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Monasteries

Bukovina is a region situated in the northern part of Moldavia, Romania. The name of Bukovina dates back to 1774, and it means a land covered by beech forests. This part of Romania is very beautiful, with a clean unspoiled nature, and a unique landscape... more

This is the land where the painted monasteries which now hold a place of pride among world cultural sites were built. The monasteries were built during the 15th-16th centuries at a time marked by the personalities of the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great (1457-1504), and of his son, Petru Rares (1530-1538; 1541-1546). Stephen the Great was an illustrious army commander, a defender of christianism and a prolific promoter of culture. They say that Stephen the Great ruled for 47 years, that he fought 47 defence battles, mainly against the Turks, but also against the Tartars, the Kossaks, the Poles and the Magyars, and that he erected about the same number (44) of churches and monasteries
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The painted monasteries of Bucovina

The painted monasteries of Southern Bucovina are some of the greatest artistic monuments in Europe and among the most picturesque treasures in Romania. Most of the churches are fortified with strong defensive surrounding walls as protection against Turkish invaders and they sheltered large armies of soldiers awaiting battle. The exterior walls of the monasteries are richly decorated with vivid frescoes depicting dramatic Biblical scenes, intended to teach Christianity to the illiterate by means of pictures. The artwork has amazingly survived harsh exposure to the elements for over 450 years and the intense colors have been well preserved. The five main painted monasteries near Suceava are Humor, Voronet, Moldovita, Sucevita and Arbore. The predominant color of the artwork at Voronet is a vivid blue that serves as a background to the designs. The quality of the frescoes, the magnificent Last Judgment and the brilliant color has earned it the moniker of 'Sistine Chapel of the East'. Humor is characterized by its predominant red co lour; and the largest and finest of the monasteries, Sucevita, has its thousands of painted images on a background of emerald green. Moldovita, situated in the middle of a quaint farming village, consists of a strong fortified enclosure with towers and heavy gates, with the beautiful painted church in the centre. Also nearby are Dragomirna and Putna monasteries, the latter home to an active community of monks and a small museum containing medieval manuscripts and rare textiles. They are all UNESCO sites.

Putna Monastery

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It was built between1466-1469 by Stephen the Great.
Putna Monastery is situated about 30 km northwest from the town of Radauti, near the Putna River. ...more



It was built between1466-1469 by Stephen the Great.
Putna Monastery is situated about 30 km northwest from the town of Radauti, near the Putna River.
The monastery museum has an important collection of mediaeval art objects, mainly from the time of Stephen the Great and his immediate successors. In the Putna monastery, is found the tomb of king Stephen the Great and several of his family members. His tomb became a place of pilgrimage. The icon waves and the tomb covers are evidence of the creative spirit of the Moldavian artists of Stephen the Great’s time.
The church was unusually large for its time, but the explanation was that it was built to be the burial place of the Prince, his family and his successors
Although the present church follows the ground plan of a typical 15th and 16th century Moldavian church, it has many architectural and decorative features that are typical of 17th century churches. The exterior walls are not the smooth façades of earlier times, but two rows of blind arcades go around the building, smaller ones above the twisted stone cable, and tall ones below it.

Voronet Monastery


  
It was bulit in 1488 by Stephen the Great.
The Church of St. George of the Voroneţ Monastery is possibly the most famous church of Romania. It is known throughout the world for its exterior frescoes of bright and intense colours, and for the hundreds of well-preserved figures placed against the renowned azurite background. The church of Voroneţ that Stephen the Great built included

the chancel, the naos with its tower, and the pronaos.
A legend tells us that Stephen the Great, in a moment of crisis during a war against the Turks, came to Daniel the Hermit at his skete in Voroneţ and asked for advice. After the battle, keeping his promise to the monk, the prince built a new church, dedicated to St. George, the bringer of victory in battle.


Sucevita Monastery

It was built in 1583 by Ieremia, Simion and Gheorghe Movilă and it is located in Suceviţa, Suceava County.
This classic Moldavian church with its five rooms shows the first new architectural tendencies: smaller niches, and three bases for the tower. The frescoes are very remarkable, colourful and well preserved.
Three Movilă brothers built the Church of the Resurrection of Suceviţa around 1583. The church is the only painted church that was not founded by a ruling prince, although the Movilăs were descendants of Petru Rareş on their mother’s side. Quite soon after the monastery was built Ieremia Movilă became the ruler of Moldavia, and his brother Simion reigned in Walachia. The third brother, Gheorghe, who was during that period the Bishop of Rădăuţi, rose to become the Metropolitan of Moldavia.
The Danube is the second longest river from Europe, which together with its three main branches: Chilia, Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe forms the largest European delta (5050 square metres): The Danube Delta.
The Danube Delta is Europe’s largest “humid” reservations. More than
80 % of its surface is water. This regions hosts more than 300 species of birds, some of them being originary from far away places, such as India and China. Characterized mainly by exotism, this place hosts 1200 species of trees and plans, a rich ornitological variety and

also about 100 species of fish. The Danube Delta is a natural halt for migratory birds, the symbol of this paradise being the pelican.
Most of the locals live from fishing. The typical sight that you will encounter here is that of long rows of boats waiting to be taken in the open, where they can fish. Many fishermen offer they services to tourists and rent their fishing boats to those who want to explore the area. These waters host many rare species such as perches, craps and sturgeons. In 1990 the Delta Danube became part of the UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites.

The most important city of this area is Tulcea, a city situated on seven hills, influenced to a great extent by the oriental Turkish style. The Delta Danube museum from Tulcea offers to the tourists the oportunity of taking an insight into the flora and fauna, as well as the lifestyle of the local inhabitants.

Bird Watching
            A bird-watchers’ paradise, the Danube Delta offers the opportunity to spot more than 300 species of migratory and resident birds, including eagles, egrets, vultures, geese, cranes, ibises, cormorants, swans and pelicans. Located on the 45th parallel, the Danube Delta makes for a perfect stopping-off point between the Equator and the North Pole for millions of migratory birds. Some of the most important species include:

 

The White Pelican (pelecanus onocrotalus)
Best seen: March to October
Dalmatian Pelican (pelecanus crispus)
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter.
Small Egret (egretta garzetta)
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter.
Pygmy Cormorant (phalacrocorax pygmeus)
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter
Ferruginous Duck (aythya nyroca)
Best seen: March to October
Red-breasted Goose (branta ruficollis)
Best seen: Late October to March
Glossy Ibis (plegadis falcinellus)
Best seen: April to September

Fishing: The Delta’s waters teem with some 160 species of fresh- and salt-water fish.
Pike: early July to December
Pike Perch: June to September
Carp: early July to September
Cat Fish: April, July to October
Vegetation
            This is the largest continuous marshland in Europe which includes the greatest stretch of reedbeds probably in the world. The marsh vegetation is dominated by reeds Phragmites australis which form floating or fixed islands of decaying vegetation.There are also water lilies Nymphaea albaNuphar luteus and Stratiodes alloides. The higher ground supports stands of Salix, Populus, Alnus and Quercus. Sandy areas are covered with feather grass and other steppe species.
RETEZAT NATIONAL PARK- A PIECE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH
Why should we protect it?
because it’s a place where nature suffered less due to people’s intervention
because one can meet here 1190 species of plants- more than one third of the total of species of plants that exist in Romania
because one can meet here many endangered species of plants
because one can see here many species of animals, such as: bears, wolves, lynxes, but also deer, wild boars, hares, etc.
because there are 185 species of birds living in the Retezat

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  • BECAUSE:
  • we want our successors see all of these.


 Why is Retezat National Park such a special place?
because it has 80 blue eyes- the 80 lakes in which the blue sky reflects itself
because it has the largest glacial lake from Romania- Lake Bucura
because it has the deepest glacial lake from Romania- Lake Zanoaga
because there are more than 20 peaks higher than 2000 metres
because you can see here glacial valleys, lakes but also calcarous caves and gorges
because it is the source of many legends and fascinating stories about courageous heroes, beautiful ladies and winged dragons.

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Flora
More than 1/3 of Romanian flora can be found in the Retezat Mountains.
High meadows create a haven for rare alpine flora. In the mountain area, long, steep slopes are covered with different types of forest, especially beech, spruce and fir, with birch and rowen as pioneer species. At the sub-alpine level, slopes shaped by ice are often protected by dwarf pine. The forest line reaches 1900 m with some Spruce adapted to the harsh climate. Arola pine (Pinus Cembra) in the dwarf pine cover offer shelter and food to birds. Some areas are covered with rhododendron kotschy, and Alnus viridis can be found. The higher peaks of the alpine level are covered in scree and stones. The rich alpine flora was the main reason for designating Retezat as a national park. Some of the species are quite rare e.g. pink (Dianthus glacialis), endemic whitlow-grass (Draba dornerii), louse wort (Pedicularis exaltata), bird’s eye primrose (Primula minima), milk-wetch (Astragalus australis), alpine fleabane (Erigeron acer), wormwood (Artemisia campestris), black vanille orchid (Nigritella rubra). Retezat National Park is a genetic center for two important mountain plant genes: Hieracium and Poa.

     
Fauna
Hikers will find that they share trails with many animals, including chamois, red and roe deer, wild boar, bear, wolf, and fox, and may come across lynx tracks. Otters find good “homes” and “restaurants” in the park’s rivers. Chaffinch, song thrush, ring ouzel, red-breasted flycatcher, chiffchaff, nutcracker and the rare golden eagle, leaser spotted eagle, eagle owl, pigmy owl, crag martin, scarlet rosefinch, three toed woodpecker, horned lark are among the 120 nesting bird species of Retezat. Because of this Retezat National Park was included in the Important Bird Areas Network. Butterflies are very abundant in Retezat, in number and species, and specialists designed two Prime Butterfly Areas in the Retezat National Park.

 

       BUCEGI MOUNTAINS

Bucegi Mountains are Romania’s best kept secret.


Nature Reserve protects the entire 300 sq km of the Bucegi mountain range. The reserve contains a variety of forests and abundant botanic species. The Carpathian Mountains are among the least spoilt mountains in Europe, with alpine pastures. About 1350 floral species have been recorded, beech trees cover the northern foothills of the Southern Carpathians and fir and common spruce trees dress the slopes above 1000m. Alpine forests rich in sycamore, maple, popular and birch can be found at altitudes between 1200m and 1500m. Juniper tree, little willow and bilberry bush dominate in the sub alpine forests above 1700mn the Carpathians. It is also known that home to The Bucegi Mountains are best approached from the resorts of Busteni and Sinaia. The city of Brasov is the best accommodation and orientation point for travel in the Southern Carpathians. Romania's most famous ski resorts are Sinaia, Predeal and Poiana Brasov.        

                                                                                                                     

They are fully developed resorts, with cable cars, chairlifts and modern resort hotels. The ski season runs from December. Getting lost in the Bucegi Mountains is difficult, thanks to a network of marked trails, while most cabanas are open year around to shelter hikers and cross-country skiers. The only danger is the weather: winter is severe and summer thunderstorms are dangerous. From Busteni, one can take the cable car up to Cabana Babele (2206m). From Babele a trail leads to the giant memorial cross at 2284m (one hour, marked with red crosses). Alternatively a trail (3-4 hours, blue crosses) leads from the lower cable-car station to Cabana Caraiman (2025m). From Babele chalet one can hike south following a yellow stripe trail to Cabana Piatra Arsa (1950m), or north following a yellow-marked trail to Cabana Varful Omu (2505m). North of Babele the scenery becomes dramatic, with dizzying drops into valleys on either side.