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  • Views: 3764
  • Author: admin
  • Date: 4-02-2015, 19:25
4-02-2015, 19:25

Sarmisegetuza - the Spiritual Centre of the Dacians

Category: History / Transylvania / Sarmisegetuza

Sarmisegetuza - the Spiritual Centre of the DaciansOne of the most spectacular ancient settlements in Romania is the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dacia, Sarmisegetuza Regia or Sarmisegetuza Basileion. We are referring to a settlement compared by some Romanian historians with Stonehenge in Britain. Other historians consider it as the centre of the most intricate system of fortifications in Europe, outside the Greco-Roman world, the so- called "barbaric" world. Sarmisegetuza was the residence of the tragic king Decebalus, who was murdered or committed suicide after being defeated by the Romans. Sarmisegetuza was only conquered after a long siege, following the Roman invasions in the years 101-102 and 105-106, after the besiegers managed to destroy the system of pipes that was supplying water to the garrison defending the city. Sarmisegetuza’s demise equated with the symbolic disappearance of a people, and for the Romanians, this dramatic story resembles that of the fall of Troy.
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  • Views: 2398
  • Author: admin
  • Date: 4-02-2015, 19:03
4-02-2015, 19:03

The Probota Monastery - the Family Necropolis of Prince Petru Rareș

Category: History / Moldova / Probota

The Probota Monastery - the Family Necropolis of Prince Petru Rareș

A true monastic fortress rises in Probota. The monastery was founded in 1530 by Prince Petru Rareș, the son of Stephen the Great. From 1522, the church served as a royal necropolis. Here are buried the princes Petru Rareș and his son, Stephen Rareș, Petru's wife, Elena Rareș, and two noble offspring: Eftimia, daughter of Petru Rareș and Samfira, daughter of Stephen Rareș. The monastery was built in the vicinity of a wooden church, from the time of Prince Peter Muşatin, and a stone church, built by Prince Alexander the Good, where Lady Oltea, the mother of Stephen the Great, lies buried.
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  • Views: 2032
  • Author: admin
  • Date: 15-12-2014, 11:48
15-12-2014, 11:48

The Mystery of Pătrăuți’s Yellow Colour

Category: History / Moldova / Pătrăuţi

The Mystery of Pătrăuți’s Yellow ColourThe church of Pătrăuți, built in 1487 by the voivode Stephen the Great, holds the secret to a unique colour in the world. The Pătrăuţi Yellow is a sort of golden ocher, created by one of the Byzantine artists who fled here after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453. According to the French Byzantinologist Andre Grabar, this was the artist George Trice. He settled in Moldova, where he had a pivotal influence on the Moldavian painting school. He died in 1530 in Moldova and is buried in St. George’s church in Hârlău. His most brilliant student was Toma of Suceava.
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  • Views: 2825
  • Author: admin
  • Date: 12-12-2014, 10:55
12-12-2014, 10:55

Costeşti - Citadel: the First Royal Residence of Dacia

Category: History / Transylvania / Costeşti Citadel

Costeşti - Citadel: the First Royal Residence of DaciaOne of the most important citadels in the history of the Dacian kingdom is the Costesti Fortress. Some historians believe that this would have been the first genuine royal residence used by Dacia’s monarchs. The fortress was built in the first century BC. After the capital was moved to Sarmisegetuza, the Dacian fortress in Costeşti - Citadel took over the role of the most important strategic defence element that protected the new capital. The fortress is built on the Grădiştea Water. The top plateau of the hill on which the fortification is raised has an altitude of 514 metres. The fortress also protected the civil settlement located at the foot of the hill, whose inhabitants could flee into the fortification, in case of danger. The defence also comprised additional elements.
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  • Views: 1781
  • Author: admin
  • Date: 8-12-2014, 15:37
8-12-2014, 15:37

The Arbore Church or How Moldavian Architecture Combines Oriental and Western Influences

Category: History / Moldova / Arbore

The Arbore Church or How Moldavian Architecture Combines Oriental and Western InfluencesOne of the most spectacular architectural monuments is the Moldavian Church Arbore. This place of worship combines the Byzantine tradition of worship sites with Western influences, filtered by the Catholic Poland. The church was built by the hetman Luca Arbore, the Moldavian army commander during the reign of Prince Stephen the Great, declared a saint by the Romanian Orthodox Church. Since 1993, this church is part of UNESCO’s world heritage. The founder of this church, Luca Arbore, was part of the high aristocracy of Moldova. His father was commander of the Neamt Fortress. In 1486, Luca Arbore became the commander of the garrison in the capital of Moldova, Suceava. He was one of the trusted men of Stephen the Great, and received the rank of hetman, namely, the army chief of the principality. He also held the position of commander under the reign of Stephen the Great's son, Bogdan the Blind. Then, he became regent of Moldova in the first period of the reign of Stephen the Great's grandson, Stefan Voda. However, later on, Stefan Voda killed Luca Arbore and his sons, Toader and Nichita, whom he accused of treason. Their memory is preserved in the old church of the village Arbore. Initially, it was an entire aristocratic residence, out of which only the church survived.
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  • Views: 4224
  • Author: sveat
  • Date: 21-11-2014, 02:01
21-11-2014, 02:01

Biertan - the Largest Peasant Fortress in Transylvania

Category: History / Transylvania / Biertan

Biertan - the Largest Peasant Fortress in TransylvaniaAccording to some historians, the village of Biertan was attested in 1224, in a diploma issued by King Andrew of Hungary. Biertan was then a part of the Two Seats Saxon administrative unit. At that time, Biertan was competing with Medias and Moşna to claim the residence title for these seats. The Saxon inhabitants of Biertan were settlers from the Franconia area of Germany. Biertan had lined up houses built around a central square, with the church-fortress located in the middle. Biertan had suffered during the great Mongol Invasion of 1241. This prompted its inhabitants to become involved in the Christians’ efforts of constructing a series of stone fortresses to stave off Mongol invasions.

In Biertan, the locals raised three rows of walls, reinforced with 6 towers and 3 bastions, which turned the church-fortress into one of the strongest fortifications in southern Transylvania. The settlement prospered, and as a sign of their wealth, the Biertan Saxons decided to rebuild the church in the centre, and dedicate it to Saint Mary. The construction was carried out between 1486 and 1524, following a late Gothic style. The three naves church in Biertan is the last of its kind built in Transylvania. The Saxons had hoped that they would acquire their own ecclesiastical hierarchy, given the almost permanent state of conflict between the Saxon clergy and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Alba Iulia. The failure to receive a proper bishop from the Catholic Church only encouraged the Saxons to adopt the religious reform. Biertan took full advantage of this phenomenon.
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  • Views: 6360
  • Author: sveat
  • Date: 21-11-2014, 01:16
21-11-2014, 01:16

The Danube Delta –Paradise at the Shore of the Black Sea

Category: Biodiversity / Dobrogea / Danube Delta

The Danube Delta –Paradise at the Shore of the Black SeaThe Danube Delta is located precisely half way between the Equator and the North Pole. Among its trademark attractions are rare species of birds and animals, such as pelicans, sturgeons or the gone-wild horses of Letea, but also the ways of living of different ethnic communities such as the Russian Lipovans, the Ukrainian Hahols, Romanians, Machedons and so on, communities living among waters, surrounded by reeds and water lilies.

The Danube Delta is one of the Europe’s most spectacular location in terms of wetland. Included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 1991, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is The place where the Danube River leaves Europe behind and flows into the Black Sea under constant transformation. Europe’s best preserved delta is far from being frozen in time, or a site that has remained still for millennia. On the contrary, the Danube Delta is perpetually changing, expanding every year with a few dozen square meters due to the 67 million tons of river deposits washed over half a continent.

Nevertheless, the ever-changing delta is the natural habitat for ancient fish species, such as sturgeons, a species as old as the dinosaurs managing to survive until present. The 45th North parallel crosses the Danube Delta, marking half the distance between the Equator and the North Pole, turning this site into a spring destination for birds migrating from tropical countries, in search of cooler summers and fish galore, while hosting the Northern species for the winter.
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