Romania and Her Painted Monasteries

Romania is a country waiting to be discovered by tourists and this tour introduced its romance, history, myth, and beauty as no other trip there could.

It began with three days in Bucharest, known since the beginning of the 20th century as the Paris of Eastern Europe – and still living up to its reputation.

Just outside of the city is the Village Museum where vernacular buildings from the centuries can be visited and which is one of the earliest and most influential of the village museums.

The heart of our visit, and perhaps the soul of the country, the painted monasteries of Bucovina, and we visited six of the more impressive sites – beginning with Putna where St. Stephen is buried. We also went to Sucevita, Moldovita, Dragomirna, Humor and Voronet.

Then it was down into magical, mythical, romantic Transylvania. Our first stay was in the pearl of medieval towns, Sighisoara really a walled castle town. In addition to the Castle, there is the Citadel, the Clock Tower, and the Church of the Monastery.

Count Tibor Kalnoky has taken back his family home and is in the process of restoring it to its former glory.  He was our host for our overnight stay at his home, Kalnoky Castle.

In Sibiu we visited several museums including the Brukenthal Palace, now an art gallery, churches and public buildings. A day trip took us to Brasov another of the fortified Saxon towns and one whose rich history is reflected in the many buildings and museums.

On our way back to Bucharest we visited three of the country’s most romantic castles – the glorious Peles built in 1875 for Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen with Aubusson tapestries, stained glass, painted ceilings, all situated high on the hill with the mountains behind. Quite nearby is Pelisor Castle built slightly later as the summer residence of Romania’s second king. This is one of the most glorious of the art nouveau buildings in the country with work by Galle, Josef Hoffman, Tiffany, and Daum.