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MeetRomania has made it on Transfagarasan in winter-mood

On the most famous Romanian road that goes across the Carpathian Mountains – Tranfagarasan – a famous medieval Castle and Stronghold lays – it is Poienari Castle or the ruins of the castle to be more accurate !

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After climbing 1480 concrete steps, you get to see it – Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler took strong defence against the invadors from this castle, Poienari Castle. Do you want to hear the rest of the story ?! Come join us at MeetRomania, and hire your private car and driver/guide to get to see it and hear the rest of the story !

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Higher on the mountain, Tranfagarasan road opens up for us… Only in summer. Or winter if your driver is crazy enough to embrace the adventure of driving up on it in snow !

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Want to see how that’s like ? Get in touch with us !

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Fagaras Fortified Fortress in Brasov County

We will start by saying that Vlad the Impaler, the historic figure behinde Dacula legend, lived here for few weeks. So for those of you that are trying to find him, you should know that he burned 3 villages in the area, just because he had a difficult relation with the people here when he ran for leading Muntenia Region. They were supporting someone else for the throne…

Fagaras Fortress

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Fagaras Fortress main entrance

Built in 1310 on the site of a former 12th century wooden fortress (burned by the Tartars in 1241), Fagaras was enlarged between the 15th and 17th centuries and was considered one of the strongest fortifications in Transylvania. The fortress was surrounded by a deep water channel which, in times of war or social unrest, could easily be filled with water from a nearby mountain river, Olt. A bridge over the channel provided the only access point. The fortress boasts three floors and five tow

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Fagaras Fortress

ers

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In 1948, Fagaras Fortress was taken over by the communists and functioned as a political prison until 1989, when it was turned into

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Fagaras Fortress

a museum. s

The city’s economy was badly shaken by the disappearance of most of its industries following the Revolution, critical hardships, and reforms. Some of the city population left as guest workers to ItalySpain, or Ireland. It is one of the poorest municipalities in Romania, as of May 2011.

Throne room

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Fagaras Fortress throne room

The throne

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Fagaras Fortress - the throne

Meeting hall

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Fagaras Fortress - the hall

To get here, to Fagaras Fortress in Brasov County, using a private car and driver or a private tour, just contact us at MeetRomania.

The Great Danube Delta

The Danube Delta: After passing through several countries and absorbing countless lesser waterways, the Danube empties into the Black Sea just south of the Ukrainian border. The Danube Delta (Delta Dunării), included on Unesco’s World Heritage list, is one of Romania’s leading tourist attractions.

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At Tulcea, the river splits into three separate channels: the Chilia, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe arms, creating a constantly evolving 4187-sq-km wetland of marshes, floating reed islets and sandbars.

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The region provides sanctuary for 300 species of bird and 160 species of fish.

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Reed marshes cover 156,300 hectares, constituting one of the largest single expanses of reed beds in the world. The delta is a haven for wildlife lovers, birdwatchers, fishers and anyone wanting to get away from it all for a few days.

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There are beautiful, secluded beaches at both Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe, and the fish and seafood, particularly the fish soup, are the best in Romania.

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To get here using a private car and driver or a private tour guide in Romania just Contact Us !

The reborn of Rupea Citadel

Rupea Citadel (RomanianCetatea Rupea,GermanBurg RepsHungarianKőhalmi vár) is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania, the first signs of human settlements dating from the Paleolithic and early Neolithic. The first documentary attestation dates from 1324 when the Saxons revolted against King Charles I of Hungary took refuge inside the citadel. According to archaeologists, the current citadel was built on the ruins of a former Dacian defense fort conquered by the Romans. The name of the citadel comes from Latin rupes meaning “stone”. From the 10th century, the citadel experienced a systematic expansion, so that in the 14th century it had a key strategic role, being the main linking point between TransylvaniaMoldavia and Wallachia.

A popular legend in the area tells that Dacian king Decebalus would commit suicide within the citadel, during the Second Dacian War(105–106), when the citadel was known as Ramidava.

Rupea Citadel is situated in the west of Rupea, on a 120 m-high basalt massive. The citadel is located on DN13, 70 km from Brașov, on the road to Sighișoara. The citadel is visited each month by more than 10,000 tourists.

History

Rupea Citadel is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania, the first signs of human settlements dating from the Paleolithic and early Neolithic (5500 BC–3500 BC). Archaeological investigations have revealed objects from this era, testimony of settlements in the region: stone tools, pottery, funeral urns, etc. In Dacian times, on these places was raised the dava known as Rumidava or Ramidava (after various historical sources); conquered by the Romans, Rumidava becomes the Roman castra Rupes(in Latinrupes means “rock” or “stone”). The Roman castra Rupes was part of the Roman fortification belt defending the commercial area and routes linking Valea Târnavelor,Valea OltuluiRâșnov and Hoghiz.

Rupea Citadel in the Josephine map of Transylvania

The first documentary attestation of the citadel dates from 1324, under the namecastrum Kuholm, when the Saxons revolted against King Charles I of Hungary took refuge inside the citadel. The name Kuholm refers to the rock on which it was built: basalt. Between 1432 and 1437 the citadel was attacked and robbed by Turks, as later, in 1643, to be abandoned, after a devastating fire turned it into ruins. At the end of the same century, Saxons return to the citadel to seek refuge. This time, the citadel will be handed over the Habsburg armies without armed resistance.

During the plague of 1716, the citadel was used as refuge for those who were not affected by disease, and in 1788 as refuge against Turkish invasion. The citadel was finally abandoned in 1790 after a severe storm that destroyed its roof. Since then, the citadel was left in ruins, although Rupea became in interwar period a powerful Saxon cultural center. During the communist regime, the authorities planned the demolition of the citadel in order to exploit the basalt that forms the hill. The last attempt to restore the citadel dates back to 1954, but the idea was abandoned. In the early 1990s, the citadel was in a sorry state, with only one of the defense towers standing. Between 2010 and 2013, the citadel has undergone a comprehensive restoration process, being restored all the seven towers and the peasant homes.

The citadel is classified in the list of historical monuments of Brașov County under the code BV-II-a-A-11769.

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Construction and architecture

Rupea Citadel is 65 km from Brașov, built on a basalt massive, in the Cohalm Hill–Basalts of Rupea geological reserve. It is a peasant citadel with four areas reinforced with polygonal towers. The citadel is modified in time, by adding two interior courtyards and three defense towers. The citadel is built on four premises: Upper citadel (Romanian:Cetatea de sus, premise I), Middle citadel(RomanianCetatea de mijloc, premises II and III) and Lower citadel (RomanianCetatea de jos, premise IV).

Each is identified by a special brickwork belt, corresponding to different eras, marked by the evolution of weapons, siege techniques or level of development of the settlement and the seat on which depended the financing of work. In turn, the towers have an identity covered by an own name that, in part, betrays a certain feature (often related to the function) resulted from their historical development. These elements worn various sizes and architectural features: the oldest had battlements in rectangular zigzags (which have not been reserved), and the most recent had semicircular merlons, more decorative. Their embrasures took the form of simple slots, and the openings for firearms were made with angles of fire as large as possible or special, to the base of walls, fit in prominent niches, with arrangements of stepped pyramids. Behind the walls, traces of brickwork betray the foundations of watch roads, sometimes on two levels.

The first premise of the fortification system is the Upper citadel which dates from the prefeudal period, 10th–13th centuries. It comprises the latest expansions, including the Bacon’s Tower (RomanianTurnul Slăninii), specific to Saxon communities. Also here can be found the 59 m-deep fountain, the only source of water certainly identified in the citadel. The fountain was built in 1623, after a work of several months, during the princeship of Gabriel Bethlen. The upper citadel has an area of over 1,500 m2. The entrance to the upper citadel was a narrow corridor, the gate under the Gunpowder Works’ Tower (RomanianTurnul Pulberăriei). To the inside can be observed traces of rooms that served as homes for the refugee population in the citadel during sieges. The best-known rooms in the upper citadel are the Mayor’s room(RomanianCamera judelui) and the Priest’s room (RomanianCamera preotului). But these are very difficult to identify nowadays.

The Middle citadel was built in the 15th century and was enlarged in the 18th century. Here can be identified the Tower with Bars (RomanianTurnul cu Gratii), theChapel (RomanianCapela) and another pentagonal tower, unique in Europe, gateway to the middle citadel. The chapel is a large building (the last known restoration in 1718), with multiple roles, inside which must be arranged a Lutheran chapel, soberly decorated, after cult demands.

The Lower citadel was built as from the 18th century. From this period dates the house of citadel’s watchman (1850) and the military warehouse, built in the early 19th century.[7]

Rupea Citadel has the form of an ascending spiral (snail shell).

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Rehabilitation

In 1990s, Rupea Citadel was in ruins. Local authorities have decided to seek EU funds for the rehabilitation of the citadel and invested 32 million lei in restoring the historical monument. The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, The Regional Development Agency Centru and Rupea Local Council signed in 2009 a financing contract, with grant funds, of the project of rehabilitation and expansion of tourism infrastructure of Rupea. Within this project was included the rehabilitation of abandoned citadel of Rupea. The works lasted three years, and the citadel was reopened to the public on 15 June 2013. Were restored the walls, the interior courtyard and the towers. In 2013, Rupea Citadel was visited by 61,000 tourists, in 2014 by 115,000 tourists, and in the first quarter of 2015 the figure exceeded 150,000 visitors.

Both the Rupea Town Hall and Brașov County Council want to introduce the objective in a circuit targeting BrașovSibiu and Sighișoara and to organize national cultural events that highlight the destination better. The first event took place in the summer of 2013, a festival dedicated to composer Wilhelm Georg Berger, born in 1929 in Rupea.

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For a private tour of this citadel, or tour Romania at your own pace with a private car and driver or a private tour guide, just Contact Us !

Astra open air traditional museum in Sibiu

The “ASTRA” Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Romanian: Muzeul Civilizaţiei Populare Tradiţionale “ASTRA”) is located in the Dumbrava Forest, 3 km south of Sibiu, on the road towards Răşinari, and is easily accessible by car, bus or tramway. Occupying an area of 0.96 square kilometres, it is the largest open-air museum in Romania and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. It contains houses and workshops of the traditional Romanian folk culture from the pre-industrial era. Over 300 houses and other buildings are situated in the forest around two artificial lakes with over 10 km of walkways between them.

The exhibits are organised into six thematic groups:

food production and animal husbandry.production of raw materials.means of transportation.manufacture of household objects.public buildings.an exposition of monumental sculpture.

Some of the most spectacular buildings are a group of windmills from the Dobrudja area, a playing area for popice (skittles, an early form of bowling) from the Păltiniş monastery, a small mine from the Apuseni Mountains, a few water-mills, a wooden ferry, and a fishery from the Danube Delta. Also there are houses of shepherds, pottery workshops, iron workshops and others. There is also a working inn, a small pub and a dance pavilion. In the museum there is a wooden church from northern Transylvania brought in 1990-1992 from the village of Bezded in Sălaj County.

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The wooden church with live worship service

A series of festivals and fairs take place in the museum annually, the most popular one being The Folk Craftsmen’s Fair which takes place each summer around the Saint Mary’s Dormition, an Orthodox holiday in the middle of August. Also, permanent and temporary exhibitions can be seen in a special pavilion inside the museum

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A house from the Astra museum on the Romanian 10 lei bill

Turkish party of 3 conquering what their ancestors (the Otoman Empire) couldn’t

Duygu, Turkish party of 3. You have made it today way further than your ancestors (Otoman Empire): you have crossed the Carpathian Mountains into the heart of Transilvania !!! It’s amazing how we used to fight back in the days of Vlad Dracul as countries, and how well we can get along several hundred years after… For more pictures about this tour, just stay conected with MeetRomania, your own private transportation way, by car, in Romania !

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Ruins on Olt River Valley stating that we have defended Europe against the Otoman Empire

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Fagaras senction of the Carpathian Mountains

25 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Romania !

  1. It makes no sense to visit Romania.
    The Corvin Castle in Hunedoara

  2. It’s an ugly place with nothing amazing to see.
    Retezat mountainsRetezat National Park

  3. Landscapes are all grey and creepy.
    Transylvanian village

  4. With tiny hills.
    mountain landscape 
    Retezat Mountains

  5. Roads with no view at all.
    transfagarasan
    Transfagarasan road in Transylvania

  6. And boring valleys.
    Romania, The Statue of Dacian king Decebalus, near the Orsova
    The Statue of Dacian king Decebalus near the Orsova

  7. This spot is sooo blah.
    Balea lake in Fagaras Mountains

  8. Dracula’s castle is just a simple shack.
    The Bran Castle and Bran city
    The Bran Castle and Bran village in Transylvania

  9. Just villages here.
    city-center-bucharestBucharest, the capital of Romania

  10. If you blink, you might miss the architecture.
    Palace of Parliament
    Palace of Parliament (People’s House) in Bucharest

  11. No culture or sophistication whatsoever… crickets!
    concert-Maxim-VENGEROV-violonist
    George Enescu Music Festival

  12. Uh, how mediocre.
    Atheneum, Bucharest
    The Romanian Atheneum in Bucharest

  13. Outside the city just a wasteland.
    white pelicans
    Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus) in the Danube Delta

  14. Maybe you might find a muddy hole.
    lake romaniaOchiul Beului Lake in Cheile Nerei National Park

  15. Or just a tiny stream.
    Bigar Waterfall in Caras Severin

  16. Where is the remote?
    hiking 87
    Carpathian Mountains

  17. I should have stayed home and watched a movie!
    biking
    Carpathian mountains

  18. Beaches… just a sand box.
    Beautiful long sand beach in Costinesti, Romania
    Black sea

  19. I’ve seen greener plant life in my refrigerator.
    tunnel of love
    The Tunnel of Love

  20. So, why would anybody bother to come?
    Transalpina road and Urdele peak in Romania
    Transalpina road in Transylvania

  21. Just to be disappointed?
    peles
    Peles  Castle

  22. Just to be bored?
    Cluj Napoca
    Cluj Napoca, Transylvania

  23. Just to be disgusted?
    food
    Traditional food

  24. Just to see the same bland thing?
    "Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself." Desiderius Erasmus
    Wooden church in Maramures

  25. Definitely, there is no reason to come to Romania!
    The Negoiu Peak. Fagaras Mountains, Romania
    Piatra Craiului MountainsDon’t click on the photos!

Source: Family Vacation