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Tourist guide for your trip in Romania

Romania, the land of contrasts, is a country worth to discover after the years it was hidden behind the wall of communism. Today is a destination rich in mysteries, full of sensations and accessible to all budgets ...

History and legend

Vlad III the Impaler ( Count Dracula)

Elizabeth Bathory

The Romanian lands for many centuries represented a place desired to be conquered by different populations and, therefore, the place where different cultures and ethnic groups met. After the discovery, occurred in 2002 in the cave of Pesterea cu Oase, Romania, of a skeleton from 36,000 years ago (the oldest human remains ever found in Europe with important implications on the knowledge in the field of evolution from homo sapiens sapiens to the modern man) Romania is believed to have been inhabited for at least 60,000 years.

Archaeological research has discovered artifacts realted to Neolithic populations of great skill and also Thracians. These ancient nomads occupied the present Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia, and were named by Roman conquerors Daci (and by Greeks, Gatae). The empire of this population stretched from the Balkan mountains (nowdays Bulgaria) to the East of the Danube in Hungary and Moravia, today Czech Republic. The Romans occupied Dacia for 165 years (106-271 ad) and during this long period drew a lot of gold.. In 271 a.d. Emperor Aurelian decided to withdraw from Dacia giving the territory to different Asian populations. Dobrogea, Moldavia, Transylvania and Wallachia, the historical regions that today constitute Romania, were dominated by the Hungarians, by the Habsburgs and the Turks.

The long history of Romanian territory, always hovering between Christianity and Islam, acknowledges a worldwide recognized character Vlad III, Count Dracula, aka "the Impaler". The appellative "Impaler", Count Dracula, has its origins in 1460 when he impales 1200 Saxons from Brasov for breaking his laws. The Turks ruled the territory for a very long time from the and of 1878 until 1919, when took place the unification of Romania with Transylvania.

After World War I the fertile land of Romania was one of the richest countries in Europe thanks to the export of wheat but the period between the two great wars was marked by anti-Semitic movement, by the birth of the Communist movement and internal struggles for power. We arrive, after World War II, at the Yalta Conference which didn’t spared Romania of disasters. In 1946 the Communists gained, in elections, 80% of the vote, King Michael was exiled, giving way to a period of Communist Government linked to the name of its most important leader Nicolae Ceausescu whose tyranny ended in December 1989.


Transylvania ... rural tourism paradise where nature embraces ancient traditions...

In 1600 Transylvania had 300 Saxon towns and villages on its territory, of which about half are still well preserved, while seven of the numerous fortified churches (Calnic, Darjiu, Valea Viilor, Prejmer, Saschiz and Viscri, Biertan) have been entered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

One of the fathers of modern Romanian painting, Nicolae Grigorescu, during his stay in Paris stimulated the curiosity of his friends and colleagues for a visit to his country, with this sentence: "If you'd only know how beautiful my country is!" Surely the Transylvania is presented nowadays as an open-air museum. Transylvania ... "beyond the forest" is the translation of the name of this region from the Hungarian name Erdély, while the German Siebenbürgen means "seven towns" because of the establishment of seven communities in different cities: Brasov (Kronstadt, the ancient city of the Crown), Sibiu (Hermannstadt, key city of this region and the European capital of Culture 2007 and appointed, by the famous American magazine "Forbes", on seventh place in the ranking among the city's most idyllic and pleasant to live in Europe!), the medieval town of Sighisoara (Schässburg) declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, as weel as the birthplace of Count Dracula, Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg), Medias (Mediasch), Sebes (Mühlbach) and Bistria (Bistritz).

Travel and tourism

Travelling by the length and breadth of Romania made us think about the stereotypes that often there are proposed to us Westerners, by the mass media. The area offers such a wide range of culture and landscape that never ceases to amaze us! Bucharest is not only the city of gray apartment blocks prefabricated, Communist-era legacy, but also a living city with a cultural life of the first order (churches, museums, palaces that made the Paris of the Balkans Bucharest) and the days are never boring. The roads are improved significantly and this means that we can reach easier the touristic attractions. In addition to the large cities the most striking aspect of Romania is the rural life in villages where time passes slowly to the rhythm of ancient rites: the breeding of livestock, plowing even with the help of animals (horses, oxen), hay harvesting, fishing in those areas of the Delta, the art of painting eggs, painting icons on glass and wood, working with wood and iron, and also weaving and spinning.

We can see examples of peasant culture in the museums in Sibiu, Romania (the museum Astra) and Bucharest (the Village Museum). Visiting the ancient Saxon villages (one of many is Viscrì village, one that has attracted the Prince Charles of England, promoter of conservation of cultural and architectural traditions of this area) is a truly unique experience not only for their fortified churches and typical construction of the houses but also for the lives of the people who live there.

The Romanians are very religious and over 80% of the population belongs to the Roman Orthodox Church. It's really interesting to visit various churches, monasteries (the famous ones from Maramures, for example, which belong to the UNESCO World Heritage) and the monastic settlements such as Cernica; also in this case the interest is not due only to the architectural beauty but especially to Orthodox rites, the life of priests and nuns inside.

Art, Culture, Science and Sport

Ilie Nastase (Nasti)

Recognized worldwide as the most famous Impressionist painter, the Romanian Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907) is known for its touching portraits of soldiers that lost the Romanian war of independence. Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was instead the biggest Romanian sculptor whose innovative works caused rumors around the world as its "Endless Column".

In the field of classical music, Romania is linked to the composer of the early 900, George Enescu (1881-1955) while the glory nowadays is belonging to the opera singer Angela Gheorghiu and among the great masters of popular music a name that needs no introduction is Gheorghe Zamfir (b. 1941), virtuoso at the panpipes (famous soundtracks of films and Romanian folk music). Current international star cinema is Maia Morgenstern (b. 1962), who in 2004 she played in the movie "The passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson in the role of Maria. The director Cristian Mungiu wan Palme d'Or (2007) at the Cannes Film Festival for the film “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”. The first Tarzan film interpreter is the actor Johann "Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) who was also the Olympic swimming champion on five occasions in 20 years, is famous for the affirmation:" How can a guy climb trees, say "I Tarzan, you Jane" and earn millions? The public forgives my acting because it knows that I was an athlete. They know I’m not an impostor ". The actor Edward G. Robinson, stage name Emmanuel Goldenberg (1893 – 1973) is famous for his interpretations in the gangster-movie genre and movie-colossal.

Henri Coanda (1886-1972), in 1910 introduced the first jet aircraft (only 7 years after the first flight of the Wright brothers) thus giving rise to the first aircraft with the motor jet in the history of aeronautics.

The biologist and doctor George Emil Palade wan the nobel prize in 1974. The father of citoistologia is Georgios Papanicolaou (Pap test). The biologist and fisiologa Ana Aslan (1897-1988), famous for its geriatric institutes and Gerovital H3 formula (line of anti-aging creams).

The exponent of the first order of the Romanian culture and the playwright Eugen Ionescu (1909-1994), founder of the theatre of the absurd, as a means of alienation of modern life; the nobel prize (1986) for peace Elie Wiesel for "The night" ' Behind me I heard the men usually ask: "where is God? And I felt myself a voice answered:-where is it? Here it is: it's hanging there, to the gallows ... »

The greatest Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889) and last Nobel Prize for literature in 2009, Herta Muller (famous for his novels about living conditions during the Communist period).

The sports heroes known worldwide for their victories are Nadia Comaneci, gymnast that remained in history as the first to have obtained the highest score "10" in an Olympic competition in 1976 at Montreal; also Gheorghe Hagi, Romania's no. 10 soccer and Ilie Nastase, number one in the tennis tournament in 1973 and won 88 tournaments worldwide.

Meeting with Ilie Nastase in Paris during the Roland Garros

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