Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 6, 2022

Exploring Romania

The Wooden Churches of Maramures about 300 wood churches were built over a 200-year period when the foreign rulers of Maramures would not allow people to build long-lasting stone churches. All the churches are mostly Orthodox with a few being Greek Catholic. The churches have tall, slim bell towers and hand-painted murals decorate the interiors.

It is exciting to ride on a steam-powered train through the forests of the Carpathian Mountains along the Vaser River. The Vaser Valley Forestry Railway has been in operation since 1932. It was used to haul logs from the forest to the mill. Visitors enjoy riding these old, narrow gauge trains while enjoying the lovely landscapes going by.

The Danube Delta is the largest preserved river delta in Europe with the largest part being in Romania. This is ideal for bird lovers where birds flock from as far away as Egypt and China to weather out the winter. The willow-lined canals offer a great environment for 300 bird species. There is also wildlife like wildcats, wolves, and boars.

Poiana Brasov is a popular ski resort drawing skiers from all over Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Mountains and offers a combined 25 km of skiing. The resort also hosts competitive alpine skiing and figure skating events.

Corvin Castle is a Medieval Castle built in the Gothic style. It can be accessed by a wooden bridge with a statue of St John of Nepomuk, the patron saint of bridges. A raven wearing a golden ring is a symbol of this 15th-century castle.

The Sucevita Monastery is located in northeast Romania and was built in a mix of the Gothic and Byzantine styles. The front is cylindrical, and it is topped with a conical roof. The back is rectangular and topped with a small tower. Inside the monastery are painted murals from the early 1600s and tomb covers that have been embroidered with silver thread.

Salina Turda is a salt mine dating back to the 17th century. It has been used for everything from a cheese storage center to a bomb shelter in WW II. Amazingly today it has been turned into a sci-fi theme park in Ciuj County. You head down underground about 120 meters and come into a wonderland with an amphitheater, a bowling alley, an underground lake with prow boats, and a Ferris Wheel.

The Transylvanian Alps are also known as the Southern Carpathians. Within these mountains is Mount Modoveanu the highest point in Romania. These rugged mountains have meadows with wildflowers and sheep grazing. They are great for hiking in the summertime and skiing in the winter.

Biertan Fortified Church is located in Biertan and was originally a Catholic church built when the region belonged to Hungary. After the Reformation, it became a Lutheran church. The church was built in the late Gothic style and is one of the largest fortified churches in Romania. It is known for its towers including one used to store food during sieges and the other to imprison husbands who wanted a divorce.

The Plate Mare or Big Square located in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu is surrounded by Medieval buildings. The square was once a cereal market in the early 15th century. The decades later when the Tailors’ Guild was built other buildings followed like a Jesuit church and Brukenthal Palace. The square is used for public gatherings.

Merry Cemetery in the town of Spanta is more like a folk art gallery than an actual cemetery. Here you can see colorful crosses. This tradition began when a 14 year old boy who carved crosses added poems and painted portraits of the deceased on croses. The background is deep blue with other colors symbolizing life, death, and fertility.

Pele Castle sits on a Carpathian hillside. It is a neo-Renaissance castle built by King Carol I who vacationed here in the 1860s. The castle has a fairy tale like appearance. Inside you can see a 4,000 piece weapon collection, and a movie room decorated with frescoes. The first movie ever shown in Romania was aired here.

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