Romania is abounding of places of worship
: hermitages, churches, monasteries, temples, basilicas a.s.o.
They have been built during
almost a millennium, in a multitude of architectonic styles.
When visiting those places keep in mind that the Romanian architecture
is a mixture of the Byzantine style and Western influences
Renaissance to Baroque.
into the northeastern corner of Romania, and the medieval principality
of the Moldavian region, Bucovina lies in the easily-defended
Carpathian foothills where the region's hero, Stefan the Great
(Stefan cel Mare ruled between 1457-1504). fought back the
Turks in the 14th and 15th centuries and then built churches
throughout Moldavia to praise God for allowing him to win.
He used to built one monastery after each of his battles. His
Petru Rares, continued his work by setting the foundations
for many other famous monasteries. There are 48 monasteries
some with fortified walls to protect against invaders. These
unique monasteries and Byzantine churches with their exceptional
exterior frescoes are one of the most fascinating sights in
Romania. Seven of the painted monasteries have been included
on the Unesco
World Heritage List.
Much of the former Romanian province of
Bucovina, previously part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was
lost to the USSR (now
the Ukraine) in 1945 together with its capital, Cernauti. The
name Bucovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's
annexation to the Austrian Empire The name has a Slavic origin
and is derived from the word for beech tree 'buk' in Ukrainian;
the German equivalent, das Buchenland, mostly used in poetry,
means, literally, "beech land", or, more poetically, "land
of beech trees". In Romanian the original name of the
region during the rule of the Moldavian Principality was "Tara
de Sus" (Upper Country), referring to the altitude, as
opposed to the lower plains called "Tara de Jos" (Lower
Bucovina is worth visiting, not only for its wealth
of religious art and the beautiful monasteries, but also for
beauty and simplicity of the region. It is a territory with
clean unspoiled nature. It has a unique landscape: thick forests
and imposing crests ("obcine"), branching off from
which allow a wonderful panorama of valleys, with houses scattered
here and there, with large gardens and
farm yards inviting one to lie down by the haystacks and look
up at the blue sky with its marvelous hues. You might even
catch a glimpse of a buffalo, a species that is being reintroduced
into a natural reservation. The countryside is scattered with
picturesque villages and rural scenery as local folk go about
their daily business; horse-drawn carts dominate the lanes,
driven by people bundled up against the cold, outdoor wells
and piles of chopped wood adorn the yards, and produce markets
bustle with activity. These are some of the scenes the traveler
will encounter in this fascinating region of Romania, a stark
contrast to the frenetic pace and way of life shaped by the
modern face of city living.
Moldavian wines have been known
for five centuries. There are vineyards that can be visited.