Whenever you say Romania, most individuals take into consideration Transylvania, which is among the hottest locations within the nation. However few vacationers know in regards to the fairy-tale area of Bucovina, in northern a part of Romania. Right here you may nonetheless wander via villages forgotten by time, the place the soil is tilled with the horse and plow, and the wool is spun with a spindle.
Bucovina is one among my favourite components of Romania, wealthy in folklore, pure magnificence and historical past. We first found its allure again within the 80s, after we nonetheless lived in Romania and used to take lengthy journeys across the nation.
A Temporary Historical past of Bucovina
Till World Battle II, Bukovina was below the management of Romania, as a part of the historic province of Moldavia. However in 1940, the northern half of Bukovina was occupied by the Soviets and it’s presently nonetheless a part of Ukraine. So after we discuss Bucovina (spelled with a ‘c‘) we’re referring to the southern a part of this area, which remained affiliated to Romania.
From the 14th to the sixteenth centuries, Bucovina was the seat of many Moldavian rulers, essentially the most well-known of which was Stephan the Nice (Stefan cel Mare) who constructed most of the monasteries within the area.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BUCOVINA ROMANIA
There may be barely any details about Bucovina on-line, so it’s not stunning that only a few European itineraries embrace this a part of Romania. Subsequently, on this publish I’ll inform you all that you must find out about visiting Bucovina. It is a journey that it is best to make by automobile, to completely take pleasure in it.
1. Cheile Bicazului (Bicaz Gorge)
For those who like dramatic surroundings and stone partitions towering over slim passes, this place is only for you! Cheile Bicazului are a part of a pure reserve known as Hāsmas Nationwide Park, which lays over 6,500 hectares.
The highway that goes via the gorges is sort of a tunnel carved in limestone rock, with sharp twists and turns that may make your coronary heart cease! Nonetheless, this is among the most spectacular drives that you’ll ever encounter! In actual fact it’s so lovely, that many individuals select to park their automobile and stroll as an alternative of driving.
The practically vertical partitions abound with vegetation that grows in odd locations. Timber rising up from the rocky peaks, small waterfalls popping out from the cracks within the rock – this place is amazingly lovely!
2. Lacul Rosu (The Pink Lake)
One other lovely place to go to within the Bicaz-Hāsmas Nationwide Park is Lacul Rosu (the Pink Lake). This pure dam was shaped when one of many massifs close to the Bicaz Gorges collapsed on account of a giant earthquake, and locked the river valley.
Earlier than the rock cliff collapsed and the valley was invaded by water, this space was once a forest. Subsequently, the lake appears to be like like a sunken forest – with damaged tree trunks rising from the water. Navigating via them in a type of rental boats could be a little difficult.
Its title comes from Pârâul Rosu (the Pink Creek) , which crosses via purple layers of iron oxide and hydroxide, giving the lake considerably of a reddish shade.
If the climate is sweet, you may hire a ship and row across the lake. You can even tour round it on foot. Sadly Lacul Rosu is all the time swarming with folks, I can’t bear in mind if I’ve ever seen it empty.
3. Putna Monastery
If there’s one factor that made Bucovina recognized exterior the borders of Romania, that’s its painted church buildings and monasteries. So if you’re visiting this a part of the nation it is best to make it a degree to see as lots of them as you may.
Maybe crucial monastery in Bucovina is Putna, positioned close to the city of Suceava. This was one of many first monasteries constructed (1466) by Stephen the Nice, the well-known Moldavian ruler that Romanians maintain so expensive to their coronary heart.
Legend has it that Stephen selected the development web site by capturing an arrow at a close-by hill, and the constructing was erected on the bottom the place the arrow landed.
Putna might lack spectacular frescos, nevertheless it’s as an alternative the resting place of Stephen the Nice, his second and third wives, and their kids.
Each the monastery and its magnificent church are a gem! When visiting Putna, learn the knowledge at hand and attempt to recognize what you see. It’s essential to know the historic second throughout which this monastery was constructed.
Behind the monastery there’s a museum that homes a big assortment of medieval objects and manuscripts, amongst which is the Holy E-book that Stephen carried in battle.
4. Daniil the Hermit’s Cave
Simply 2 km away from Putna Monastery you may go to the cave of Daniil the Hermit, a fifteenth century monk who selected to stay his life in complete isolation. He carved a small chapel into the rock, in a really densely forested space.
Identified in Romania as Daniil Sihastrul, the monk rose to fame as a result of Stephan the Nice, the prince of Moldova and Bucovina, consulted him earlier than every battle.
To succeed in the cave you may both stroll from Putna Monastery (about half-hour), or drive following the indicators to ‘Chilia lui Daniil Sihastrul‘.
5. Voronet Painted Monastery
The Painted Church buildings are the most important attraction in Bucovina and for positive one of many explanation why many individuals go to Romania. What makes these monasteries so well-known are the colourful exterior frescos depicting numerous spiritual scenes.
When you’ve got time, I might recommend taking a devoted tour of all of the painted church buildings in Bucovina. They’re completely gorgeous! However on the minimal, it is best to go to the Voronet Monastery, which is undoubtedly essentially the most lovely one.
Voronet Monastery – which was additionally constructed by Stephan the Nice – is legendary for its gorgeous Final Judgment fresco, painted on the western façade. The fresco depicts Jesus on the prime of this scene, from the place he judges all of humanity. On the left are the righteous women and men who will go to heaven, whereas on the best a river of fireplace takes the sinners to hell.
The blue paint, which is the predominant shade of the church, has miraculously by no means pale. So what’s the key behind the ‘Voronet Blue’ No one is aware of. The craftsmen guarded their commerce secrets and techniques fiercely. So to at the present time, the composition of the paint nonetheless stays a thriller.
6. Cotnari Winery
Cotnari is among the oldest and most well-known wines in Romania. The hills on this area are calcareous and luxuriate in particular local weather. These situations favor the looks of the ‘noble rot’ – a fungus which helps produce the perfect candy wine.
The Cotnari wines had been highly regarded in Europe on the finish of the nineteenth century, however at the moment they don’t take pleasure in the identical fame as prior to now. Nonetheless, if you’re visiting Bucovina, I like to recommend making an attempt a number of the wines of their assortment. Essentially the most well-known ones are Grasā de Cotnari and Frâncușā de Cotnari, which is the one Cotnari wine that’s not candy.
7. Suceava Fortress
The city of Suceava will not be on the listing of the perfect cities to go to in Romania, nevertheless it’s an excellent place to begin for a visit to Bucovina. It’s also dwelling to one of the vital spectacular fortresses in Romania.
The Fortress of Suceava was constructed within the late 1300s by the Moldavian ruler Petru Mușat, as a defensive fortification in opposition to the Turks. It additionally served because the residence for a number of the strongest and influential voivodes (rulers) of Moldavia.
Sadly, the fortress did lastly collapse to the Ottomans in 1675, when it was completely blown up.
READ NEXT: Alba Iulia Citadel – the Finest Vauban Fortress in Romania
8. Cacica Salt Mine
One place you shouldn’t miss when visiting Bucovina is the Cacica salt mine, positioned within the village of Cacica. Though not as in style because the Painted Monasteries, or the Bicaz Gorges, the mine remains to be a captivating web site to go to.
The deepest space you may entry within the mine is at 44 meters beneath the floor. As you enter the cave, you’ll discover a robust scent of gasoline which they are saying it’s not dangerous. Nevertheless, when you have a eager sense of scent, I like to recommend sporting a painter’s masks, because the scent could also be actually bothersome.
One attention-grabbing reality about this mine is that it was all carved out by human labor, with using quite simple instruments, like axes and shovels. No excavators had been ever used within the building.
9. Bucovina Village Museum
The easiest way to expertise Bucovina’s rural structure is by visiting its distant villages, the place outdated traditions and customs are very a lot alive. However in the event you don’t have time, it is best to not less than go to the Bucovina Village Museum, positioned subsequent to the Royal Citadel in Suceava.
This open-air museum (fairly just like the Bucharest Village Museum), includes a assortment of 80 conventional properties from throughout Bucovina. The homes are adorned with their authentic furnishings and equipment.
You can even purchase some good, genuine Romanian souvenirs from the museum store.
10. Ceahlau Nationwide Park
For those who like climbing and the outside, I can’t consider a extra spectacular place than Ceahlāu Nationwide Park. Situated within the Japanese Carpathian Mountains in Bucovina, the Ceahlāu Massif is among the most famed mountain chains in Romania.
It’s been a few years since we hiked these trails, so I don’t bear in mind a lot about them. However if you’re all in favour of climbing the Ceahlāu, I like to recommend going with an area information. A few of these treks are fairly difficult.
Is Visiting Bucovina, Romania, Price It?
Completely! Nevertheless, visiting Bucovina independently could also be just a little difficult and adventurous. Firstly, as a result of Bucovina may be very distant and virtually nobody speaks English right here. Additionally, public transportation is scarce or virtually inexistent in some villages, which makes it troublesome to get round until you might have a automobile.
Nonetheless, visiting Bucovina is a really rewarding expertise. It’s like stepping again in time in a bygone period of rural traditions and carts pulled by horses. Moreover, you’ll uncover that Romanians are one of many friendliest and most welcoming folks on the planet.
When to Go to Bucovina
One of the best time to go to Bucovina is from April to September. Springs are particularly lovely in Romania, when the timber begin blooming and the mountain slopes gown up in a number of shades of inexperienced.
Summer season months are additionally nice a time to go to this area as a result of it doesn’t get too sizzling on this a part of the nation. Within the fall the times are shorter and also you get extra rain, however the vibrant colours of the autumn foliage make all of it price it.
Winters aren’t so nice if you wish to hike or spend time exterior. Nevertheless, it is a distinctive time of the yr for experiencing the Christmas traditions in Romania. And Bucovina is sort of wealthy in such customs.