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Romania

A COUNTRY TO ENJOY

 

Legacies of a Troubled but Inspiring Heritage

 

 Legends like that of Count Dracula or the real history of Romania are testimonies of such an exciting past. Such a heritage is to be found in the high-roofed wooden churches of Transylvania. Admire the 16th century artistic treasures of the Bucovina monasteries, or listen spellbound to George Enescu's "Romanian Rhapsody" with brilliantly inspired from folklore themes. The most decisive influence on this country's development was that of ancient Rome.

  Music and traditional dress                          

are part of the Romanian life

 

Six Hundred Thousand Years of History

 

Signs of human life are to be found in the Carpathian mountains since around 600.000 BC. Although there had been Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast since the 6th century BC, the first centralised kingdom was of a Thracian people called the Dacians.

This Dacian civilisation reached its heyday under Decebalus, in the first                                    century AD, but he was finally defeated by the Emperor Trajan's                                    Roman legions in 106. Roman colonisation and inter-marriage                                   followed and the resulting population became Christian. In 271 the Legions                                    withdrew and 1,000 years of sporadic invasion ensued, followed by several                                    centuries of Turkish and Russian aggression. The Daco-Roman                                   civilisation and Romania's Latin inheritance survived.

 

The Rise of the Principalities

 

"Romanians" were first mentioned in documents in the 1160s, soon after which Wallachia and Moldavia emerged as principalities. A succession                                    of noble leaders held of the Turks, namely Prince Mircea the Old, Prince                                    Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) and Stephen the Great of Moldavia, who built close                                    to 50 monasteries and churches and moulded Moldavian culture. In the 16th                                    century Michael the Brave united all these three provinces and chased away                                    the Turks. In many respects the 15th and 16th centuries were a golden age of                                    architecture and art.

 

Emergence of a Nation

 

After Michael the Brave's death in 1601, two and a half centuries of conflicts followed, during which a Romanian sense of nationhood developed little by little. In 1859 the two principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia united in the name of Romania as of 1862. The country became a monarchy in 1881, but it was only in 1918 that union took place between the three Romanian provinces.

After 1945 the Russians deposed the king and imposed communism. The                                                                revolution of December 1989 brought Romania firmly back into democratic                                                                 Europe. The most obvios result is that the age-old friendliness and generosity                                                                 of Romanians have been asserted again, as visitors will soon appreciate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romanian village architecture

 is imaginative and colourful                                                                                               

                                                                                              

Exquisite churches and monasteries adorn

Bucovina's countryside

         

Inspiring Cultural Diversity

 

Such a past was bound to create a great range of artistic and cultural achievements. Broadly, three main strands are discernible and anyone travelling across Romania can see splendid examples of them all.

 

Country-style Crafts and Cuisine

 

Romania's traditional village architecture, crafts and cuisine represent a living culture of unique value. Look for the finely carved doorways of Transylvanian houses, the beautiful wooden churches, the variety of regional costumes and the simplicity of country artefacts. Ceramics and pottery, woven rugs, icons, and woodcarvings are accompanied by local cuisine and wines. Cooking is an art, too, and Romanians make good use of their mushrooms and vegetables, their pork, chicken and beef, sometimes in spicy dishes with an oriental flavour.

Princely Patronage

 

The noble families of Romania were great builders and patrons. There are                                numerous medieval castles, some of which are like taken from fairytales:                                Bran, others fancifully French such as Corvin, while Renaissance and                                Baroque styles were adapted to a specifically Romanian pattern the                               late 17th century ruler of Wallachia, Constantin Brancoveanu.

 

Modern Art and Music

 

In the 19th and 20th centuries nationhood was matched by an outpouring f artistic talent. The playwright Eugen Ionesco, the sculpturer Constantin Brancusi, and the composer George Enescu, are just three outstanding examples. Their talent, and that of their successors, is appreciated throughout the country in concerts, operas, galleries and exibitions. Romania's cultural heritage is a living one both in fine art and folk art.

 

                                                            

           

 

                                            

Colourful local festivals                                                          take place every year

 

                                                                   

 

 

 

Constantin Brancusi celebrated sculpturer

 

The monumental works of Brancusi (1876-1957) are famous and well represented in international collections, namely in the Museum of Modern Art in New - York.

Visiting Romania gives you the chance to see his work in the marvellous setting of a park in Targu Jiu, near Hobita, his home village, in the north of Oltenia. Here, among trees and lawns, there are works such as "The Gate                                   of the Kiss", "The Endless Column", "The Alley of Chairs" and "The Table of Silence" displayed as Brancusi wanted them to be. Targu Jiu is in a spectacular country, too. If the town is not on your itinerary-then put it on!

                                      

 
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