Henri Coanda International Airport is located outside the urban area of Bucharest -Otopeni, Ilfov County- and is the busiest airport in Romania. The airport is located at a distance of 16.5 km from the center of Bucharest. It is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coanda, builder of Coanda – 1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coanda effect of fluidics. Until May 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport.

Henri Coanda International Airport serves as headquarters for Tarom, the national airline of Romania and the private company Tiriac Air. Also, it is the base of operations for charter companies and low-cost, Air Bucharest, Blue Air and Wizz Air.

The airport is administered by Bucharest Airports National Company SA. It has 2 tracks with 70 destinations, 38 airlines and operators and in 2016 was registered 10.981.652 passengers to travel from Henri Coanda International Airport. Regarding the airport history, during the World War II, Otopeni airport was used as a military base by the German air force. By 1965, it was limited to military use and was one of the most important bases of the Romanian Air Force.

In 1965, a new commercial airport was built in Otopeni. The track was modernized and extended to 3,500 meters, making it one of the longest runways in Europe at that time. In August 1969, when President Nixon of the United States visited Romania, it was opened a VIP lounge.

In 1970 was opened a new passenger terminal (designed by Cezar Lazarescu) with a capacity of 1.2 million passengers per year and the second runaway was built in 1986, having 3,500 meters long. Finally, in 1992, Otopeni Airport became a regular member of Airports Council International (ACI) and it was ready to be upgraded over a long period of time that lasts until today.

Airport facilities consist of a single terminal with two main buildings: Departures Terminal and Arrivals Terminal, connected by passage which include a variety of shops, cafes, lounges and internet cafe. The airport has 32 gates, 14 of which are equipped with tunnels for transfer to the aircraft. Henri Coanda International Airport is accessible via bus lines, train, taxi or personal car. In 2015, Henri Coandă International Airport was ranked, by Airports Council International – Europe, in fourth place among European airports with the highest air traffic growth in the first half of the year, in the category of airports which had between 5 and 10 million passengers.

Romania is a wonderful country, with gorgeous landscapes, amazing castles, fortresses, epic medieval cities and splendid architecture. In Romania you can practice many types of tourism, such as: cultural tourism (which is the most common type of tourism in Romania), historical tourism, adventure tourism, religious tourism, wellness tourism, scientific tourism, rural tourism, industrial tourism, and business tourism and so on.

Most of the European foreigners are fascinated by medieval cities and ancient churches, especially that built in Romanic and Gothic style. Some of them are practicing genealogy tourism. Germans and Hungarians come to see how their ancestors lived and to find more about them. The most important medieval cities are located in Transylvania. These are: Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita, Alba-Iulia, Brasov, Sibiu, Medias, Rasnov, Turda and Sighisoara. Each one of them has a gorgeous architecture and famous places and objectives to visit:

  • Michael’s Church,The Reformed Church from M. Kogalniceanu Street, Franciscan Church from Musem Square and Calvaria Church located in Cluj-Napoca.
  • Evangelic Church located in Bistrita
  • The Romano-catholic cathedral located in Alba Iulia
  • The Black Church located in Brasov
  • The Evangelic Church located in Sibiu
  • The Evangelic Church St.Margaret located in Medias
  • Monastery Church located in Sighisoara

Besides that, there are other fortified churches in Transylvania that are not located in cities, but in medieval villages. These are: Biertan, Calnic, Darjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor and Viscri. Many of these churches are part of UNESCO Heritage List. It is fascinating to see churches and buildings that preserved from almost 500-600 years or even more and trying to imagine how people were living back then.

Castles and fortresses represent strength for Romania. There are some castles that are famous all over the world, like Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle – for its legend with vampires),the Palace of Parliament (second biggest building in the world, after Pentagon), Peles Castle (being nominalized by many top publications as the no. 1 castle in Europe) and Huniazilor Castle (for its legends and movies that were filmed there). Other fortresses that are worth visiting are Alba Iulia, Sighisoara, Rupea, Rasnov and the Dacian fortresses Sarmisegetusa Regia (the dacian capital, abandoned about 2000 years ago, which still preserves very well), Costesti and Banita.

Along with castles and fortresses, another famous built heritage made Romania famous: Maramures the land of wooden churches and Bucovina the land of painted monasteries.

Eight wooden churches from Maramures are part of UNESCO Heritage List, many of them built between 1700 and 1800. These UNESCO wooden churches are located in: Budesti, Desesti, Barsana, Poienile Izei, Ieud, Surdesti, Plopis si Rogoz. Besides these one, there are more wooden churches in the region.

The painted churches from Bucovina are part of UNESCO Heritage List too, eight of them, just like the wooden churches. These monasteries are: Arbore, Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Moldovita and Voronet. The last one mentioned, Voronet is famous for its shade of blue. This shade of blue was named after the monastery: Voronet blue.

These are part of Romanian’s built heritage, a valuable treasure for us, Romanians, and for tourists.

After mentioning what it was built, we would like to mention what it was given by nature. Romania has wonderful landscapes and it’s called “The Carpathian Garden”. It has almost an equal percentage of mountains, hills and plains. It has almost 250 km of seaside, an unique Delta, Danube’s Delta, over 2000 caves and breathtaking mountains. Highest peak in Romania has 2544 meters. Romanian Carpathians are perfect for hiking, skiing or for scientific purposes. Two roads in the country are famous, Transfagarasan, called the most beautiful road in the world by many famous publications and Transalpina, at an altitude of 2000 meters and a breathtaking view.

Romania also has a large spectrum of mineral water, used to cure many diseases. The best known wellness and SPA resorts are: Baile Felix, Baile Herculane, Olanesti, Calimanesti, Caciulata, Sovata, Ocna Sugatag, and Tusnad.

In the end, I would like to talk about customs, traditions and folklore. There are some regions in Romania that some of traditions and customs are well preserved by locals. The most popular ones are on Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, and 1st of March.

Easter is associated with painting and knocking eggs. Before Christmas and New Year’s Eve children and young men are going from house to house singing carols. For their effort, they receive cakes or traditional sweets. They wear traditional clothes and go to church on holidays, and many traditional dances and customs that are waiting to be discovered by tourists.

These are some reasons to visit Romania. I hope I aroused your curiosity to come and visit. We are waiting for you.

Maramures is considered by many tourists the heart and soul of rustic Romania, with its picturesque countryside of small villages, rolling hills, pastures, and riverside full of wildflowers.

Maramures is a small and unique county placed in the North part of Romania. People have regard-fully and distinctively conserved the culture, traditions and lifestyle of a medieval peasant past.

Namely here, in Maramures guests can find one of the most special village named Prislop. The location is very popular thanks to its feast known as: The Prislop Festival.

Another interesting and catchy feast is: Botiza Festival.  It is the holiday of lovers which takes place in Botiza usually the same weekend as Prislop, but its a two day festival so makes both festivals attainable.

Both festivals are similar. However the festival in Botiza is more of a village festival than the Prislop festival. It is interesting because the festival gather many people with different culture, habits and rules.

Another special festival who’s popularity is growing up year by year is: “Drumul Lung spre Cimitirul Vesel feast” (English: The Log Way to Merry Cemetery). It is organized usually in august. The idea of the festival and the first edition was created and started in 2010.

The purpose of the project is to promote cultural values, spiritual, national and international promotion of ideas, projects, concepts and individuals who have a strong impact in the social, community and spiritual education of citizens in ethnography, folklore, literature, cinema, painting and music.

Started from 2016, the project’s goal is to create a bridge to open a communication channel between rural and urban Romania sending a national message on behalf of more than 12,000 villages from the country:

“We are here! We are together!

We represent something valuable to you!

Visit us! Hear us! Help us! Enjoy with us!”

For seven years The Long Way Festival became a symbol of the region, identifying and promoting traditional values of Romania. The festival is a complex one, with many beautiful elements.

Don’t miss to visit Prislop area!

Romania has had a plenitude of important figures throughout its entire history; figures that are still mentioned and appraised to this day. Here’s a list of five most famous male figures of Romania’s medieval era, romantic period, monarchy and communism.

Vlad Tepes, known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula, was the ruler of Wallachia. He lived between 1431 and 1476 and ruled Wallachia three times from 1448 to his death. Vlad got his notorious pseudonym of “the Impaler” due to his favorite method of execution, impalement, whereas the name of Dracula has its roots in the blood line of House of Draculesti. All crimes were punished by impalement: lying, stealing, killing, as Vlad Dracul was a very honest ruler.

Stefan cel Mare / Stephen the Great was the voivode of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504. The extensive rule of Stephen was a period of stability in Moldavia’s history and such he is remembered as a great ruler, today even regarded as one of Romania’s greatest national heroes. He is often regarded as the protector of the peasants against the noblemen or foreign invaders. Stephen has fought 36 battles and only lost two of them, although his army was often outnumbered. After his wars with the Ottoman Empire, Stephen got into cultural development, with dozen churches, monasteries erected in a unique Moldavian Architecture.

Mihai Eminescu was a poet, novelist and journalist of the Romantic Era. Born in 1850, the revolutionary poet only enjoyed 39 years of his life. He is regarded as the most famous and influential poet of Romania. Mihai Eminescu began writing poetry at the age of 16 as Mihail Eminovici. The national poet delivered an inestimable treasure of verse for which he is considered one of the greatest poets in the world of literature. His most famous work is Luceafarul, a dramatic idyll between an astral spirit and an earthly woman.

Nicolae Ceausescu was the communist dictator who brought Romania to its knees for two decades, from 1967 to 1989. After a short time of a moderate rule, Ceausescu became more and more brutal and oppressive. Although he led Romania through times of industrial development, he was also the cause of human misery and denial of culture and religion. As he became a power-hungry dictator, he started huge constructions like the Palace of the Parliament and abolishing everything that reminded of the monarchic era. His great ambition was to pay all of Romania’s debt, but he did this in such way that people got poorer and more miserable. Eventually, the whole of Romanians rose against his tyranny in the 1989 Revolution, when he was executed and the communist regime was abolished, although his imprint is still highly recognized today.

Michael I of Romania was the last king of the Kingdom of Romania. He reigned between 1927 and 1930 and again from 1940 to 1947. Born in 1921, his first rule was just at 8 years old and this was due to his father running away with his mistress. In 1930, Carol II returned to the country and replaced his son as king. After returning to the throne, Michael I had several endeavors to avoid the promotion of the communist party, but to no avail, as he was forced to abdicate in 1947. The communists took all his properties and his citizenship and thus he settled in exile in Switzerland. After the 1989 revolution, Michael tried to return to Romania but he was arrested and forced to leave. He was allowed visit in 1992 where he was highly appraised by Romanians, thing which alarmed the government. In 1997, Michael’s citizenship was given back to him as well as the confiscated properties. The still alive last King of Romania always raises nostalgia between Romanian people, as they regard the Kingdom of Romania as times of flourish.

Romanian ladies are best known abroad for their unique beauty, but that doesn’t mean they do not do anything except being beautiful. Here is a list of five women who remained well-known for their actions in history.

Queen Marie of Romania was the last queen of Romania, as the wife of King Ferdinand I. She was born in the British royal family, as Princess Marie of Edinburgh. She was to marry her cousin, King George V, but she refused and married Ferdinand I instead, the heir apparent of King Carol I, who was the first king of Romania. She was very popular in Romania as well as abroad. She was known for her talent in horse-riding, painting, writing, sculpting, dancing and for her beauty. She is also known under the alias of “Mother of the Wounded” or “Mamma Regina” as she was a nurse during the First World War.

Ana Aslan was a biologist and physician and discoverer of the anti-aging effects of procaine. She developed Gerovital H3 and Aslavital, of which you might have heard or used. She is considered a gerontology and geriatrics pioneer in Romania, as she founded the first Geriatric Institute in the world in 1952. While using procaine for pain relief on patients, Ana Aslan came upon other effects of the drug, like better skin and hair, better memory and a general feeling of well-being.

Elena Ceausescu was the influential wife of the infamous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. It is believed that it was her who worsened the dictator’s actions upon the country and that without her, Ceausescu would have been a “moderate communist”. Under the dictatorship, she was considered the “Mother of the Nation” and an awarded erudite chemist and doctor honoris causa, which was in fact a hoax. Before the execution of the controversial couple, it was Elena who exhibited atrocious reactions rather than her husband.

Nadia Comaneci is a formet gymnast renowned all around the world. Considered the National Gymnast, at just 14 years old, she became the first gymnast in all Olympic history to receive a perfect score of 10 in 1976. Even more, she received other six perfect 10 scores and three gold medals in Montreal. The incredible gymnast won another two gold medals in 1980 in Moscow. For her Olympic and World Championship medals, Nadia Comaneci became one of the most important and well-known gymnasts in the world.

Ecaterina Teodoroiu was a woman who fought and died in the First World War. For this, she is considered a heroine in Romania. She was awarded the Military Virtue Medal after working as a nurse and subsequently becoming a sublieutenant of the Romanian Army. Her bigger brother died as a Sergeant in the times of her nursing. Her bravery and wish to avenge her brother’s death made her prove her military skills. She was killed while leading her platoon and her last words were “Forward, men, don’t give up, I’m still with you!”

Amazingly, the Romanian Orthodox Church is the only church within orthodoxy to have as a native tongue a Romance language. With more than 85% of the Romanian population being Orthodox, the Romanian Orthodox Church is only surpassed by the Russian Orthodox Church in members.

Besides the 16 million Christians living in Romania, Romanian orthodoxy also expands to neighboring countries of Moldova (720,000), Serbia and Hungary and even more, the United States (11,203) and Oceania.

The Orthodox doctrine is often called the “true faith” or the “right/correct belief” by its members.

The three most significant events in a person’s life are the birth, the wedding and death. These are all usually “celebrated” through certain customs varying from church to church.

Orthodox Romanians baptize their children while they are still newly born, unlike other faiths where they are baptized later in their life. There may be many pairs of godparents and the engagement godparents must baptize the first child. Also, it is the godparents’ obligation to each hold lit an ornamented candle matching the child’s gender. At the end of baptizing, the godfather must put a silver cross necklace on the child and the godmother must swaddle him.

When it comes to the holy marriage and wedding, the man courts the woman and asks her hand to her parents. After she accepts and they get engaged, they decide on their godparents, as these are considered extremely important. The bride is readied by the godmother and afterwards meets the groom who gives her the flower bouquet. During the ceremony, Orthodox Christians have this custom to steal de bride and for unmarried girls to catch the bouquet.

When a person dies, the Orthodox customs of burial are the following: the deceased’s hands are crossed holding a cross, all persons coming to the wake must say “God forgive him!” The relatives of the deceased must wear black for 40 days and man should not shave and must not leave the soulless body alone. Wailing is manifested in some parts of the country as sign of respect towards the deceased. If the day of the burial is a rainy one, this signifies that the dead person did not want to die.

The Romanian Orthodox Church’s most important holidays and days of rest, besides the Birth of Jesus and the Resurrection Day, are the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Feast of the Cross, the Pentecost (Rusalii), Nativity of Mary, Assumption of Mary, Transfiguration of Jesus, Palm Sunday (Florii) and the Epiphany (Boboteaza).

The most loved and prized saints of the Orthodox Romanians are John the Baptist, the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Nicholas and Saint Andrew.

As many wonder, there are some but slight differences between Catholicism and Orthodox, which were once the same Christian faith. In Romanian, they use different nouns for the Holy Spirit – Orthodox use “Duh” while Catholics say “Spirit”. Moreover, they make a cross the other way round. Catholics believe in the existence of a purgatory, a place or a state where a man waits for the Last Judgment, whereas Orthodox do not believe such thing exists. While Orthodox use bread as the body of Christ, Catholics use wafers, like Jews. Although Orthodox priests are permitted to have a family, Catholics are prohibited to get married and have children. Lastly, Catholics are known for the papal supremacy, considering the Pope as the replacer of Christ on Earth.

 

The Bucegi Mountains, located in the center of Romania, are probably the most known and visited mountains in Romania, on account of the Prahova Valley and especially the natural monuments, famous all throughout the country and the world.

The most extraordinary natural formations in the Bucegi Plateau are the Sphinx and Babele (Old Ladies). The best way to reach the 2400 high Bucegi Plateau is by cable car from Busteni.

The amazing Sphinx is a natural rock formation, an anthropomorphous megalith situated at an altitude of 2216 meters. It gets its name from the lookalikes between itself and the Egyptian Sphinx. Whereas the Great Sphinx from Giza is manmade, the Bucegi sphinx was formed gradually by eolian/wind erosion. A mysterious coincidence of the two sphinxes having the same height made many historians wonder if the Egyptian sphinx was actually inspired by the one from the Bucegi Mountains.

Another legend speculated around the Sphinx is that it might have been an energetic center used by aliens in ancient times, as close to it there is a cave which would supposedly collect extraordinary energetic mysteries and tourists are highly attracted by this.

Amazingly, there are other megalith monuments in Romania that bear the name of sphinx, like the one at Stanisoara, Piatra Arsa, Gutaiului Moutains and several more.

People have been fascinated by this natural wonder for ages, as one of the first pictures had the Sphinx as a protagonist, in 1900, when photography was still a scarcely explored domain.

Besides this manly figure of the nature, the Bucegi Mountains also houses the rocky formations Babele at the altitude of 2292 meters. Babele were also formed due to wind erosion and are situated 5-10 minutes away from the Sphinx. At the foot of the Babele chalet, there is a cottage with the same name, Cabana Babele, where tourists can enjoy their favorite drink and the extremely tranquil yet enigmatic scenery.

The mushroom-like formations of Babele and the remote Sphinx make up a superb sight of great importance, to which tourists come either by car, cable car or hiking each year. Make sure you put them on your bucket list and most importantly, like the pictures with tourists leaning on the Pisa Tower or cupping the height of the Eiffel, take a picture that looks like you’re kissing the sphinx to add to the collection.

Romania? The mysterious land located in Southeastern Europe, a Latin at heart, yet with Balkans around it, the result of the most atypical melange between the indigenous Dacian great-grandfathers and the Roman Empire, which once ruled the world.

So what makes Romania such a superb place for travelers? What about this land is it that makes tourists want to discover Romania?

First, it may be the famous Romanian countryside, a unique experience for anyone discovering Romania. The countryside amazes with how devotedly customs and traditions are kept, with the unbelievable variety of the Romanian dress, the unmistakable Romanian cuisine like the mititei, mamaliga and the infinite range of ciorba, as well as the traditional spirit of palinka. The architecture of the Romanian countryside is also something quite unique.

Tourists can experience the folkloric way of life best while touring around the region of Maramures, a part of Transylvania. You will be amazed by how lovingly they keep traditions alive, even more, you might not ever want to leave; as many former tourists fell so deeply in love with Romania that they moved here. An apart representation of tradition is the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, Maramures; an eternal resting place renowned for the humorous take on afterlife, with jokes engraved on tombs.

Quite close to Maramures there is the region of Bucovina, where the amazing painted churches Voronet, Putna and Moldovita lay.

Other tourists are more inclined towards discovering Romania within its Dacian and Roman roots, in which case there are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Dacian Fortresses in the Orastie Mountains, the Alba Carolina Citadel or the vestiges around the Iron Gates of the Danube, like the Bridge of Apollodorus of Damascus.

Probably the most visited landmarks of Romania are the accumulation of medieval cities and fortresses in the historical region of Transylvania. Chances are that you have heard about Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture in 2007, Brasov or Sighisoara, the medieval city turned UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety. These cities keep a living memory of medieval architecture and history, through their many bastions, towers and museums. Even more, the medieval times of Romania are attested by the Biertan Village, the Rasnov Fortress and the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.

When thinking about Romania, most tourists will link it to the infamous Dracula, for which Bran Castle is known to have been his residence, although it was the Poenari Fortress. In any case, there are a lot of places linked to Dracula that make up the perfectly spooky tour.

The last two eras of Romania, its monarchy and communist regime, are represented by the royal residence of Peles Castle in Sinaia – one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, known as one of the biggest, largest, heaviest and most expensive buildings in the world.

Discovering Romania would surely also imply the chance to see its natural wonders spread all throughout the country and its different landforms. Up above the country, in the highest mountains, the Fagaras, there’s the glacier lake Balea and the Balea falls which can be reached by driving on the best road in the world, the Transfagarasan. Also in the Fagaras Moutains, there are the mysterious rock formations Babele and the Sphinx.

The undergrounds of Transylvania can be discovered through visiting the huge Salina Turda, a museum of salt mining and an amusement park, or the numerous caves in the Apuseni Mountains, like the Bear’s Cave and Scarisoara Cave. Another landform, another natural wonder – the Danube Delta, a land of magical wildlife, a paradise for myriad of unique wild species.

After taking on the tour of discovering Romania, you, dear tourist, should relax on the sandy beaches of the Black Sea Coast.

 

Located on a cliff on the banks of the Danube, near the city of Orsova, at the Iron Gates and the border with Serbia, the rock sculpture of Decebalus is one of southern Romania’s landmarks. Portraying the one who battled against Trajan, the last Dacian king Decebalus, the imposing sculpture measures 43 meters in height and 32 in width and it was made between 1994 and 2004.

The creation of this sculpture cost 1 million dollars and took ten years and twelve sculptors to finish after having been endorsed by a businessman, Iosif Constanting Dragan, one of the wealthiest people in Romania. In fact, out of the 10 years only 4 were dedicated to the actual sculpture, whereas the other 6 involved detonating the rock to reach an adequate base.

The sculpting conditions were rather unbearable taking into account the heights, the extreme weather and vipers, and on top of all, not being able to reach the site other than via boat.

Alike the great sphinx from Egypt, Decebalus’ 7 meters high nose eventually cracked and the alpinist sculptors had to remodel the nose with iron and cement.

The impressive sculpture comes, as often sculptures do, with an inscription. The Latin words engraved under Decebalus: “DECEBALUS REX – DRAGAN FECIT” translate as “King Decebalus – Made by Dragan”.

Amazingly, across the water, on the Serbian side of the Danube, near Ogradina, there is a Roman Empire memorial plaque known as Tabula Traiana. This monument, considered “of exceptional importants” by the Serbs, notes the end of Trajan’s military road along the Danube as well as it celebrates the final battle of 105, when Dacia was absorbed by the Roman Empire.

Because the position of the Decebalus rock relief was not at random, commissioner Dragan would have wanted the Serbians to make a rock sculpture portraying a Roman emperor on the opposite side of the Danube suggesting an eternal confrontation with Decebalus. The Serbians refused to do so.

By modeling this portray of the Dacian king, Dragan wished to commemorate and demonstrate that Romanians indeed contributed to the formation of European cultures, based on the fact that the cultural identity of Romanians can first of all defined by its dacian-thracian ancestry.

Decebalus, 6 meters smaller than the Statue of Liberty and 8 meters taller than the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro (which was, in fact, partially built by a Romanian sculptor), is just one of the touristic wonders down and up the Danube. While visiting the imposing sculpture, tourists can also see the Ponicova and Veterani Caves, the Mraconia Monastery and the Iron Gates Museum.

Yes, wherever you may visit in Romania, there’s always more to see… as this country is made out of landmarks.

Romania doesn’t cease to amaze with its wealth in all branches of culture. One of the most abundant parts is played by the ancient myths and legends of Romania. Romanians have always had a deeply rooted relationship with folklore, expressed by myriads of legends. As most of these folk tales were transmitted orally, no one knows the creator, but there had been many collectors of such uniqueness.

The most fruitful gatherers were the renowned Ion Creanga, with “Harap Alb” and “The old woman’s daughter and the old man’s daughter”, Vasile Alecsandri with his version of the Miorita ballad, and Petre Ispirescu, who published numerous volumes of mythical tales depicting Fat-Frumos (equivalent to Prince Charming), Ileana Cosanzeana, the monsters Zmeu and Capcaun, the dragon Balaur and the evil Muma Padurii.

Miorița is a Romanian legend written in the form of a ballad by Vasile Alecsandri. Little Ewe’s legend says that three shepherds: a Transylvanian, a Moldavian and a Vrancean meet while looking after their flocks. An ewe of the Moldavian tells him that the other envious shepherds are planning to murder him and steal his flock and the Moldavian tell her his testament.

Baba Dochia has several myths built around her, but probably the most known and practiced one is Babele. The Babele myth (old hags) associates the first 9 days of March with Baba Dochia’s 9 sheepskin coats, every day stripping one off. To this day people pick a day between 1st and 9th of March and it is said that the weather of the chosen day expresses the mis/fortune of the person throughout the year.

Vasile Alecsandri put into words another beautiful ballad, that of Mesterul Manole, the architect of the existing Curtea de Arges Monastery in Wallachia. Legend says that Negru Voda ordered Manole to build the most beautiful monastery, but walls kept crumbling in the course of construction. Manole dreamed one night that for the monastery to stand, a beloved person would have to be built alive into the monastery’s walls. He agreed with his workers that whose-ever wife were to bring lunch first, should be the one. The next day, Manole;s pregnant wife, Ana, was the first to show up… And that is how the Arges Monastery is still standing to this day.

And lastly, the myth that put Transylvania on the map: the legend of Count Dracula, Bram Stoker’s fictional character inspired by the historical Romanian figure: Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), a 15th century prince of Wallachia, renowned for his method of impaling criminals and enemies. All crimes were punished by impalement: lying, stealing, killing, as Vlad Dracul was a very honest ruler. A legend says that he put a golden cup in the central square of Targoviste, which was never stolen and remained untouched during Vlad’s reign. Vlad Tepes is seen as a hero in Romania for ceasing crime and corruption and bringing commerce and culture to a thriving level. The link between Vlad Tepes and the vampire Count Dracula is based on Bram Stoker’s research of the Impaler in the UK, although he was to find a blackened reputation of Vlad, because of his hostility towards Saxons.

Unsurprisingly, all Romanians are told these legends in their childhood and no one is a stranger to them. Ask any Romanian about their mythical land and they will narrate with great ardor.