alexandru-ioan-cuzaIn 1848, like the majority of the European countries, Moldova, Tara Romaneasca and Transylvaniaregele-carol went through a revolution. The goals of the revolutionaries were to obtain the independence of Moldova and Tara Romaneasca and the national emancipation of Transylvania. These goals remained unaccomplished. All the same, the year 1859 is an important reference for Romanians, because it marked the unification of Moldova and Tara Romaneasca under the rule of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. During the war that took place between 1877 and 1878, under the rule of Carol de Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Romania conquested its independence that meant this state had equal rights as every other suveran state.

ceausescuThe conquest of the independence in 1877 had also a moral semnification because it rised the free conscience of the Romanian nation, and anticipated the Big Union on the 1st of December 1918, after the first world war in which Romania took part. The 1st of December is also Romania’s national day. Romania also took part in the Second World War, but some of its territories like the northern Bucovina, Basarabia, Hateg and the south of Dobrogea were lost. In 1947 the Russian troupes occupied Romania, and three years later the communist regime was installed. The communist regime was removed in December 1989, during the revolution when Nicolae Ceausescu was shot. Since then, Romania is a democratic state that gained on the 1st of January 2007 its status as a European state by entering in the European Union.

burebistaThe territory of Romania that we all know today was occupied in the year 200burebista-2 before Christ by a tribe called “the Dacians” that belonged to the big Thracian family. Under the rule of Burebista (82 – 44 b. Cr.), the first centralized state of the Dacians was formed. It was called Dacia. After the death of Burebista, who was killed by one of his servants, the state was divided, but it was reunited by the year 87 under the rule of Decebal. During Decebal’s rule, Dacia went through two wars with the Romans, and its territory was conquest by emperor Traian in 106. Years later, because of the successive invasions of the German tribes, the Roman administration had retired from Dacia. Many other barbarian invasions followed.

mihai-viteazuIn the 13th Century some little pre-state formations were created, and anticipated the birth of the Principals of Moldova, Tara Romaneasca and Transylvania. These three Principals had many battles with the Ottoman Empire. In an attempt to protect these Principals, and to create a strong state that clouds withstand the ottoman fury, ruler Mihai Viteazul united the three Principals into one state by the year 1600. This union was undone a year later, after Mihai Viteazul was killed by general Basta. At the end of the 17th Century, Hungary and Transylvania become part of the Hapsburg Empire, after they defeated the Turks. In 1718 an important part of Tara Romaneasca called Oltenia was incorporated in the Austrian Empire. A few years later the Austrian Empire also occupied the north-east of Moldova, called Bucovina, while Basarabia was occupied by Russia in 1812.

Bad news for ghosts, spirits and vampires hunters. No Dracula here.
But good news for bloodthirsty rulers’ fans. We have Vlad Tepes. He was a Romanian ruler in the 1400 whose main prerogative was honesty. Any theft or any other kind of infringement had the same capital punishment: impaling. The blood thirst, the original name, Drăculea, and the legends that described him as a cruel, heartless ruler who had a thing for drinking blood easily inspired Bram Stoker to come up with the modern mythical character, Dracula. You may also be familiarized to the Bran Castle or “Count Dracula Castle”. Funny thing is Vlad Tepes never lived there, but that wouldn’t make it less scary if you visit it at night. Below, a funny sample of “before and after”.
dracula

You can’t argue that one of the Romanian stereotypes evolves around the communist regime. Ceausesu and Casa Poporului are one of the first things that pops in the mind of a foreign fellow when visiting our country. Not to mention the dozen of tourists flashing their cameras in Piata Constitutiei with no intention of catching a glimpse of our funny looking lad, Traian Basescu, but with great hope of catching the start of the Great House’s Endless Marathon. Communism, at its time, wasn’t exactly milk and honey for Romania, (and when I say that, Romanians know best I’m speaking literally and not in idioms). Here are some “leftovers” of those: the big, solid, cold concrete buildings that seem to give a kind of “ quelque chose” to our country when mixed with the old dim buildings and the new-age ones, forming a really interesting architectural pot-pourri, the funny assertive songs and anthems or the colourful uniforms of the young pioneers of those times that seem to come in handy for the Romanian modern art. If not convinced, wait for the Romanian Peasant Museum exposition, “Cantarea Romaniei” (or Praising Songs for Romania in a faulty translation), that’s going to take place somewhere in March, meanwhile here’s a sample of reminiscences.

comunism

delta_dunarii_09171439Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest and best preserved in Europe. It is a wildlife paradise, a very big number of species living here, especially birds. You can visit it for fishing, for admiring the beauty of the nature, the channels, rivers, islands and lakes existing here. You can choose day trips or boat excursions from Tulcea, which has good hotels and specialized restaurants in preparing fish dishes!

Medieval Townssighisoara-clock-tower
Medieval towns are a powerful attraction in Transilvania, due to their beautiful landscapes, churches, towers, and citadels. It can be seen here a strong fingerprint of the Saxons who lived in these areas hundreds of years ago, and it has been preserved a traditional spirit, which gives the place a special charm. Some of these medieval towns are Sighisoara, Brasov. Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca.

curtea de argesThe painted Monasteries
The monasteries from the northern part of Romania are real masterpieces. They were built in the 15th and 16th century, and their paintings from both exterior and interior sides reveal scenes from the Bible in order to make people understand the facts through images. The most representative monasteries are Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita, and Voronet.

Spas
Romania has some very good spas , appropriate for those who have medical problems but also for those who want to relax in a quiet place or to take care of them throughout natural methods. Some of the ideal locations to do that are: Baile Felix, Bazna, Eforie Nord, Mangalia, Ocna Sibiului, Sovata.baile%20felix_2

Romania has a lot of famous castles, symbols of different periods in history, or symbols of great leaders, which today are an important cultural inheritance.
branAmong these castles we can mention Bran, recognized as a mysterious place, where Count Dracula lived some time ago. The imposing towers and turrets make the atmosphere strange and the mystery deeper. Nowadays, the castle is an open museum to tourists, displaying art and objects owned by Queen Mary, whose royal residence it was in the 20 th century.
Another famous castle is Peles, situated at the foot of Bucegi Mountains, in Sinaia. It is a beautiful building, with a new-Renaissance German architecture, and it was a summer royal residence for King Carol until the middle of the 20th century.peles