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
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 16

THE AMAZING HISTORICAL EDIFICES OF BUCOVINA (BUCOVINA)

Bucovina is one of the most representative areas in Romania. A historical region of crucial importance throughout the tumultuous history of Romania, it offers endless touristic attractions and possibilities.

Moldovita Monastery

Moldova was built in 1532 by Petru Rares, the son of Stefan the Great, and was painted in 1537, both inside and outside. The frescos on the southern wall are very well preserved. Notice at the outset that the nuns who live here are excellent guides for groups of foreign tourists – a very good note in the context of tourism. The monastery’s stylish and dapper, the church is close to the cells and the entire surrounding is filled with flowers that give it a special note. In the courtyard there is a statue of Petru Rares. Tourists will appreciate, not only the beauty of the place, but also the active presence of the nuns.

Sucevita Monastery

You cannot see Sucevita without seeing Moldovita, its “sister” located somewhat near. Sucevita monastery is about 50 years younger, built in 1583 by Irimia Simion and Gheorghe Movila, the former becoming the first leader of Moldova shortly after lifting this monastic building. One of the last churches painted on the outside and a part of UNESCO heritage, its stately elegance will delight the visitor’s eye with a specific shade – not so famous as Voronet blue, though -, but certainly delightful: green, symbol of the Holy Spirit. You will fall in love with the mural paintings and the silence of the place.

The Fortress of Suceava

This is an objective that represents a top sensational attraction. Unfortunately, a while ago, the lack of funding and interest made the most important fortress of the rulers of Moldova enter a long process of restoration, starting from 2012. Regardless of that, hadn’t you already known a few pieces of information, you will find out on the spot about the bravery of the Moldavian rulers and soldiers against all those that attempted to conquer these beautiful lands: from the Russians and Polish to the Ottoman Turks and many other migratory peoples – without luck and success, however!

The restoration process has been unfolding and is now done and over with, therefore the visitors are fully and quietly able to enjoy the place; no more workers on scaffolding! You can now admire an excellently built fortress, to which have contributed over the years rulers and political figures like Petru Musat I (he raised it in 1375), Stephen the Great, Alexandru cel Bun (Alexander the Kind), Vasile Lupu, Ieremia Movila and other Moldavian leaders who totally devoted their efforts into achieving and preserving a very hard city to conquer and a historical symbol. Unfortunately it was damaged  in 1497, after the Polish attack lead by John Albert, several earthquakes during Duca Voda – 1678-1683, the city turned to ruin and went into oblivion until the early twentieth century, when the Austrian architect Karl A. Romstorfer lent a helping hand and reestablished the glory on the old walls of this historic edifice.

And fortunately, after him, the current local authorities have shown the same interest and devotion and put it back on the well-deserved tourist track, where you can see it, admire and meditate upon the past..

Check for the prison of the edifice, it’s a truly sensational place to see!

Photo source:

Picture 1: youtube.com; Picture 2: infopensiuni.ro; Pictuire 3: xmaps.ro; Picture 4: festivaluri-romanesti.ro; Pictyure 5: svnews.ro; Picture 6: mapio.net; Picture 7: orasulsuceava.ro