Attractions in Romania

By: Tiberiu Pintilie

There are many regions in this world that are worth a visit, and very often we Europeans tend to travel overseas to see something exotic, or visit people who still lead a life that perhaps our grandfathers knew. Rarely it occurs to us that it is not always necessary to travel far to be able to experience "time travel".

Bucovinais a region of monasteries, unique in the world for their colorful exterior frescoes. Equally well worth the visit are the villages, still leading the traditional way of life, and the stunning landscapes.The name Bucovina may not mean much to many people, but Bucovina, and its brave princes, played an important part in the history of the Balkans during the XV and XVI centuries, and in particular with regard to relations with the Ottoman Empire. The impressive number of churches to be found there, with their fine exterior and interior frescoes, have been preserved and handed down from mediaeval times, and because of their uniqueness and artistic value, were added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1993. There is, indeed, no other place in the world where such a group of churches, with such high quality exterior frescoes, are to be seen.The churches were founded, in most cases, as family burial places of princes and high nobles. Each painter, although following the canonical iconographic programme, interpreted the scenes in a slightly different way. The scenes were first painted on the interior walls, and then extended to the exterior ones. The reasons for such vast scenes were both religious and didactic: to promote Orthodoxy and to educate the illiterate.Tourist information in Romania was linked by the notion of "tourist information office"  that disappeared after the 1989 revolution because all the local tourist offices were abolished. The travel agencies created by the private sector took over the role of the tourist information offices. They can provide you with the information and services for organizing tours in Bucovina.

Because Romanians themselves increasingly prefer to travel outside Romania, the travel agencies are more specialized in organizing international travel. Local tours have been neglected for many years but are now flourishing again.The private sector is now the most advanced, and appreciated both inside and outside the country for the western level of comfort and services.Tourist information can also be found in the annual publication of the Romanian Yellow Pages. All bookshops sell travel guides, but it is not so easy to find travel guides of Bucovina in the main towns. An exception could be the newspaper stores.Another region is Maramures in northern Romania, such a little known corner of Europe. Amid beautiful rolling hills and lush river valleys live people who for the most part still follow the traditional agrarian way of life. Their life might seem hard and simple and it is a millenarian fight against the weather, to grow the crops, to raise the animals, to work from dawn until sunset without the many mechanized and electronic comforts we think are essential. But, that life can be rewarding in all its simplicity, as each day shows the results of work, and family and friends guarantee that there are often reasons for celebration. The seasonal festivities, like Christmas and Easter or local festivals and weddings, have retained their real value of breaking the everyday routine, and feasting lasts several days and is done with gusto. Why this region is considered unique and those who have been there want to return? The answer is a mixture of three things: amazing landscapes, genuine people and the simple civilization of wood, with the famous wooden churches whose towers can be seen from far. The nature, people, houses and churches are spiritually connected and have maintained this link to the present.But most of all is the uniqueness of the architecture is the inclusion of eight wooden churches in UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. These churches are the church of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple in Barsana, the church of Saint Nicholas in Budesti, the church of Saint Parasceva in Desesti, the church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin in Ieud Deal, the church of the Holy Archangels in Plopis, the church of Saint Parasceva in Poienile Izei, the church of the Holy Archangels in Rogoz, and the church of the Holy Archangels in Surdesti.Our guidebooks: Maramures -A Travel Guide toRomania's Region of Wooden Churches and  Bucovina - A Travel Guide to Romania's Region of Painted Monasteries are excellent full-color books on a wide variety of cultural heritage subjects from mural paintings and archaeology to architecture and local traditions. It also gives practical information and tips on travel to and in Romania, what to see, where to stay, what to buy and to eat, to get the most of Maramures.Why a guidebook and not another type of book? Because we consider that a cultural guidebook addresses those who, while enjoying a memorable holiday, can also help such a special region develop and maintain its specificity and character. To assure the preservation regions like Maramures, it is necessary that they do not fall into total oblivion. It is necessary that the young people can remain, find work and live there with their familiesFree Articles, while being at the same time aware of the importance of their inheritance. Cultural tourism can be a mutual investment that can bear fruit for everyone. The visitor's joy and the host's joy are both real experiences.We hope that you will enjoy your travel to Bucovina and Maramures!

Find out more: http://www.romanianmonasteries.org

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