Monasteries in Moldova – Tour details
Route: Bucharest – Buzau – Focsani – Bacau – Piatra Neamt – Putna – Gura Humorului – Campulung Moldovenesc – Vatra Dornei – Brosteni – Bicaz – Gheorgheni – Sighisoara – Bran – Bucharest
Day 1. BUCHAREST
You arrive in Bucharest where you will meet your guide. Airport – hotel transfer. Accommodation in a three stars hotel and after this you may enjoy some spare time for visiting the capital.
Bucharest is the capital of Romania and at the same time the biggest city, an industrial and commercial center of our country. It was first mentioned in 1495 as the residence of the Romanian Country Ruler, Vlad Tepes, a real character within the world’s history and literature, a provider of legends and myths. Paradoxically, Bucharest wasn’t described in the universal literature in the same way like some other places were, areas where the presence of this ruler was only temporary, but well underlined.
Among Bucharest’s most important places and sightseeing we mention:
The Village Museum – built in 1936 – it offers a perfectly clear image of our peasants’ life, of their ingenuity spirit and of their outstanding artistic spirit.
Cismigiu Park – this place’s history began in 1779, when the ruler of the Romanian Country, Alexandru Ipsilanti ordered two drinking fountains to be built so that the inhabitants should have the proper drinking water. It was built on 16 hectares, being placed in the center of the city and being set up just like an English park, being the oldest public garden. Its name comes from these drinking fountains as the building manager had the reputation of ‘Great Cismigiu’.
We may also mention some other interesting sightseeings: Cantacuzino Palace, The House of the Free Press, The National Museum of Natural History Grigore Antipa.
In the evening, you may relax within a typical Romanian atmosphere with music, food and traditional dances.
Day 2. BUCHAREST – BUZAU – FOCSANI – ODOBESTI – PIATRA NEAMT (365km)
After having breakfast, departure at 09.30 to Bucovina.
It is one of the most attractive tourist areas in Romania. Located in the north-east, on the border with Ukraine, Bucovina is a hilly, heavily wooded area, where tradition and history blend harmoniously with the present. Here we may meet people in their late 40’s proudly wearing popular, hand embroidered clothes working the fields and going at church on Sunday, but we may also encounter young people dressed after the latest fashion trends.
It is an original picturesque area, where the tourist can admire the unique historical buildings belonging to the Moldavian rulers, monasteries that are found throughout Bucovina, many of them being more popular than in any other region of the country.
On our way, we will pass near one of the most famous Romanian vineyards, dating back to the time of Prince Petru Rares, where we can taste the most famous wines of Odobesti. The cellar with the same name will invite you to a tasting, where we may of course, serve lunch.
We continue our way to Bucovina not before having a stop in the historical lands of Moldova.The accomodation overnight in Piatra Neamt. Dinner at restaurant.
Day 3. Piatra Neamt – Targu Neamt – Putna – Gura Humorului (280 km)
After breakfast, departure at 09.00 to Targu Neamt. We will charge ourselves with files of history visiting the “Fortress of Neamt. The old fortress walls impress even today with their magnificence and historical background, full of glory and of legends. Its dominant position, on Plesului Peak, above the floodplain of Ozana, in the west of Targu-Neamt, can be compared to a nest of eagles, which lasted for over six centuries and many sieges , remaining a symbol of our nation .
Our journey through the tumultuous history of Moldova continues with a review of the most famous monasteries.
Putna Monastery – an Orthodox monastic sanctuary, one of the most important cultural, religious and artistic Romanian centers, being dubbed “the Romanian Nation Jerusalem.” They say that the monastery was built by Stephen the Great, at the urge of a lone monk, Daniil the Hermit, who hosted the grand prince in his cell in a very dark night, when Stefan Voda would have been lost there and the wolves howling outside mingled with the grumbles of the bears. On that occasion, the old hermit, with the secret advice to the prince, persuaded him to raise a monastery close to the lovely valley of Putna “for God to help him with all his affairs.”
Moldovita Monastery – one of the oldest monastic settlements, with an important historical past.The origin of the monastery is not precisely known, but the tradition still remembers it even since the Musatini rulers. Under the reign of Alexandru cel Bun, the first stone church was built, being certified by documents between 1402 – 1410 with the entire range of constructions, having already dedicated to the Annunciation and having already been a cultural center. The monastery of Alexandru cel Bun lasted until the end of the fifteenth century, when it collapsed due to some landslides – its ruins can be seen even today at 500 m distance from the actual construction. Wishing to pursue the monastic existence, the ruler Petru Rares changed its location and the new church was built in 1532 (which was preserved until today), being devoted to the same patron.
Sucevita Monastery – The tradition places on Sucevita valley between hills, a wooden church and a small convent (hermitage) from the early sixteenth century. The legend says that later, for the redemption of the who knows sins, a woman has brought with her chariot drawn by buffaloes, the necessary stone for the actual construction, for thirty years. Documentary, the monastery is attested in 1586 as a result of the initiative belonging to the Bishop George Movilă. Built in the Moldavian architectural style – it combines art elements of Byzantine and Gothic art, plus architectural elements of old wooden churches in Moldova, the large-scale building keeps settled the three-cusped plan and the settled style in the time of Stephen the Great, with the closed porch. A special note is given by the other two small opened porches (pillars connected by braces of arches) later placed on the south and north sides, through excellence “Wallachian”. Accommodation in Gura Humorului.
Day 4. GURA HUMORULUI – VATRA DORNEI – BICAZ – SIGHISOARA (350 km)
After breakfast, departure at 09.00. We visit:
Humor Monastery – the first churchbuilt in 1415 . It was the masterpiece of Ion Vornicul , made during the reign of Alexandru cel Bun. It was destroyed, only the walls were kept and nowadays the ruins can be seen from 500m distance by the actual monastery. In 1530 it was rebuilt on a new place, its founder being the Ruler Peter Lord , and in 1641 the surrounding walls were reinforced and the defensive tower was built by Vasile Lupu. Humorului Monastery impresses us with its exterior painting, the oldest in the country, being realized by the craftsman Toma, which represent historical and biblical scenes, among which we may mention the hymn of the Annunciation (24-stanza containing scenes including the Glorification of Mary), “The Siege of Constantinopol”, the “Legend of the Prodigal Son” and “Judgement Day” .
Voronet Monastery – the building of this church combines two great personalities: the monastery founder, Stephen the Great and pious Father Daniil, the first abbot of the monastery. Inside the church there is a royal throne, together with the clothes since the time of the ruler, which seem to be waiting the return of the Great Stephen, a holy candle light watches over the tomb of Saint Daniil the Hermit.The interior painting of the church dates mostly from 1496, keeping the specifics of the other places of worship built in time. The attention is captured mostly by:The Last Supper, The Communion of the Apostles, washing feet (within the altar), The Cycle of Passion and the votive painting of Prince Stephen the Great . The Voronet exterior painting, dating since the reign of Petru Rares, is made at a high artistical level, being considered as the most successful whole of the Moldovian feudal art. We invite you to discover the biblical figures of this monastic settlement, unique by their message and also by their color, close to the surrounding nature and where the predominant colours are green and blue, the blue of Voronet being an international famous brand.
We will go to another historic area.
We will admire on our way to Sighisoara – the lake “The Mountain’s River” – the largest artificial lake (anthropogenic) built on the interior rivers in Romania.
Bicazului Gorge – the most impressive gorge in Romania – they link Transylvania and Moldova. All the way from Bicazului Gorge is formed by coils of great beauty. The limestone walls of cliffs hide caves of great beauty.
At the end of the gorge another unique natural phenomenon will be waiting for you – The Red Lake – a natural dam lake, near the town Gheorgheni. It is the largest natural mountain lake in Romania, its name deriving from Red Creek, which crosses red layers, with oxide and hydroxides of iron.
During the afternoon we arrive in Sighisoara, where we visit the only medieval citadel in Europe, which is inhabited nowadays. A place full of traditions, history, emotional feelings.
Dinner and accommodation in Sighisoara.
Day 5. SIGHISOARA – BRAN – PITESTI – BUCHAREST (360 km)
After breakfast, we depart at 09:00, visiting: Sighisoara, a beautiful city with a history of thousands of years, which houses both Romanians, Hungarians and Germans. The medieval settlement and the town have been built since the Middle Ages, first mention being in the year 1280. The medieval city is inhabited even today, within its walls we might sometimes feel that revived fragrance of the old times, with townsfolk, knights, ports and customs which cannot be found elsewhere in Europe. You can relax there by actually living the XIV-XVIIIth centuries atmosphere. We mention here only the house where the legendary character of “Vlad Dracul” was born, in order to understand the historical meaning of the places and for the other tourist attractions, we are pleased to let you discover them one by one, and enjoy your soul doing this.
Bran Castle – The famous castle attracts thousands of tourists every year because of the legend of Count Dracula. In one of the castle’s room, a “Bram Stoker” space was especially arranged to present the legend of Vlad Tepes (also known as Vlad Dracul) and the myth of Dracula. Departure to Bucharest.
Tours are organised for groups of minimum 20 persons.