Romania - Romanian Regions - Banat, Bukovina, Crisana, Dobrudja, Oltenia, Maramures, Moldavia, Walachia, Transylvania.
Placed in the Northern hemisphere, Romania lies in the Southeastern part of Central Europe, at half a distance between the North Pole and the Equator (45 degrees Northern latitude) and at mid distance between the frontiers of the European continent, the Atlantic Ocean, in the West and the Ural Mountains, in the East (25 degrees Eastern longitude).
Historically speaking, there are three traditional countries Romania is made of: the Romanian Country (Wallachia), Moldavia and Transylvania.
Oltenia, situated between the Danube, Olt River and the Meridional Carpathians with the most important cities: Craiova, Drobeta Turnu Severin and Targul Jiu, has numerous touristic objectives (spas - Olanesti, Calimanesti Caciulata, Govora; caves - Muierii, Polovragi; old monasteries - Horezu, Cozia). Targul Jiu is a town that distinguishes among others, first of all through the works of the great Romanian sculptor, Constantin Brancusi ("the Silence Table", "the Kiss", "the Infinite Column").
In this region, at Drobeta Turnu Severin, right at the border with Yugoslavia, it is the hydropower complex, the Iron Gates I.
Wallachia enfolds the territory between the Carpathians Mountains, Danube, Milcov and Siret Rivers. Wallachia's most important cities are Bucarest, Ploiesti, Craiova and Ramnicu Valcea. Two particular touristic areas brought over the times, people from all over the world: Prahova Valley (famous for its numerous spas) and Arges Valley with the well known Curtea de Arges locality where a church, very special for its complex artistic value, was founded by Neagoe Basarab (1512-1521) starting with 1514. It is one of the most appreciated religious architecture and art monuments of Byzantine style.
Dobrudja is situated between the Danube and the Black Sea.
In the Eastern side of this region, it lies the seaside of the Black Sea, covering a distance of 244 km long. The Romanian seaside has a series of leisure resorts - Costinesti, Mamaia, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Neptun, Olimp, large beaches and treatment resorts like - Mangalia, Eforie N, Eforie S, Techirghiol, that can satisfy tourists of all ages. On Dobrudja's territory, many remains filled of the history of the old times can be found. Among them - The Complex from Adamclisi with "Tropaeum Traiani" Triumphal Monument, unique foundation in the ancient Roman provinces and the ancient fortresses: Tomis, Callatis and Histria (the 5th - 7th centuries B.C.), some of the oldest settlements from Romania. A special touristic objective In Dobrudja, is the biosphere preserve, the Danube Delta, the second in Europe as width (3,446 square km). It is also named "the bird's paradise" because of the thousands of birds existing here.
In Dobrudja, it greatly diserves to be visited the touristic points: Letea Sand Bank, Golovita as well as the Sacalin Islands.
The second historical country of Romania,Moldavia is placed in the East of the Oriental Carpathians, between Jijia and Siret Rivers. Moldavia enfolds the Bucovina area (Suceava). This region and the North of Moldavia were named "The High Country".
Bukovina is famous for its monasteries founded by the great Moldavian rulers: Stefan cel Mare (1457-1504), Petru I Musat, Alexandru Lapusneanu (1552-1561 ), Petru Rares (1427-1538 ), Bogdan III (1504-1517 ), Stefanita Voda (1517-1527) etc. These monasteries were built in an architectural style, known as the "Moldavian style". There is something special about these monasteries, other then their architecture or their history. It is their colour. Each of the monasteries have a characteristic colour that define them: an inimitable blue for Voronet, known in the entire world as "the blue of Voronet", red for Humor Monastery, yellow for Sucevita, while Arbore Monastery distinguishes through a certain combination of colours.
These monasteries (next to others from Moldavia) received in 1975 the "Pomme d'Or" ("the Golden Apple") Trophy, offered to the religious monuments with a valuable external painting.
Founded in another architectural manner but of the same historical, religious and artistic value, are Dragomirna Monastery (the foundation of Anastasie Crimca - 1609), Putna Monastery (the first foundation of Stefan cel Mare, designed to be the great ruler's and his family mausoleum) as well as Bogdana Church from Radauti, the oldest church from Modavia.
Some of the most significant cities of Moldavia are: Iasi (one of the oldest cities from the entire country), Piatra Neamt, Targu Neamt, Bacau, Vaslui, Barlad, Focsani, Galati, Marasesti (with the Heros' Mausoleum as point of tourist attraction).
The cities of Banat, placed between the Meridional Carpathians, the Danube, Tisa and Mures Rivers, are: Timisoara, Arad, Resita and Lugoj.
Timisoara is a famous city through the architecture of its buildings, most of them representing the Baroque style. It is an area with many parks and numerous mineral and thermal sources (Baile Herculane).
Transylvania, placed within the chain of the mountains formed by the Oriental Carpathians, the Meridionals and the Apuseni Mountains, enjoys of a splendid natural landscape.
The main cities of Transylvania are: Cluj, Brasov, Tg. Mures, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Oradea, Hunedoara.
Cluj represents an universitary and a strongly developped culture centre. Remarkable among the architectural monuments of this city are the Lutheran Church, the "Saint Michael" Church, the Banffy Palace.
Brasov is a city known as an international touristic centre, very important due to its resorts: Poiana Brasov, Predeal, Bran but also thanks to the great number of historical, religious and art monuments spread all over its territory. Among them, the Bartholome Church - joining the Roman and Gothic styles, the Black Church - the largest Gothic construction of the country, from the 15th century, the medieval fortresses - Bran, Rasnov, Fagaras.
Sighisoara is nowadays the only European medieval walled city that is still preserved. At the end of the 19th century, it was named "Transylvania's pearl", because of its beauty and its historical value. The architecture of this city is impressive. Somehow, it was found the middle way in joining the old architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, which left this place with significant traces of the old times. In 1999, Sighisoara was designated a world cultural heritage site under the protection of UNESCO. Sighisora became today, a very popular holiday destination. Each year it joins different people at its summer festivals of medieval art, symphonic music and ethnic traditions.
The architecture of this city is impressive. Somehow, it was found the middle way in joining the old architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, which left this place with significant traces of the old times.
In 1999, Sighisoara was designated a world cultural heritage site under the protection of UNESCO.
Sighisora became today, a very popular holiday destination. Each year it joins different people at its summer festivals of medieval art, symphonic music and ethnic traditions.
Hunedoara, placed at the foot of Poiana Rusca Mountains is an area famous for the beauty of its natural frame, but also for all the traditions well preserved here. The Castle of the Corvinesti is one of Hunedora's very interesting touristic attractions. It is known as one of the most famous foundations from Romania.
Maramures, placed in the North side of the country, is an area that has kept over the time its traditions. The folk art of these places is unique and very rich: peasant architecture with fine sculptured wooden houses and gates, beautifully designed traditional costumes, pottery. However, a special place in the Maramuresan art belongs to the wooden churches - authentic monuments of architectural art, unique in the world. Something of a great artistic value, next to the Maramues' churches, that defines only this region is represented by the monumental wooden gates sculptured with special motifs that symbolise life. But most of all, Maramures is famous for something indeed unique as originality as well as authenticity and artistic value, - the "Merry Cemetery" of Sapanta - created by a prestigious artist in architecture, the sculptor Stan Patras. This is one of the most important monuments of funeral art in the country and in the entire world.
Crisana one more of the four regions of Transylvania, is known for one of its cities: Oradea. This is a very old city, first certificated in 1241. Within its limits, the territory of Oradea presents very beautiful architectural buildings: the Israelite Synagogue, with decoration enriched by elements from the Maure art, the Palace of the Black Hawk, the Church with the Moon, the Baroque Palace, which shelters many history, plastic art and ethnography collections.