Romania is a destination worth visiting for its treasures. According to Famous Wonders, it is an East European country where nature combines harmoniously with history and religion, creating beautiful landscapes with some unique landmarks.
Romania is considered to be a country of contrast as some cities present a look inspired by the Western Europe, while the villages have an ancient air. According to Wall-Street, in the first half of 2016, almost 4.5 million tourists from all over the world visited the land from the north of the Balkan Peninsula. The foreign visitors were mostly from Germany, Italy, Israel, England, France and the United States. The country appeals to the tourists because of its natural beauties, the medieval fortresses, castles and monasteries, and some unique landmarks.
Romania is a country covered with beautiful natural gifts. Situated all over the Eastern European state, they come in every landform making the country a destination worth visiting.
- Babele (meaning “the old women”) and the Sphinx are rock formations in the area of the Bucegi Mountains. They are one of the most popular destinations in Romania for their appearance and position which offers a spectacular view over the area.
- The Bigar Waterfall, located in the Anina Mountains, is one of the most beautiful natural treasures of Romania. The cliff, from which the water falls, is covered with moss and situated over a cave, creating a rare view. Moreover, according to Places to See in Your Lifetime, the cascade has been voted “the most unique waterfall in the world.”
- The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a mixed reservation. The geological and botanical reservation consists of small volcano structures caused by the eruption of mud and natural gasses. In Europe, the only other places the phenomenon occurs is in Russia, Ukraine, and Italy.
- The Danube Delta is the second largest of its kind, in Europe. This territory is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The area has lagoons and is navigable. The delta offers beautiful landscapes of authentic flora and fauna.
- Transfagarasan and Transalpina are two of the highest paved roads in the Carpathian Mountains. They are well-known worldwide for beautiful views that surround the paths. Also, in 2009, the “Top Gear” host, Jeremy Clarkson declared Transfagarasan “the best road in the world.” They both can be crossed by car in the summer months.
Medieval Castles and Citadels
During its 2,000-year history Romania, first known as Dacia, was the theater of many military operations. As a result, the country is rich with castles and fortresses, ruins of the medieval citadels and remains of the historical events that marked it.
- The Peles Castle, built between 1839-1914, served as the home of Romanian royalty before it was declared a museum, in 1953. Over 300 men worked on the fort’s construction, which is worth $120 million. Today, the Peles Castle is visited annually by many tourists. Also, the building has appealed to personalities worldwide. Kaiser Franz Joseph I, Richard Nixon, and Yasser Arafat are among the significant names who visited the Romanian architectural treasure.
- Sarmizegetusa Regia was the primary military, religious and political center of Dacia. It contained a citadel and some residential areas. Currently, the Hunedoara fortress consists of the ruins of Dacian temples. UNESCO recognized this historical monument that attracts tourists enchanted by ancient facts.
- The Bran Castle, built in the 14th century, is a primary tourist attraction, due to its association with Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” In the 1920s, the fort was a royal residence. It was Queen Marie’s favorite home. As a result, it is now a museum filled with art and furniture, once owned by Romanian royalty.
There are plenty of medieval fortresses and castles across Romania. Each of them has an interesting story. Some other examples are Bánffy Castle, Sighisoara Citadel, Corvin Castle, Rasnov Citadel, Savarsin Castle, and Tropaeum Traiani Citadel.
The painted monasteries in the northern part of Romania are architectural treasures that amaze through their colors: blue for Voronet, green and red for Sucevita, yellow for Moldovita. According to Romanian Monasteries, the royalty and high nobles founded the churches as family burial places. However, the interpretation of each painter that worked on the monuments gives them uniqueness.
- The monastery of Putna is one of the most important places of worship in Romania. Stephen the Great built it during its reign, along with 43 other churches, one for each battle that he won. Situated on high forested hills and surrounded by wild landscapes, the Putna Monastery is a silent oasis.
- The Curtea de Arges Monastery resembles an elaborate mausoleum, built in the Byzantine style. It is a highly important religious monument where both Queen Marie and Queen Anne of Romania are buried. Moreover, there is a legend about the cathedral of Curtea de Arges. The legend states the master who built it, sacrificed his wife and placed her in the foundation. He did this to stop the curse that destroyed the monastery’s walls during the night.
- The Barsana Monastery is the tallest wooden building in Europe, according to Best of Romania. It is one of the most beautiful wooden churches found on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is situated in a generous landscape. The monastery is a resource of calmness and peace for every visitor.
Besides the natural, historical and religious monuments that Romania is gifted to hold, there are some other unique landmarks. They contribute to the establishment of the East European country as a destination worth visiting.
- The Turda Salt Mine, located in Cluj County, is a museum about salt mining. Besides its health benefits, the mine is a place where visitors can see salt sculptures, play mini golf, table tennis, bowl, play billiards, soccer, or enjoy a boat ride.
- The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant holds the most significant collection of objects and artifacts of the early peasants. According to the Council of Europe, the gallery is one of the best museums of popular arts and traditions on the continent. Moreover, in 1996, the exhibit, situated in Bucharest, obtained the title of the European Museum of the Year.
- Strada Sforii (meaning the String Street) is one of the narrowest streets in Europe. Located in Brasov, the road is 260 feet long, while its width varies between 44 and 53 inches. It is a famous tourist attraction due to its unusual appearance.
- The Palace of Parliament is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon in the U.S. It is home to the Parliament of Romania. It is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function. Previously called, the People’s House, the building includes three museums. It is an architectural monument, estimated at $3,4 billion, that attracts a large number of visitors every year.
- The Merry Cemetery is an open-air museum located in Sapanta. The burial place is famous for the colorful tombstones painted with traditional images and poetic sayings. Every stone describes the person who is buried underneath in a sarcastic manner.
Romania is a destination worth visiting and its natural and historical heritage proves it. Also, the East European country has a lot of other attractions. Some unique landmarks and fortified churches, as well as monasteries that contribute to making Romania an historical destination.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Best of Romania: Barsana Monastery (UNESCO)
Covinnus: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Romania
Explorra: Top 10 Places to See in Romania
Places to See in Your Lifetime: The Most Unique Bigar Waterfall in Nature Reserve, Romania
RomanianMonasteries: Travel to Bucovina
Wall-Street: Numarul de turisti in Romania a crescut in iunie cu 8,1%, insa piata a fost sustinuta de romani
World Record Academy: WORLD RECORDS
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