Romania – unforgettable attractions and historic monuments which you must see

Panorama of the city, Cluj-Napoca

Everything gets mixed in that picturesque and mysterious country at the Black Sea – people, cultures, religions, histories, flavours and styles. Romanian attractions are so rich and diverse that when you come to like them, you will want to come back over and over! Just like the growing crowds of other travellers, for Romania is back in the game and on Europe's tourist maps after years of oblivion!

Cities full of historic monuments

Start from the country's cities, which attract visitors with their unique history, beautiful architecture and pleasant atmosphere. Fancy travelling a few centuries back in time? If yes, then you must definitely visit the town of Sighișoara, whose Medieval stronghold features in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fortified town is surrounded by centuries' old walls, and the centre is filled with narrow cobbled streets and pleasant architecture. That unique complex is considered one of Romania's most valuable historic monuments for a reason. The city of Sibiu is also beautiful and historic, and will welcome you to its elegant and vast Old Town, where you can see some temples, museums, nice townhouses, and lots of culture, as the city is one of key cultural centres in the country. Don't forget about historic Brașov, which is often regarded as "the last bastion of Latin Europe", and Cluj, the capital of Transylvania and the most "Hungarian" city in Romania.

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The colorful town of Sighisoara, Romania

We need to defend ourselves!

In response to the incessant threat, Transylvanian population started to build peasant strongholds and fortified churches. They are two Romanian attractions you will not meet anywhere else! The former were erected by the local population with a great deal of effort! And since they were built by the people, no traditional landlord residences were erected within the walls. Instead, they are packed with residential, commercial and storage spaces. The most important ones can be found in Rupea and Râșnov. The other rarity, i.e. fortified temples, is also a result of the continuing threat. In the present day, they have been recognised by UNESCO. There are plenty of them, and the most important ones can be found in the towns of Biertan and Prejmer.

Biertan Castle in Romania

Painted churches

A group of different beautiful but marvellous Romanian historic monuments includes painted Orthodox churches built in the 15th and 16th centuries, which you can see in Bukovina. As is the case with fortified churches, there are many of them, and the eight most beautiful ones have been entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. As the name indicates, they are covered with paintings both inside and outside (usually the entire walls!). Have a closer look at them! Appreciate the craftsmanship and local character! Decode the stories being told!

Voronet monastery in Transylvania

 

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Wooden churches and a painted… cemetery

And one more group of temples which you must discover in Romania! This time you will travel to see the interiors of brick temples in the region of Maramureș. Don't be surprised – they are another rarity featuring in the UNESCO World Heritage List! Most were built from fir, pine or oak wood without a single nail. There are eight of them for you to see, but the most valuable ones are at the same time the oldest: in Poienile Izei (1604) and Budesti (1643). And yet another attractions of the region. Very unique and extraordinary! It is a painted "merry cemetery" in the town of Săpânța. Incredible as it may sound, the place is really merry and colourful; everything is owed to the wooden tomb tables which are covered with various painting. On the nearly 800 crosses you will see boards with drawings symbolising e.g. the profession, specific features of character or the cause of death of the people buried there. They are made in the spirit of primitivistic painting and are an interesting example of folk art.

Merry cemetery in Sapanta, Romania

Small and big castles!

Of course, Romanian fortresses were inhabited not only by the people! The two most famous castles, without visiting which your visit to Romania would be incomplete, are Bran and Hunedoara. The former was built in the Valahian and Transylvanian borderlands in the 14th century and is popularly, albeit wrongly, linked with Vlad the Impaler, who was popularised in pop culture as Count Dracula. The latter is a mighty fortress built in the 15th century at the initiative of Jan Hunyadi. You are going to be amazed by its scale and architecture. To say that it looks like a fairy tale object is not an exaggeration at all! And its interiors house an interesting historical museum.

Branie Castle in Transylvania, Romania

Transfăgărășan

Next must see in Romania is the original name means a road that runs across the country from north to south, and whose route is so designed that the views you will see from it are truly stunning. Are you surprised that a transport route is ranked among Romania's largest attractions? Everything will become clear and obvious after you cover 150 km, where you reach 2,042 m a.s.l. at the highest point! Thrills guaranteed, and you will see some true gems on the way, including Lake Vidraru with the dam and the Poenari Castle.

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A view of Lake Vidraru on the Transfogarska Highway

 

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