Sep 26

ROADEŞ, A BEAUTIFUL TRANSYLVANIAN VILLAGE AND ITS WARN PEOPLE (ROADEŞ)

The village known as Roadeş is located in the heart of Romania, on the road between Brasov and Sibiu. The area was named by locals Haferland / Oats Country, because the Saxon community located in this area was growing and preparing very good oat, which grew well in the hilly area with a changing climate. Moreover, Haferland Week is an event dedicated to all of the Saxons, who want to revive the touristic area. The Saxon Festival started in 2013 and has been taking place every year ever since. If you want to come to Romania, see the beautiful areas of Transylvania, why not also attend the Saxon community meeting that takes place every August in the first week and will display many events in various villages in the area, such as arts and crafts, organ concerts, dance festival and gastronomic events. Visit the sights and go cycling on the tracks made specifically for bikes.

In Roadeş you will get acquainted with the arrangements made by Tabaluga Foundation – their incredible projects, as if coming from another world, a normal world in which we want to live together. It consist in a landscaped area for accommodation with very nice rooms and well-appointed breakfast area / coffee / storytelling and many other pleasant activities. And these activities are reserved for big children and small children alike: children’s farm , holiday center and so on.

In the area there is also another interesting sight: the fortified church of Roadeş, where you can learn more about the customs of the locals and the way their society has been living throughout the centuries. It’s worth a walk through the village, getting in touch with the real Romania, its people and the rural areas, not just what you see in the city every day. Altogether, it is worth visiting in all respects. What is a bit more difficult is that in Roadeş you cannot have lunch or dinner, you need to find accommodation in other places that offer it, so it would be a good “excuse” to go to Sighişoara, some 30 kilometers further. But the visit is worth any effort.

So, if you drop by in Roadeş, you can stay there, to participate in the local activities and eat at one of the pensions nearby, or take a break and go to Viscri or Sighisoara.

Photo source:

Picture 1: commons.wikimdia.org; Picture 2: commons.wikimdia.org; Picture 3: rupeaturistica.ro; Picture 4: mirceahodarnau.ro; Picture 5: brasov.ro; Picture 6: spaicro.deviantart.com
Sep 26

SARMISEGETUZA REGIA – THE MOST ACCURATE CALENDAR OF ANCIENT EUROPE (SARMISEGETUZA REGIA)

If you have decided to make a journey throughout the ancient history of Romania, the first thing you must go is Costeşti, the near Hunedoara, some 43 kilometers far, a distance that is easily ported by car, and from there on foot to Sarmizegetusa – the most important Dacian fortress.

What you must know before you see it for yourselves is that, between around 100 B.C.  and 100 A.D., Sarmisegetusa was a true megalopolis. It stretched for dozens of hectares and was protected by a ring of fortresses located on the surrounding hills. It was built on a terraced hill by the mysterious Dacians, the same way the Inca tribes terraced their mountains, but only a thousand years later. The amount of stone brought to these hills in order to build those amazing walls and fortresses around is greater than the volume of stone in the pyramid of Cheops. The stone was brought from quarries at 50-60 kilometers, the most plausible version states that the stone was brought during wintertime with the help of the the sledges. Stone blocks weight from 200 kilograms to several tons each.

The Dacian treasures are legendary. After the wars against the Roman Empire that took place between 105 and 106 A.D., Emperor Trajan brought to Rome enormous quantities of gold (165 tons) and silver (331 tons). The figures vary, but there were public facilities for 123 days and Roman citizens were exempt from taxes for a year.

Most experts say that the Romans did not find the greatest treasure of the Dacians, which luckily still remains buried in the area. It may be in Mount Godeanu, which guards Sarmisegetusa towards the north. The Solar Clock from the Altar – the best known and popularized in Sarmisegetusa – points directly towards north and Mount Godeanu. It is also possible that the treasure might have been moved. The excavations have continued in the area, but nothing of any formal research. The state is trying hard to stop the antique  “poachers” from continuing seeking out and selling various artifacts in the area. Recently, the staggering gold mold has been found by  historians and archeologists.

You can park your car next to the camping in Costeşti and start walking at a brisk pace towards Sarmizegetusa in the direction of the plate indicating 18 kilometers. These 18 kilometers can be driven in full drive, but if you insist going through this route without a car, admiring and enjoying the little surprises that this beautiful scenery has to offer – like birds, fruits and many other delights – the trip will be even more exciting.

Just followed the path of the car to the town nearby, although you can even get there by bike, because the road is easy, rather flat, with a single slope near the western gate of the town. Arriving at the destination you are going to be greeted by a map of this tourist attraction with some inspired additions made by other tourists.

The ruins are well maintained and well preserved, but the actual place is quite deserted in terms of tourism; no guide plates or informative point, of any other info place where you could find a flyer or information in addition to the above map, however there are numerous signs that warn you that “It is forbidden climbing on monuments”. As you’ve probably guessed, the entry is free and the trail traversing the city is at leisure. Make sure you have enough water supplies in your backpack, as an 18 kilometer walk will dry you out.

Limestone and andesite sanctuaries seems to serve and séances in addition to their primary role of historical monuments that represent one of the oldest and most accurate calendars and astronomic observatories of mankind.

If you linger among these sanctuaries trying to decipher the solar disk, you will enjoy a great feeling of serenity and calm, surrounded by the green forests and clean air, but remember to get back to your car just in time, as the path will take about four and a half hours.

If you are considering a day trip to a place so full of history, than this place is worth considering. And if you come along with your children, the little ones will enjoy this trip to the area to run and play and is very easily to keep an eye on them. And if you are passionate about collecting pebbles, or picking wild raspberries, blueberries and other such delights, you will certainly love this experience (sic)! 🙂

Photo source:

Picture 1: welcome2romania.wordpress.com; Picture 2: incomemagazine.ro; Picture 3: 360.inp.org.ro; Picture 4: proalba.ro; Picture 5: youtube.com; Picture 6: turism.gov.ro
Sep 21

THE LEANING TOWER OF MEDIAS AND ITS MASONIC SYMBOLS (CETATEA MEDIAŞ)

At the end of its era of glory in the eighteenth century, Medias used to have 19 towers, seven gateways and defensive walls seven meters high, stretching over 2.3 km. A legend speaks of a maze of secret tunnels that would go under the city. Another one says that in Mary’s Tower, one of the four that are still sanding near the parish church, Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned. Beyond the myths, however, the Trumpeters’ Tower is one of the top ten inclined towers in the world.

The History of the Citadel

Medias settlement was mentioned for the first time in a document from 1267. It was the only settlement in the area called a city since 1359, but during the fifteenth century, since 1407 more precisely, it was going to return to the status of fair.

The Turkish incursions in Transylvania between the years 1420 and 1438 led to a sharp economic and demographic decay of Medias. Under the threat of the Turkish invasion, locals began the fortification works of the old core and, later, of the entire city. In the first half of the fifteenth century, the outer walls have been built and together with another five towers joined by belts, equipped with water ditches and guard roads raised to protect the area around the church of Holy Margareta. All these fortifications will bear the title of castle, as first mentioned the archives in 1450. The city has gradually dowry filled with a dark belt, gates and defensive organization supported by the guild. Of these, some were demolished even by the descendants of old the builders, to comply with the requirements of modern urban planning.

The Construction Process During the Ages

In 1477, Medias’s capacity of defense was to be restored by the order of King Matthias Corvinus. He ordered that all inhabitants, regardless of their social position, to participate in this work, but the work itself bigins much later, in 1490. The ensemble around the parish church was also completed entirely. Another fortification was added to the city,  fortified with wooden palisades, coupled with water ditches. These amounted to a total length of 2,360 meters, a thickness of about one meter in height of seven meters. There were three main access gates to the city, fortified with towers. Construction of the new fortress was completed around 1534, a period status of the town changed again into “civitas” that Medias was never going to lose since then. The climax of the fortification process was reached in the eighteenth century, when the city of Medias had 19 towers and bastions, and to the three main gates were added four more secondary gates.

Saint Margaret Church, along with the entire complex of fortifications around it are called “Castle”. The construction was completed apparently in 1488 and is recorded in the chronicle of Georg Soterius. The inside of the church offers a broad set of garments and pictorial iconography, with heraldic keystones, shrines and medieval fonts gathered from neighboring villages. Among the tombstones, here is the ledger of Christian Schesaus, a proeminet cultural figure of Medias.

Under the weight of the new construction, the foundation for the tower gave way and began to lean toward the northwest almost two and a half meters. Now Trumpeters Tower is one of the top ten towers inclined in the world. To stop it from tilting, the teams of architects and engineers have made two consolidation works: first in the years 1927-1930, when they mounted a belt of concrete to a height of 14 meters, and second in 1976  and 1977, with another belt eight meters long. In 1880, on the tower there was mounted a watch equipped with four weights, 100 kilograms each, that keep the mechanism working.

The Bells Tower, also called the Gate Tower, is located on the western side of the fortification. On the top floor the church bells are placed, the oldest having been imprinted in the year 1449.

The School Tower is located in the north-west, embedded in the school building.

Ropemakers’ Tower is characterized by sobriety, elegance and proportionality. The last level of the tower is provided with a series of throwing holes. In the nineteenth century, the tower got the moniker of “the Fat Tower” where the Saxon community store their smoked bacon.

Mary’s Tower stands out from other towers thanks to the roof of its desk. The access level contains a beautiful painting dating from the late fifteenth century. It is considered that the room served as a chapel for the service of the dead during the epidemics.

Tailors Tower is located on the south side. Inside the high walls, Medias retains some of Masonic symbols: owl, pound, the twins, chrysalis, the square hammer and the compass, the ivy, the poppy, the eagle, the rosa-croce, the octogoans and the seeing eye, just to mention a few of the symbols found in the citadel.

The mysteries of Medias are supprted mostly by the few public information related to its history. One says that in the city there is a labyrinth of tunnels; another is related to Mary’s Tower. It is said that the prison tower, Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned for four hours. Even the grapes in the vine heraldry of the city has its legend: the goldsmiths’ guild had been put up to three bunches of grapes made of gold to hide them in places known onlh by them. The Myth of the Ggolden Grapes turned many adventurers into treasure hunters, but without succeeding.

Of the total of 2,360 meters of defensive walls from the early eighteenth century, the main three gates, four secondary gates and 19 towers and bastions, 1,845 meters of fortifications are still standing, including the towers and 11 bastions.

The leaning Tower, the covered staircase, the old buildings full of Masonic symbols and legends that combines mystical beauty of the past, make Medias an ideal place for a return to the medieval past of Transylvania.

Every year, Medias is the host of a popular and famous Medieval Festival, so you have one more reason to come and visit.

Photo source:

Picture 1: mirceahodarnau.ro; Picture 2: vacantaesoterica.blogspot.ro; Picture 3: vasile-antipa.blogspot.ro; Picture 4: vasile-antipa.blogspot.ro; Picture 5: vasile-antipa.blogspot.ro; Picture 6: cavalerintaramea.ro; Picture 7: turism-blog.ro
Sep 06

THE FORTIFIED CHURCH IN BIERTAN, THE PLACE OF REFUGE OF THE PRINCE OF WALES (BIERTAN)

Those who visit Transylvania, and especially the fortified churches in the middle of the country will not bypass a village that has become famous in recent years, mainly due to Prince Charles, who visited her in thick lines and has promoted it as: Biertan – a place so beautiful that feels like a visual storytelling that inspires anyone to pack one’s bag and follow the road towards the legendary fortified church.

Located in the northern county of Sibiu, between Medias and Sighisoara, Biertan was first mentioned for the first time in the documents beginning with 1283, as a Saxon settlement. Traditionally, as the years pass, the city has developed an administrative organization that places the church in the center of the rows of houses, which seem like a fortification belt around it. Built in the late Gothic style, on a hill, between 1490 and 1520, the church is preserved almost perfectly, being one of the best preserved of the fortified churches in Transylvania among the circa 300 in number, that have been built during the 15th and 16th centuries.

The main part of the medieval complex is the church itself, one large, comprising three halls equal height edifice that is very impressive and harmoniously built. The altar was made by master architects from Nuremberg and Vienna, being the largest in Transylvania, with its 28 painted panels. The pulpit is carved in stone and one of the most interesting elements of the building is the door of the sacristy, built in 1515, which features a unique closing (it has no less than 19 locks!), and is the winner of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. The organ dates from 1869 and is the work of renowned Carl Hesse of Vienna. Inside, there can also be admired the valuable pews painted in the studio master Johannes Reichmuth from Sighisoara in the early 16th century, together with the oriental rugs or flags that belonged to the guild of Biertan.

The complex near the church embodies a clock tower, the Catholic Tower (symbol of religious tolerance), the Mausoleum Tower (where the graves of the prelates are located), the Bastion Tower Prison (or room reconciliation, where they those who wanted to divorce were imprisoned in order to make a truce), the Tower Hall, and bastion.

The patriarchal atmosphere of Biertan bears the memory of the 1,600 Germans who lived here in the 70’s. Biertan is no longer being considered today a Saxon village but, ironically, here takes place the meeting of the Transylvanian Saxons almost every year. If you want to find accommodation in Biertan, the most likely solution at hand is the Unglerus Pension / Medieval resort), located at the foot of the hill on which the church stands, and that includes a restaurant and a wine cellar.

Photo source:

Picture 1: viatransylvania.com; Picture 2: fetede10.ro; Picture 3: watcher.ro; Picture 4: discovertarnavamare.org; Picture 5: eurotv.md; Picture 6: travelchannel.com; Picture 7: romaniatravel.com
Aug 19

A PIECE OF JEWELRY IN HATEG, ROMANIA: DENSUS CHURCH (BISERICA DENSUȘ)

A road in Hateg County does not mean only the bison reservation or the famous Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Well, maybe if you go to Hateg and want to visit something, the two objectives above will be rightly top the list. However, remember that the area has one of the most beautiful churches in Romania, so after you pass Hateg swerve out of the way on a distance of 10 kilometers and reach the village of Densus; you will be amazed of what you will discover.

You find the church very easily once you get there. You enter the gate (is should always be open, if not, you can call a neighbor to bring the key), climb the stairs which goes across a small orchard which is  prolonged in a cemetery and you will immediately notice the old architectural gem arising beautifully towards the sky – a place of worship dating since the dawn of Medieval times. If you’re lucky enough to get to Densus in a sunny day, you will notice immediately the beautiful contrast between the old walls and the blue sky. The church has a blurry history: it looks like a mausoleum that was initially raised by the Romans in honor of General Longinus Maximus, who perished in the battle against the Dacians. Other versions talk about the fact that this place would have been a place which housed a temple even before the arrival of Roman legions. Recent discoveries reveal that the church of Densus has only about 800 years old, dating from the 13th century.

The first thing that strikes you when you get near it is the material of construction. the church seems made of heterogeneous pieces. Polished stone dominates, but at its base there are the supporting Roman columns and vertical boulders (materials from Sarmizegetusa) – and you would think that at the construction there were more artists who have contributed, considering the different styles and different ideas; however, the entire result is superb and one of a kind. It is true that the building was restored in 2000, but wisely it does not live you this impression it any second; the patine of time is very obvious and it adds a lot to its charm. The entry is free and the priest seems a great and kind man, we learned that he had opposed the visitation fee. Sunday sermons are still kept at the church, which made it famous and people started writing about it and it’s probably true that the Densus Church is the oldest church in Romania where sermons have been taking place for such a long time.

The interior is narrower than you could imagine, simplicity is the essential word: four central columns, supported by huge slabs where you can admire numerous old inscriptions. On one wall there is a painting on a blue background, which is dating from the first half of the 15th century, signed simply with the name “Stefan”. But what is truly great about this place is the atmosphere that envelops the surroundings. An incredible feeling of peace is veiling you from the moment you climb the first  stairs and, as you cover the church with your gaze and surround it with your steps and enter inside the edifice, you abandon your previous thoughts that kept you connected to the contemporary everyday stress of the reality and get back to a forgotten time of still peace and atemporal serenity. All these things make the little church of Densus a real jewel of Hateg County.

Photo source:

Picture 1: panoramio.com; Picture 2: ro.wikipedia.com; Picture 3: panoramio.com; Picture 4: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 5: medievistica.ro; Picture 6: dan.romascanu.net; Picture 7: adevarul.ro
Jul 14

THE UNDISCOVERED CASTLES OF ROMANIA (IV)

In this part of our journey among the legendary castles of Romania we will visit the famous Dracula’s castle, a place which has been the source of inspiration for many writers and movie directors. Ironically, this place has only been visited once by Vlad the Impaler, the famous historical figure who is as the base of the fictional character – the blood-thirsty vampire.

But let us see what this is all about!

Bran Castle, the place where Dracula actually never lived! In 1211, the Teutonic Knights belonging to a Catholic order founded by German crusaders in Palestine in the late twelfth century receive a gift from King Andrew II of Hungary for defending the southeastern border of Transylvania against the attacks of nomad invaders coming from the far-east; that lace was the beautiful and picturesque Barsa district. Teutons raises a fortress at Bran but in the year 1226 they are driven out of there by the locals. This is the first official mention of Bran castle, which will rise after the document issued by King Louis I of Hungary (in 1377) that gives the Saxons seated in the surroundings of Brasov the right to build a new stone castle on their own money and expense.

Over the following years, the castle was used as a strategic base by Sigismund of Luxemburg, who gave it to the Romanian prince Mircea cel Batran in 1407. About two decades years later, the castle became the property of the Crowned King of Hungary, who had to fortify it, expand it and, in 1498, rent it to the leaders of Brasov. Also in the 15th century – more precisely in the year 1459 -, Iancu of Hunyad has commissioned Vlad Tepes to defend the pass to Transylvania by guarding the entrance to this city – which is why the myths about “Count Dracula” have occurred; however, it seems that Vlad Tepes never actually lived at Bran Castle.

On the 1st of December 1920, the castle was donated to Queen Mary as a symbol of gratitude for the contribution to the Great Union of 1918. The Queen of the castle had declared it as one of her favorite places, and under her personal care, Bran has lived one of its most glorious eras since its construction. In 1938, Princess Ileana receiver the castle on testamentary rights, but shortly after, the royal family is to be banished from the country and the castle became the property of the communist state. Continuously degrading, Bran was closed to the public during 1987 – 1993. It was then returned to the touristic circuit and currently it belongs to Dominic von Habsburg, the heir of Princess Ileana. After the handover, the castle was stripped of the most important pieces becoming quite austere. The furniture was moved by the Ministry of Culture and the rooms were decorated with pieces belonging to the owners, but its charm is not diminished, as the amazing architecture and the inner yard and the lovely fountain in the center of it preserve the timeless beauty of this place so heavily charged with history and myths.

You can visit it any time and you can enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, which gets a different hue depending of the season: from bright green during the warm season, to rusty-yellowish shades, during fall and if you necessarily want to feel that horror movie shiver down your spine, you can visit it in winter time, when the leafless trees cast a gloomy and somber appearance over the landscape.

Note that on each Halloween, there are theme parties where you are supposed to have a vampire suit, or at least a set of fake teeth, so enjoy your time at a glad of delicious boiled Romanian wine!

Photo source:

Picture 1: 4x4-tours.com; Picture 2: timpul.md; Picture 3: hotelalpin.ro; Picture 4: infotravelromania.ro; Picture 5: camitravel.com; Picture 6: transylvaniantouring.co.uk.
Jul 11

THE UNDISCOVERED CASTLES OF ROMANIA (II)

We are continuing our travels through the castles of Romania and today we will talk about two such edifices – one in the heart of Moldova and the other in Transylvania -, both of them bearing a very interesting and vast history and a fate that resembles the cycle of the mythical Phoenix Bird: from grace to decay, and then back to grace.

Castle Sturdza, Miclauseni Village, Iasi

Located 65 km from Iasi, the capital city of the historic province of Moldova, Miclauseni Village includes a beautiful castle in Gothic style, built between 1880 and 1904 by George and Maria Sturza, on the site of an old mansion. During the First World War, the castle was transformed into a military hospital, where Maria Ghica and Ecaterina Cantacuzino – the daughter of George Sturdza – were helping the wounded from the position of nurses. Elena remained for a while to manage and take care of the castle up until 1944, when she was forced to leave because of the war.

The castle used to keep valuable collections of documents, medieval costumes, jewelry, paintings, weapons and books – about 60,000 volumes, some of them extremely rare. Unfortunately, in the winter of 1944, with the stationing of Germans prisoners in the castle, many books have been used as fuel for stoves, others were sold and used for packaging goods and some of the remaining ones were saved and safely submitted to Iasi, or sold to the Central University Library in Bucharest.

After 1947, Ecaterina Cantacuzino donated the Castle to the Diocese of Roman, towards the establishment of a place of worship. But the monastery was disbanded after a few years of communist rule, when the castle was nationalized and converted into military warehouse until 1960. Throughout times, several fires have burned the old furniture and the castle walls contributing to its state of degradation, but it was brought back to its original state, becoming an elegant and imposing edifice.

Owned by the Moldova and Bucovina Metropolitan, the Sturdza Castle was reopened and introduced into the touristic circuit after 10 years of restoration.

Castle Pekri Radak, Ozd Village, Mures

A castle whose origins remain in darkness, which allegedly it was built in the tradition of Renaissance before 1705 (some sources state the year 1682) and rebuilt in 1732, by General Lorincz Pekre who participated in the anti-Habsburg uprising led by Francis Rákóczi II, between 1703 and 1711. Set on fire by the Austrian soldiers, the castle was rebuilt by Radak Adam, the son-in-law of Pekre Radak. In the first decades of the 20th century, the owners of this castle were Baron Ianos Kodradshein and his wife, Ilona Teleki, who have been forced to leave the country in 1945 after the nationalization program. The castle become state property and was turned into the headquarters of the local Cooperative of Agricultural Production and house of culture. After 1989 it was returned to the daughter of Ilona Teleki, who donated it to the Christian Bonus Pastor Foundation, which leased the property for 99 years, coordinating the restoration process, as well, which continues until today.

Photo source

Picture 1: iasi4u.ro; Picture 2: melidoniumm.wordpress.com; Picture 3: romania-redescoperita.ro; Picture 4: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 5: mirceaturdean.blogspot.ro; Picture 6: turismistoric.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

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 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.