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.

THE ROMANIAN WESTERN CARPATHIANS, A PARADISE FOR SPELEOLOGY ENTHUSIASTS AND NOT ONLY (MUNTII APUSENI)

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

For those of you who are passionate of tracking, long walks in the middle of nature, speleology, searching the secrets of the surroundings and admiring the view while enjoying the fresh air, the Western Romanian Carpathians is the place to … Continue reading

May 27

IULIA HASDEU CASTLE – A TEMPLE FOR THE WORLD OF BEYOND

The temple dedicated to Julia Hasdeu in Campina was the place of refuge for Romanian scientist and occult aficionado, Bogdan Petriceicu-Hasdeu, after the death of his sole daughter. The Castle in Campina is said to be still visited by the spirits of its former owners and during some nights, the locals said that they could hear Julia playing the piano in the ovations of her father, and some nights, the old Hasdeu can be heard screaming and hauling at the window, overwhelmed with grief for the loss of his daughter.

hailabord.ro

hailabord.ro

Extremely affected by the death of Julia, to which he was very fond, Hasdeu built a peculiar edifice meant to intercede the grieving father’s communication with his daughter in Heaven, by spiritualist sessions. The monument is also known by the name of the Castle of the Magus, or “Spiritualist Temple at the foot of the Carpathians”. This building, alongside the Hasdeu Family vault at the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest, is the only spiritualist temples in the world.

Julia Hasdeu Castle is very impressive thanks to its outstanding architecture and the emotional story of parental love whose presence can still be perceived in the air. Julia Hasdeu Castle lies in Campina, Boulevard Carol I, no. 199.

amfostacolo.ro

amfostacolo.ro

Let us begin with a few words about Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu and his two Julias: his wife and daughter.

Hasdeu lived from 1838-1907 and was a leading figure of the Romanian culture, a great writer, academician, politician, historian, journalist, lawyer, linguist and folklorist.

Julia Hasdeu was the wife of the scientist, whom he loved very much and married on June 10, 1865, in Bucharest; their marriage lasted about 40 years. Unfortunately, his beloved wife died on July 2, 1902.

amfostacolo.ro

amfostacolo.ro

The daughter of the prestigious scholar, Julia Hasdeu, was born on 14 November 1869. She was a very smart child at the age of 2 years old was able to read, memorize and recite long poems. She won first prize at the end of secondary school, at the age of only 11 years and at that time already knew three languages: French, German, English. In 1881 she went to Paris to continue her studies. At 16, she took the baccalaureate in Letters and was enrolled at the Sorbonne (the first woman student there). She loved the French language and literature and wanted to be known as a writer. Unfortunately at the age of 18, she contracted tuberculosis and died on September 29, 1888, despite her parents’ efforts. Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu and his wife were very affected by this and began to believe in the idea of immortality Julia.

B.P. Haşdeu began practicing spiritualism as the only way to communicate with the world beyond. This castle built between 1894 and 1896, was inspired by the spirit of his daughter, Julia. Initially, it should have had the form of a cathedral, but later plans were changed leading to its present shapes consisting in three stone towers, the middle being the highest and harboring a temple. The day of July 2nd was the symbolic date when the scientist was celebrating his two Julas: his wife and daughter.

Inside the castle, by the windows, there are two parallel mirrors and it is said that everything that goes by there is multiplied to infinity. The building is full of mystery because of the symbolic elements present inside.

sarahinromania.canalblog.com

sarahinromania.canalblog.com

Parental love is still present in the air inside the castle. B.P. Hasdeu lived 10 more years in this castle, and on 25 August 1907 he has died.

Two stone sculptures representing two sphinxes guard the entrance on the domain.

At the entrance you are welcomed inside the reception room of Julia Hasdeu, the wife, comprising: a Boulle style pendulum that belonged to the scientist; a portrait of Efrem Hajdeu, ancestor of B. P. Hasdeu; a marble bust of Julia Hasdeu, the wife; a showcase several personal items etc.

romanialapas.ro

romanialapas.ro

The living room hosts medallions and mural paintings of Tadeu Hasdeu (the scholar’s grandfather), Julia Faliciu (his wife), B.P. Haşdeu, Alexander Haşdeu (the son of Thadeu), Elizabeta Hasdeu (the mother of the scholar), Julia Hasdeu (the daughter), Nicholas Hasdeu (the scholar’s brother). Here you can also find a monumental clock that belonged to the father of the scholar; Rococo style furniture; table and fruit bowl; a showcase with porcelain ware, etc. All items are unique and have an uncommon beauty and elegance.

It is knows that Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu was a devoted freemason and passionate of occult sciences, that is why, the entire architecture of the building has a special significance and symbolism.

romanialapas.ro

romanialapas.ro

The Temple of the castle has a special emotional and spiritual charge: here can be admired a symbol of the Holy Grail and a wood statue representing the Christ, made by the French sculptor Raphael Casciani, that is very well-preserved and has constantly been protected from earthquakes or other acts that had unpleasant effects on the castle. In the temple there is an altar where an pianin that is said that sometimes it plays by itself. There are even testimonies stating that, during the visits to the castle, music emerged from the piano without anyone toughing it and everyone was astonished. This area is surrounded on one side and the other of the two chambers with the role of libraries.

viata-medicala.ro

viata-medicala.ro

The working desk of B.P. Haşdeu includes a Rococo style sofa and armchairs; a walnut desk; paintings and other things that belonged to academician.

Julia’s room includes: her doll; a notebook of arithmetic; Julia’s diary; a sculpture bust of Julia; the working table thereof; two icons; Julia’s inkwell etc.

The darkroom, were spiritualism séances used to be held keeps spiritualist manuscripts; paintings; the spiritualism table and photos; three seats called “tripods” with masonic symbols encrypted; a gas lamp etc.

romania-insider.com

romania-insider.com

There is a hole in the wall that connects with the scholar’s desk through which it is said that Julia’s spirit descended.

Roughly, these are the things that you can see this castle of surreal beauty.

The entrance ticket to the castle includes an audio guide which provides details of all exhibits in the castle, and also has a message for you Julia visitors.

May 19

SIBIU, MEDIEVAL FLAVOR AT THE FRONTIER BETWEEN EAST AND WEST

The first human settlements in Sibiu date from the Paleolithic area, and the first documents of the city appear in an archive issued in the late twelfth century by Pope Celestine III.

In the Roman epoch there was a settlement called Cedonia (in the Guşteriţa neighborhood of today). A short journey into the fascinating history of this city will give you the image of this town, its role and importance in the development of the region and even in other parts of the country.

noi-zambim.blogspot.ro

noi-zambim.blogspot.ro

According to historical evidence, in 1241 Sibiu was conquered and partially destroyed by Mongol hordes. But it raised like a Phoenix from its ashes and the 14th century represents the beginning of an unprecedented development period for Sibiu, which, under most favorable auspices, had become the most important city in Transylvania, due to commercial interest.

Sibiu had more than 13 gateways in the city (some scholars say even 14) and some of them are still standing and represent the most important monuments of Sibiu even today.

fede.ro

fede.ro

Poarta Scararilor / The Stair makers Gate is the oldest building in Sibiu, still standing today. Some say it’s the first form of fortification, as it is known to have existed ever since the twelfth century. The fact is that the stone gate had been standing there as a major fortifications, probably before the Mongol invasion period. In the sixteenth century the gate undergoes changes and reinforcements, with the reconfiguration of the city by including the Lower Town in the fortified enclosure. It functioned as a gateway for about three centuries; afterwards it received a secondary role by strengthening the Lower Town. It remains one of the most important gates of the medieval period, as all roads, coming from all three Romanian Principalities were connected to this entrance in the city of Sibiu. Is has kept the same purpose until today; it was restored in 2005 and it remains one of the most important monuments of Sibiu.

galerie.liternet.ro

galerie.liternet.ro

The Tower Hall is the most important monument of the city, a symbol in itself and few know that is one of the oldest gates that are still standing. Its history overlaps with the one of the city. The name comes from the neighborhood in which it had been erected: during those times, that was the place where the city hall was located.

The Tower Hall served as fire lookout, arrest, warehouse, and in the last two centuries it hosts the Museum of Sibiu. It was rebuilt in 1588, restored again at the end of the 19th century, then in early and mid-twentieth century.

Sibiu medieval period was characterized by economic growth and continuous development.

The society was very well organized and locals formed connections with shoemakers and craftsmen from Moldova and Romanian Country, as well as Hungary and Germany, therefore, this area, just like Targu Mures, Targu Secuiesc, or Brasov was a very prosperous economic center.

wwwromaniamea.blogspot.ro

wwwromaniamea.blogspot.ro

Craft and merchant associations in Sibiu have obtained a number of rights and privileges which led to an unparalleled flowering of city life; and rulers of Moldavia and the Romanian Country have granted Sibians with certain facilities, like, for instance, in the 14th century, the inhabitants of Sibiu had monopoly and priority over the trade with Romanian Country. Following the continuous economic development, in 1366 Sibiu was declared “city”.

And not just economic, but cultural, as well: the first book written in Romanian language was published in Sibiu in 1544. In 1692, Sibiu became the capital of Transylvania and the connections and influences with the Austrian Empire flourished.

lucianstere.ro

lucianstere.ro

Brukenthal Palace is the most important proof and a living witness, so to speak, of this flourishing period. Sibiu is becoming a promoter of progress in the country: the first railroad was built in 1872, electric current is introduced in 1897, the headquarter is set at Astra Sibiu etc. Throughout the centuries, many Saxon families had settled in the region, strengthening the social, political, cultural and economic connections with their homelands.

Unfortunately, the historical events that followed (World War II and the communist regime) have led to a substantial reduction in the Saxon population in the city, whether as a result of deportations to Siberia initially or subsequently as a result of massive emigration to Germany.

In recent years, with the efforts coordinated by the former mayor of Sibiu, turned Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis the prestige of Sibiu war reestablished and, in 2007, Sibiu become the European capital of culture, together with Luxembourg.

edusoft.ro

edusoft.ro

It is one of the most vivid, aristocratic and authentic cities of Europe, where several important artistic festivals take place annually, hosting a great number of visitors from Romania and worldwide.

If you visit Sibiu, you will be introduced to the peak of Romanian and European culture, architecture, cuisine and a great bonus of amazingly beautiful natural environment which surround the city.

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.