Top Ten Romanian Attractions

Top Ten Romanian Attractions


       Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube. It is within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering the Black Sea, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria. At 238,391 square km (92,043 square mi), Romania is the 9th largest country of the European Union by area, and has the 7th largest population of the European Union with 21.9 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the 6th largest city in the EU with about two million people. The Kingdom of Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of WWI, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until WWII. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania’s territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began to transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, extensive reforms fostered economic recovery and the country joined the European Union on January 1, 2007. Romania is now an upper middle-income country with high human development. Romania joined NATO on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE, as well as the UN. Today,Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President and the Government.

  1. Bucharest
           Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial and financial center of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, lying on the banks of the Dâmbovița River. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents as early as 1459. Since then it has gone through a variety of changes, becoming the state capital of Romania in 1862 and steadily consolidating its position as the center of the Romanian mass media, culture and arts. Its eclectic architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and Art Deco), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of “Little Paris” (Micul Paris). Although many buildings and districts in the historic center were damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes and Nicolae Ceaușescu’s program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom. According to official estimates July 2010, Bucharest proper had a population of 1,942,254. Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area of Bucharest would have a population of 2.33 million people. Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has a broad range of convention facilities, educational facilities, cultural venues, shopping arcades and recreational areas.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Triumphal Arches, Top Ten Soccer Stadiums,,
  2. Timişoara
           Timișoara is the capital city of the Banat region of western Romania. It is also the capital of Timiș County.
  3. Iași
           Iași is the 2nd most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life. The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1564 to 1859, then of the United Principalities from 1859 to 1862 and the capital of Romania from 1916 to 1918. Known as The Cultural Capital of Romania, Iași is a symbol in Romanian history. The historian Nicolae Iorga said “There should be no Romanian who does not know of it.” Still referred to as The Moldavian Capital, Iași is the seat of Iași County and the main economic center of the Romanian region of Moldavia. Home to the first Romanian university and to the first engineering school, it is the 2nd largest university center in the country and accommodates over 75,000 students in 5 public and 7 private universities. The social and cultural life revolves around the Vasile Alecsandri National Theater (the oldest in Romania), the Moldova State Philharmonic, the Opera House, the Tătărași Athenaeum, a famous Botanical Garden (the oldest and largest in Romania), the Central University Library (the oldest in Romania), the high quality cultural centers and festivals, an array of museums, memorial houses, religious and historical monuments.
    Links: Cities,,
  4. Sighişoara
           The Sighișoara Citadel is the old historic center of the town of Sighișoara, built in the 12th century by Saxon colonists under the Latin name Castrum Sex. It is an inhabited medieval citadel that represents an 850 year old testament to the history and culture of the Transylvanian Saxons. Birthplace of Vlad III the Impaler, Sighișoara hosts, every year, a medieval festival where arts and crafts blend with rock music and stage plays. The city marks the upper boundary of the Land of Sachsen. Like its bigger brothers, Sibiu (Hermannstadt – The European Cultural Capital in 2007) and Braşov (Kronstadt), Sighișoara exhibits architecture typical of medieval Germany. During the Communist era, this German area was preserved, and the original architecture is still in place.
    Links: Top Ten Clock Towers,,
  5. Brașov
           Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County. According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania. Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 km north of Bucharest. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the Transylvania region. The city is notable for being the birthplace of the national anthem of Romania and for hosting the Golden Stag International Music Festival.
    Links: Top Ten Music Festivals,,
  6. Churches of Moldavia
    Churches of MoldaviaChurches of Moldavia1Churches of Moldavia2Churches of Moldavia3Churches of Moldavia4Churches of Moldavia5Churches of Moldavia6Churches of Moldavia7Churches of Moldavia8
           The Churches of Moldavia are eight Romanian Orthodox churches in Suceava County, Romania in northern Moldavia, built approximately between 1487 and 1583. They are the Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist in Arbore (1503), Church of the Assumption of the Virgin of the former Humor Monastery (1530), The Church of the Annunciation of the Moldoviţa Monastery (1532), Church of the Holy Rood of Pătrăuţi (1487), Church of St. Nicholas and the Catholicon of the Probota Monastery (1531), Church of St. George in Suceava (1522), Church of St George of the former Voroneţ Monastery (1487), Church of the Resurrection Suceviţa Monastery (1583), Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit Dragomirna Monastery (1609) and the Church of the Transfiguration Slatina Monastery (1554-61).
    Links: Top Ten Churches,,
  7. Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania
    Villages with Fortified Churches in TransylvaniaVillages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania1Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania2Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania4Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania3Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania5
           Saxon and Székely Transylvanian villages were often organized around a fortified church. With its more than 150 well preserved fortified churches of a great variety of architectural styles (out of an original 300 fortified churches), south-eastern Transylvania region in Romania currently has one of the highest numbers of existing fortified churches from the 13th to 16th centuries.
    Links: Churches, Top Ten Clock Towers,,
  8. Wooden Churches of Maramureş
    Wooden Churches of MaramureşWooden Churches of Maramureş1Wooden Churches of Maramureş2Wooden Churches of Maramureş3Wooden Churches of Maramureş4Wooden Churches of Maramureş5Wooden Churches of Maramureş6
           The Wooden Churches of Maramureş in the Maramureş region of northern Transylvania are a group of almost 100 churches of different architectural solutions from different periods and areas. The Maramureş churches are high timber constructions with characteristic tall, slim bell towers at the western end of the building. They are a particular vernacular expression of the cultural landscape of this mountainous area of northern Romania. Its well-preserved wooden villages and churches, its traditional lifestyle, and the local colorful dresses still in use make Maramureş as near to a living museum as can be found in Europe. The wooden churches of the region that still stand were built starting in the 17th century all the way to 19th century. They are a response to a prohibition against the erection of stone Romanian churches. The churches are made of thick logs, some are quite small and dark inside but several of them have impressive measures. They are painted with Biblical scenes, mostly by local painters. The most characteristic features are the tall tower above the entrance and the massive roof that seems to dwarf the main body of the church. Among the most famous churches are Bârsana, Budeşti, Deseşti, Ieud, Plopiş, Poienile Izei, Rogoz and Şurdeşti.
    Links: Churches,,
  9. Bran Castle
    Bran CastleBran Castle1Bran Castle2Bran Castle4Bran Castle3
           Bran Castle, situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula. The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.
    Links: Castles, Top Ten Horror Movies, Top 100 Fictional Villains,,
  10. Danube Delta
    Danube DeltaDanube Delta2Danube Delta1Danube Delta3Danube Delta4Danube Delta5Danube Delta6Danube Delta7Danube Delta8Danube Delta9
           The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania (Tulcea county), while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine (Odessa Oblast). The approximate surface is 4152 km², of which 3446 km² are in Romania. If one includes the lagoons of Razim-Sinoe (1015 km² of which 865 km² water surface), which are located south of the delta proper, but are related to it geologically and ecologically.
    Links: Rivers,,
  11. Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains
    Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie MountainsDacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains1Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains2Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains3Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains4Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains5
           Built in murus dacicus style, the six Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, in Romania, were created in the 1st centuries BC and AD as protection against Roman conquest. Their extensive and well-preserved remains present a picture of a vigorous and innovative ancient civilization. Today, treasure-hunters sometimes search the area, as Romania lacks legislation in this domain. The site includes six fortresses, Sarmizegetusa Regia, Costeşti-Cetăţuie, Costeşti-Blidaru, Piatra Roşie, Băniţa and Căpâlna, which formed the defensive system of Decebalus, as well as the settlement and fortifications at Feţele Albe.
    Links: Top Ten Forts,,
  12. Monastery of Horezu
    Monastery of HorezuMonastery of Horezu1Monastery of Horezu2
           The Monastery of Horezu was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the town of Horezu, Wallachia, Romania. It is considered to be a masterpiece of “Brâncovenesc style,” known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious compositions, its votive portraits, and its painted decorative works. “The Brâncovenesc style, which can be found at several other churches and monasteries in Wallachia, is the only true and original Romanian style and is called “Brancoveanu art” by the name of the ruler who, in a period of constant battles between the world powers of that time, put cultural development of the country above everything and made it the goal of his life.
  13. Bonus: Venus Resort

           Venus is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, 3 km (1.9 mi) north of Mangalia.
    Links: Top Ten Resorts,,_Romania,
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