Archive for the ‘Romania’ Category

Oradea

Oradea

Oradea, as all western Romanian cities, during its history get under the rule of different countries – Hungary, Ottoman empire and Austria. The influences of this changes are visible today. Due to its military importance, in 12th century there was built a citadel, which is now listed on a UNESCO World Heritage List.
After a great fire in 18th century, a lot of Oradea building was reconstructed in new manner – secessionist. Vieneese architect Franz Anton Hillebrandt create in Oradea a atmosphere of central – european city. One of his projects was Bishop’s Palace, amazing, monumental building, which now houses Museum of the Crisana Region.
On the warmer days, the best way to view the city is from one of cafés located on a banks of Crisu Repede river.

Satu Mare and Negresti-Oas

satu mare

The name of Satu Mare means literally „Big village” and come from medieval chronicles from 10th century. During the history, it changed a rulers several times, to Hungarians, Ottomans and Habsburgs, and now it is still a border city, located only 20 minutes from hungary. in 18th and 19th century this localisation cause fast expansion, aspecially after building the one of themost important railway lines of that time.
On a central square of the city, Piata Libertatii, is located one of the city landmarks – seccessian Dacia Hotel. Other interesting buildings are 47 meters hidr firemen’s tower, the old city hall and military barracks. As a testimony of a cultural diversity, the city has four churches – Roman catholic cathedral, Orthodox Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Hungarian reformed church, calledChain church, and the synagogue.

North from Satu Mare lies land called Tara Oasuli. The central city of this rural country is Negresti-Oas, where is located regional museum. Large ethnographic colletction contain also open air part, where can be seen the work of widmill or a smithy. For those, who have more time, the longer visit in a nearby villages is recommended.

Timisoara

timisoara

Placed in a very west of Romania, Timisoara has very central-european character. Secessionist palaces, city greenery and cosmopolitan atmosphere makes Timisoara named Little Vienna. The newest history of a city also brings important moments, as Timisoara was the place of first anti-communist protests. The details of the events are showed in The Memorial Museum of 1989 Revolution.
It is hard to say, which one of old town squares is the center of the city. The Victory Square (Piata Victoriei), houses Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and National Theater, Union Square (Piata Unirii) has two cathedrals – Romano-catholic and Serbian Orthodox. Both, as well as Freedom Square (Piata Libertati) are surrounded by magnificent secessionist and baroque palaces. Interested in art nouveau style has to visit some of residential districts – Jesefin, Elisabetin or Fabric.
The oldest building in Timisoara is Huniade Castle (Castelul Huniazilor), built in 15th century. Reconstructed by Habsburgs, houses now a Historical and Archaeological part of Banat Museum.

Tulcea and Danube Delta

tulcea and danube

Tulcea is the best point, to start exploring Danube Delta, amazing biosphere reservation. But before someone jump into wildlife in uncommon concentration, it is worth to see what this former Dacian site can offer.
Settled in 7th century BC, was named Aegyssus, from the name of first ruler. Up to these times dates archeological site – Parcul Monumentul Independentei. Farther information can be get in the History and Archeology Museum. In the city works also Art museum, Folk Art and Ethnographic museum, with wide collection of household items and traditional costumes, and the obligatory point – Danube Delta Natural History Museum. Get the knowledge about flora, fauna and the lives of Danube fishermen, before you will see it in natural environment.
Through the Danube Delta leads three main arms, named of the cities at its ends – Chilia Arm, which is the border with Ukraine, Sulina Arm, the shortest one, and Sfantu Gheorghe. All routs pass by fishermen’s villages, some of them represents culture of Old Believers – part of orthodox church, persecuted in Russia from 17th century.
As a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, the Danube Delta covers a unusual variety of species. Almost 3,500 species of animals, include 300 species of birds. With a largest number of white pelicans and Dalmatian pelicans, nest of glossy ibis and red-breasted goose, Danube Delta is a paradise for birds watchers. For those, who like fishing there is also such opportunity, in one of many Delta’s lakes.

Murfatlar and Adamclisi

murfatlar

Murfatlar cave complex, up to 2007 known as Basarabi cave complex, is a christian monastery complex located in a chalk caves. Used between 9th and 11th century, Murfatlar complex contains remains of six churches, some cellars and tombs. On the walls was founded texts in different languages and alphabets – old Slavic Glagolitic and Cyrillic, Greek alphabet and Turic Runes. In the pictures of the ship, some want to see Viking’s longship – drekar. It is quite sure, that Vikings passed by this lands in their way to Byzantium, but the drawings may refer to any other Black Sea ship.
In spite of cave complex, Murfatlar is famous also of its vineyards. Podgoria Murfatlar, laying in the suburbs of a town, has a small museum and offers wine testing.

Nearby village Adamclisi houses monument from the beginning of 2nd century. The Tropaeum Traiani, “the monument of Traian victory”, and it commemorates victory over Dacians. The majority of a monument is reconstructed, but the foundation is original.

Constanta

constanta2

Former Greek and Roman settlement Tomis, changed its name in honour to emperor Constantine. This port on the Black Sea coast was important in times of Genoese Merchants, Ottoman Empire left here some eastern influences. At the beginning of 20th century, king Carol transformed Constanta into popular health resort, but after the second world war more important was industrialisation, which made Constanta the biggest port on the black sea.
From the Roman times dates remains of cities commercial centre and public baths. Only one third of colourful mosaic last to our times, but its still impressive. The mosaic exhibition is a part of history and archaeology museum, located nearby. Huge collection of Greek and Roman vessels, jewellery and sculptures is completed with artefacts from later times, up to nowadays.
Two buildings in Constanta was build in honour for different cultures, important in the history of city. Built in 1860 Farul Genovez, is a lighthouse commemorate Genoese merchants, trading in Constanta in 13th century. The second one, Mahmudyie mosque, was a gift from king Carol, to the community of Muslims, and serve them till today. The pride of beautiful interior is a huge carpet, made in Istanbul and covering whole floor, and from the fifty meters high minaret spreads the view on the city and the sea.

Iasi

iasi

Iasi was a capitol city of Moldavia and even shortly of whole Romania. It houses the oldest university in Romania and the biggest number of churches. Now this historical city is again gaining the role of political and cultural center of northern Romania.
The most famous landmark of Iasi is Palace of Culture, impressing noegothic building placed on a ruins of medieval royal palace. Finished in 1925, it houses four of city museums – Moldavian History Museum, Museum of Art, Ethnographic Museum and Museum of Science and Technology. On the same square stands st. Paraschiva Metropolital cathedral, the biggest orthodox church in Romania. But the most beautiful church in Iasi, is the Church of Three Hierarchs. Subtile stonework, called stone embroidery, was probably covered with gold, silver and precious stones.

Suceava

suceava

Suceava was shortly, from the end of 14th century, till 1565, the capitol of Moldova, and from these times came most of cities monuments.
In 1388 Petru Musat built the fortress, which was later twice rebuilt and expanded. Stephen the Great enclosed it with higher walls and moat, but it was not enough, to protect from Turkish army. In 1673 citadel was blown up by a Ottomans, and today we can only sightsee the ruins, located on a hill with beautiful view of the city.
From the rule of Petru Musat came also the oldest church in Suceava, Mirauti Church. It was the place of crowning Moldavian princes, including Stephen the Great. But the most interesting church in the city is a St. George’s Church, built in 1514 – 1552. On the exterior walls remains some of murals, in the style similar to other painted monasteries, and the church houses relics of St. John the New.
As befits the centre of Bucovina, Suceava has interesting ethnographic museum, placed in the Princely Inn, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Outside Suceava there is also outdoor museum with examples of Bucovinian rural houses, church and windmill.

Bucovina Monasteries

Bucovina monastery

Bucovina a hilly region in the northeastern part of Romania, which name means “the land of a beech”. But apart from natural sites, Bucovina host one of Romanian most beautiful monuments. The painted monasteries, seven of them on a UNESCO world heritage list, are unique example of exterior decorations in Byzantine style. The whole surface of churches walls is covered by frescos, presenting biblical scenes and figures. Created as a “poor man’s bible”, the role of the paintings was to teach illiterate people religion.
The oldest of the monasteries is also the most popular. Voronet Monastery, is known as a Sistine chapel of the east, and dominating colour of paintings is sometimes called Voronet blue. It was built in 1478, after victory over Turks by a Moldavia prince Stephen the Great.
The last one, Sucevita, come to being at the end of 16th century. The work was never finished, and the western walls remains undecorated.

Wooden Churches of Maramures

church

 

Maramures is non – industrial region, known for its vivid tradition and craftsmanship. People living between mountains and forests, came to mastery in a wooden architecture, carpentry and carving. The most amazing buildings are wooden churches, located in the valleys of rivers Mara, Cosau, Isa and Viseu. The eight of them are placed on a UNESCO world heritage list.
The oldest of them is the Church on the Hill, in Ieud. Built in 1364 is the oldest church in whole Maramures. Inside there are 15th century murals, and outside is the Way to the Cross, which consist fourteen icons illustrating last hours of Jesus life.
Other churches came from 17th century, like Budesti (1643), Poienile Izei (1604-1632) and  Rogoz (1663) and 18th century – Surdesti (1767), Plopis (1796-1798), Deseti (1770) and Barsana (1720). All of them represent so called “Gothic style of Maramures”, with steep roofs and high towers. Their interiors are beautifully painted, mainly by local artists. Murals shows biblical scenes, the most popular motive is the Last Judgement.