Piatra Neamt, the capital of Neamt County, is located in the northern part of the charming region of Moldavia. The picturesque city, surrounded by the Eastern Carpathians, lies on the banks of the Bistrita River.

The land of present Piatra Neamt is known to have been one of the first human settlements on Romania’s territory.  Throughout the Neamt county there have been found traces of the much discussed mysterious culture of Cucuteni, a civilization who has lived 5 thousand years ago. Even more, the first centuries before and after Christ found this area as a large Dacian town, known as Petrodava.

Piatra Neamt lived a period of intense development under Stephen the Great in the 15th century, when the Princely Court, Stephen’s Tower and St John Baptist Church were built. The princely court, today the historical center, around which the actual city of Piatra Neamt developed, nests the Petru Rares College, the Art Museum, the Ethnography Museum, the Princely Court Museum and the aforementioned Stephen’s  Steeple Tower and the Church of St John the Baptist, which together form the symbol of Piatra Neamt.

Museums in Piatra Neamt are plenty, from the Cucuteni Museum of Eneolithic Art, which exhibits painted ceramics, art objects depicting humans and animals, to the Ethnographic Museum, a beautiful collection of traditional costumes and artisan tools suggesting the peasants’ way of life on Bistrita Valley.

The religious monuments of Piatra Neamt exceed the traveler’s expectations by their inestimable artistic value, like the “Transfiguration of Jesus” Wooden Church in Valeni or the richly ornamented Byzantine style Bistrita Monastery fortresses by four meters stone walls which were rebuilt after Suleiman the Magnificent destroyed them.

Surprisingly, Piatra Neamt also hosts a wooden synagogue, namely the “Baal Sem Tov”, which attests a large Jewish community from the medieval times. The wooden synagogue attracts thousands of tourists every year, for it dates back from 1766 and it is considered the oldest synagogue in Romania, possibly even in southeastern Europe.

With the administration of Piatra Neamt’s goal to put the city on the map of touristic destinations of Romania, they even constructed a cable car to facilitate the winter sports practiced on Cozla Park, as well as it is also the ideal way to admire the city panorama and the nature surrounding it from a pretty high altitude.

The Cozla Park, besides being a ski run, also administers a zoo park where tourists can spot the native fauna like bears, wolves, foxes, deer and stags.

Strandul Tineretului is not to be forgotten in this array of landmarks, as it is a touristic complex which plays the role of the perfect destination for summer. Here you can relax at the pool, play tennis, football, sand volley and basketball, roller blade and skate, or go on a a paintball session. There are also numerous accommodations, terraces and clubs available here.

The interesting Palace of Justice is an important emblem of justice from Bucharest. This historical and architectural monument is built between 1890 and 1895 during the economic boom and is located on Dambovita River.

After Carol I was crowned, the old Judgment Court became too small and King Carol I decided to build the Palace of Justice which is worthy for an independent state. This wonderful construction is built on the same place where used to be the Judgment Court, constructed on lands of boyars Creţuleşti and Goleşti.

Following the steps of Minister of Justice, Eugeniu Stătescu, in 1882 the Parliament gave the first loan needed to start this work of art. Architect Albert Ballu was chosen to make this edifice and architect Ion Mincu was responsible with the interior design and finishes.

The Palace of Justice is made in an irregular quadrilateral plan, has a basement, ground and three floors. It is built in a Renaissance style and has six allegorical statues symbolizing the Law, Righteousness, Justice and Truth. The edifice’s clock has also two statues that represent the Force and the Prudence. On the Main Front are three doors on which visitors can enter in the building. The Palace rooms are vast with many decorations.

The most important hall is “The Hall of Lost Steps”, also known as “Hall Horologe”. It occupies a quarter of the total building area and on its exterior are two stairs of honor made of marble. In the center of this hall tourists can see the Justice Minister Eugen Statescu Monument made by Ernest Dubois and Lawyer Mihai Kornea Monument by Romanelli. On October 4, 1895, The Palace of Justice is inaugurated with an official document on parchment through Carol I that offers this building to the judicial corpus to achieve their mission.

This parchment is made in three copies, one is built in this edifice, one is submit to the State Archives and the last one is preserved by Minister of Justice.

Between 1954 and 1956 are made repairs because they wanted to transform this edifice in a Palace of Culture.After the 1977 earthquake this building needs serious repairs, as most of the buildings from Bucharest. It looks like between 1979 and 1981 are made consolidation works, but below the mark. Because of the 1986 earthquake and because there are no funds for repairs this edifice closes its justice activity.

On June 2003 under the governance of Adrian Nastase starts the restoration and consolidation made by Romanian and France architects.

The restoration of this Palace is finished in 2006 and the following institutions are returning: Court of Appeal, District Court 5 Bucharest, Romania Magistrates Association, National Union of Bars in Romania, Bucharest Bar.

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.

Royal Palace from Bucharest capital is the Romanian royalty symbol which has gone through constant changes. During time, this sumptuous building was extended, burned, demolished, rebuilt, restored and strengthened.  In its beginnings this edifice was the Golescu’s family house. The edifice is located on Victoriei Square, in the central part of Bucharest.

Descendants of this boyar family sell this house and in 1837, ruler Dimitrie Ghica changed it in an important building from Royal Court. It is transmitted to Stirbei Voda and after, to Alexandru Ioan Cuza.  Cuza brought here the symbol of unification and in his times, to this construction was added an additional floor.

When King Carol I of Romania arrived here, he saw this wonderful building and transformed it in a Royal Palace. Carol I helped this edifice to reach the European standards. For this he encouraged French styles in urban development and made two new buildings to the original left one. In 1882 here is built the central corpus, a new building that houses the Throne Room and large reception rooms. The third new construction is used for the guard and the floor provides accommodations for the guests.

The Royal Palace from Bucharest benefited from the first electric lighting installation, between 1882 and 1906.

In the night from 7 to 8 December, 1926 a fire destroy the central corpus of Royal Palace. Because of all this loss, King Ferdinand I of Romania decided to renovate the building, with modifications and improvements in 1927. Now, the first floor is raised to 5 meters and the Hall Throne, Hall Ceremony and Gala Lunches are improved.

In 1930, King Carol II of Romania returned to the throne and he wanted to restore this palace to its original form, but the State allocated money only for conservation. For the renovation are used stone and marble that are natural and qualitative, a material that imitate marble for a cheap structure.

The Big Hall from the ground floor uses the Adams architectural style. This style is invented by British architectures, and proves elegance and power, but also uses some elements from classical architecture. King Carol II made the last modifications and restorations to this imposing palace.

When Communist Regime gained power they transformed the Royal Palace in a complex of Art Museum dedicated to People’s Republic of Romania and a Council of State. As an important event that took place here was the exhibition of returned treasure from USSR in 1956.

Since 1950, Royal Palace hosted the National Art Museum of Romania. For the stylistically aspects are used Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Classicism styles. Tourists that visit this beautiful edifice delight they’re eyes with paintings that show: landscapes of the country’s wealth, peasant’s photos and habits, semi-mythological scenes. To the semi-basement level there is a Royal pool holding a decorative frieze with dolphins. At the second floor are the European Art Exhibition and the Florentine Hall with its painted wooden boxes. Probably, the most important items of this construction are the Voivodes Stairs and the great Throne Hall.

The Royal Palace, known today as the National Art Museum of Romania remains the symbol of national historical arts and change, and is the most important art museum from Romania.

One of the most enchanting cities in Romania is for sure Sibiu. If somebody asks why, the question is very simple: Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centers of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg. Sibiu’s Old Town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade.

Also, every tourist need to know that this city is a pedestrian-friendly city with two easily accessible levels: the Upper town, home to most of Sibiu’s historic sights, and the Lower town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets and bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin.

The splendour of the city is certainly differently than other places on Transylvanian territory.

Besides many interesting museums, coffee shops, historical dates and pretty locals, Sibiu prepared for all Romanian people and international guests one of the most interesting cultural place named: The Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

The Church represents one of the most important buildings in the Large Square dating from the 18th century. After Sibiu’s adherence to the Reform, the city was left without Catholic churches for a period of over a century, all the churches serving the Evangelic cult. The exterior of the monument is sober, seven smaller rectangular windows with stone cadres being superposed on the seven windows situated at the first floor. In the interior, the lateral altars are divided by Dorian doubled columns.

The statue of the saint martyr Nepomuk which was initially placed in the Large Square must also be mentioned in this article. During the communist regime, this statue was dismantled and at the present it is located in the interior courtyard of the parochial house in the immediate vicinity of the church.

The church is remarkable due to its early Viennese baroque style, with simple lines at the exterior and a richly decorated inside. The interior is really amazing. Here, travelers can find: the fresco representing “Mary and the baby”, the most important Baroque accomplishment in Sibiu; the headstone of count general Otto Ferdinand Traunn of Abensberg (1677-1747), the military commander of Transylvania and the pipe-organ dating from 1860 was made by Carl Hesse.

The members of the parochial community represent three ethnic groups. Therefore, the divine service is conducted in three languages: Romanian, Hungarian and German.

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.