Potter Studio, the Forge, Humor Monastery Mill and many others.

Facilities. It is good to notice that there are free services for people with physical disabilities, children in orphanages, war veterans and current workers and former museum employers. There is a 50 percent discount for pensioners.

Photo source:

Picture 1: trecator.ro; Picture 2: centrulculturalbucovina.ro; Picture 3: svnews.ro; picture 4: turismbucovina.ro; Picture 5: muzeeinaerliber.ro; Picture 6: muzeeinaerliber.ro; Picture 7: turistderomania.ro
Aug 03

THE WONDERS OF BUCOVINA THAT YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

This is not our first journey on the magic lands of Bucovina, but last time we haven’t managed to cover but a little part of the beauties and attractions offered by this fascinating historical region of Moldova. And still we are not done! But before moving further, let’s see what today’s visit has to offer!

Cacica Salt Mine

Take a break from your journey among Bucovina monasteries to breathe salt air (mixed with a soft flavor of the lamp oil) inside the mine of Cacica. This saline is different from those that you are probably familiar with, like the ones in Slanic-Prahova, Turda or elsewhere. Because we are talking basically of a mine whose construction began in 1791 and which later one, in the years ahead, experts and Polish workers had been working at.

The mine entrance is done with the help of some wooden stairs that have 200 years old; there are also 200 steps, just so you know what to expect again on your way out. Browsing the galleries, before reaching the wide-open spaces, could be a challenge for the claustrophobic, but the ride itself has its undeniable charm. In the mine you can visit the ballroom, the gym (where you can play football or basketball) or the little church, located at a depth of 27 meters, carved into salt.

If you intend to visit the mine, do not forget to take a coat, because in the depths, the temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius. You should also know that the football field is located to a depth of 37 meters, so if you want to play football here, it will definitely be an interesting experience that most professional football players haven’t had, at least so far.

Humor Monastery

Chancellor Toader Bubuiog is “guilty” of building this monastery in 1530, thus being a private foundation project because Bubuiog was not a leader. Bearing the ephram of the Assumption, Humor Monastery was fortified in 1641 by Vasile Lupu, who built the strong walls around it.

The church has painted exterior walls and the interior frescoes are made in the style of other monasteries of Bucovina, such as Voronet, Arbore, Moldovita and Sucevita.

While in the area, go visit the Tower of Vasile Lupu, located in the northeast of the enclosure, which is not part of the fortification, but it’s a beautiful and very interesting touristic attraction, loaded with history and legends.

The Egg Museum in Vama

Do not go through Bucovina without making a stop at the Egg Museum of Customs, a private museum belonging to Letitiei Orsivschi, professor of textile and decorative art. You’ll live a great experience, along with a popular artist that will be your guide for an hour through the magical world of an object about which Constantin Brancusi said that represents “the mother of all forms”: the egg.

Letitia Orsivschi has gathered in the two rooms of the museum (opened 7 years ago) a fantastic collection of over 3000 eggs, whose story she will reveal with passion. Eggs from around the world, from all continents, decorated, painted, and worked on every way … eggs of all kinds, from the smallest to giant ostrich eggs. In addition, you will see collections of eggs, some older than 50 years (from the collection of the family), all wearing endorsed a local craft that lasts for centuries and which induce a symbolic strong religious or secular feeling, depending on the pattern chosen for decoration. At the end of the visit you can buy your own decorated eggs – as perfect memories of a visit in Bucovina.

Vatra Dornei

The pearl of Bucovina must be visited on a journey of its own. The resort is situated in one of the most beautiful areas in Romania – Dorna Depression – and will enchant you with its fairy-tale-like scenery, with deep forests, fresh air and mineral water springs. You can admire the beauty of nature from above (1400 meters high), by taking the chairlift, with or without the need of having your ski equipment. And while there, you must visit the Central Park known for the friendly and always hungry squirrels that answer by the name “Mariana”; they will approach you if you lure them with wall nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and other such delights. In the Central Park, which is a part of Vatra Dornei National Park, you can also visit the Japanese Pavilion, the Holy Trinity Church, the Museum of Ethnography and the insolite castle nearby that marks the existence of a mineral water spring with a high content of iron.

To be continued with the rest of wonders and attractions…

Photo source:

Picture1: visitvatradornei.ro; Picture 2: alfahotels.ro; Picture 3: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 4: balnear.info; Picture 5: inbucovina.ro; Picture 6: amfostacolo.ro; Picture 7: vatra-dornei.info; Picture 8: casabunicilor.com; Picture 9: infoturism-moldova.ro; Picture 10: descoperalocuri.ro; Picture 11: smartlight.ro; Picture 12: monitorulsv.ro
May 16

Orheiul Vechi, a rustic and picturesque area in Moldova

orheiul_vechi_trebujeni_moldova_5-1024x680 travel,mdSixty kilometers away from Chisinau stretches the modern city of Orhei. Only 20 km away from the modern city you can easily plan your trip to an important archaeological and spiritual complex, Orheiul Vechi (which means Old Orhei).

This complex is dating from back in the days, from Dacians tribes, going through different invasions (by Mongols and Tatars) until the time of Stefan cel Mare in the 15th century. Located on the shore of the Raut River, this complex is a treasure for those seeking to feel the atmosphere from ancient times. There is a whole range of ruins, fortifications, caves and monasteries ready to be discovered and rediscovered.

The bridge to Butuceni it is the sign you are approaching the village of Trebujeni. This is the place where you should begin your visit, from the Orheiul Vechi Exhibition Centre. The English-language map you will find here to buy it will help a lot. The small exhibition displays ancient objects. The Centre has six rooms and a welcoming restaurant. To feel the local taste you can go to Agro Pensiunea Butuceni. Their rooms are decorated in the Moldavian traditional style. Old and modern are related here at the pension, because the owners added a pool as well. In the restaurant you can enjoy very good home cooked meals, wines from local vineyards and interesting lessons on how to prepare by yourself cornmeal polenta, known as mamaliga by the locals.

Make sure to have at least half a day to cover everything that is to be seen. The Orthodox Cave Monastery is probably the most important place that you want to visit. It has been carved inside of a cliff, close to the river. The two signs that show you are in the right place are the bell tower and a cross rose on top of the rocks. In the 13th century monks decided to build this monastery, but no one inhabited until late in the 18th century. From 1996 a few monks decided to go back to this spiritual place and they dedicated their time to its restoration. A brick archway is marking the entrance in the cave.

In 1905, an Orthodox church has been built and can be visited while you are there. It is interesting that the access in the church has been forbidden by the Soviets in 1944. Until 1996 the church remained abandoned.

Other important things to see there are a defense wall dating from the 15th century, the ethnographic museum and the caves from the valley.

The easiest way to reach the Cave Monastery is through the village of Butuceni.

Photo source

www.travel.md

May 10

TARGU OCNA – A PINCH OF SALT IN THE HEART OF THE CARPATHIANS (TÂRGU OCNA)

Targu Ocna is placed on the eastern slope of the Eastern Carpathians, in the historical region of Moldova, in Bacau county, on a picturesque lowland at the confluence of two rivers: Trotus and its affluent, Slanic. The landscape is rugged, with heights which variate between 400m – 600m.

http://www.salrom.ro/

http://www.salrom.ro/

Nature has been generous with this region. Natural riches are varied and important: forests, orchards, vineyards, rivers, farmland and major deposits of coal, salt, construction materials and mineral waters.

The gorges and ghats created by Trotus River and its affluents have built pathways between Moldova and Transylvania, which boosted the exchange of goods and development of the area throughout time.

http://www.marisano.ro/

http://www.marisano.ro/

The history of these places provides the resort with significant beauty and mystery. The settlement flourished in close connection with the intensification of the exploitation of salt.

In parallel with the exploitation, processing and marketing of salt, the “Salt” Targu Ocna, in recent years has been developed as a trendy touristic activity that has medical benefices as well.

At Targu Ocna tourism services have been diversified in later years by arranging of a modern recreation complex, inaugurated in the summer of 2010. At the surface, the location has a swimming pool with salt water, showers, medical consulting room, terrace, shop and free wireless internet.

bacauairport.ro

bacauairport.ro

For a pleasant ambient the visitors can enjoy spending time sunbathing on chaises provided with parasols, playing table tennis and basketball on specifically arranged sports fields for tennis, volleyball and even a bowling alley. Sports equipment can be rented on the spot. There is also a module and a barbecue where different food products can be consumed.

The natural environment adds charm to the formula needed for an unforgettable day and the salt water lake and the waterfall complete the fascinating landscape with their presence.

And within the immense underground voids, the labyrinth of thousand meters galleries, the locals have created a modern touristic base which gives you the impression of a “city in the deep”.

Since the resort has plenty of opportunities for the entire family, children could not be ignored; there are plenty of playgrounds equipped with swings, slides and seesaws. Inflatable slides are the favorite place for the youngest visitors. Slot machines constitute attraction for tourists of all ages and connoisseurs can enjoy a game of pool.

In the underground there is room for gymnastics and a medical consulting room. Respiratory problems are currently treated by specialized personnel.

http://www.tgocna.ro/

http://www.tgocna.ro/

Inside the mine, there is also a food kiosk, a terrace and souvenir shop, so there are plenty to do and you will have a great time and a wonderful experience.

In 1992, at the initiative of the unity employees in the heart of the salt massif, the first underground Orthodox Church in Europe has been built; the church is dedicated to Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners. In front of the altar is the iconostasis which consists of 24 icons. On both sides of the altar, there are placed icons of Holy Martyr Barbara and Holy Paraskevi, the patron of Moldova.

The iconostasis, the Throne of the Divine King and the beautiful chandelier illuminating the church have been skillfully manufactured by the miners and artisans of great talent and carefulness, dedicating a piece of their soul to eternity.

ghidulturistic.ro

ghidulturistic.ro

Within the complex, there is a newly built “Museum of Salt” where you will find information about the genesis, evolution exploitation and processing of the creation of salt and its therapeutic virtues and you can admire the interesting exhibits that recall the past.

This natural wonder, the salt, so necessary for our daily existence is considered the “white gold of the Earth”, and the “slice” of health and relaxation that visitors will gain by visiting the underground are offer generously to those who know how to value these natural blessings.

Targu Ocna offers a unique experience where you can relax with the entire family, improve your health and knowledge and, last but not least, you will get acquainted to the traditional Moldavian hospitality.

http://www.orthphoto.net/

http://www.orthphoto.net/

There are plenty more tourist attractions on the perimeter of Targu Ocna; the beautifulOrthodox Church of Saint Barbara, the leisure and touristic base, located in the salt mine on the 9th level underneath the surface, Magura Ocnei Monastery, the church of the former Raducanu Monastery, Magura Park and plenty of historical memorial places and ancients architectural monuments, such as Tescanu Rosetti Cultural Centre – a spot dedicated to the memory of the famous composer George Enescu.

As for accommodation, you have a luxurious hotel and plenty of idyllic pensions that will offer you all the conditions that you need for a perfect holiday.