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Dates of visit:
Sept. 7, 2005 -
Sept. 27, 2005

We rate this trip a:

Trip Highlights:
 Visit Family
 Romanian Wedding
 Eco-touring
 Danube Delta
 Iron Gates NP
 Fishing Villages
 Mountain Villages
 Monasteries
 Roman Ruins
 Roman Spas
 Black Sea Coast
 

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*** City of Timisoara, City of Arad ***
**** Baile Herculane Roman Spa ***
*** Holy Monastery of Horezi ***
Go to first page - Bucharest, Black Sea Coast, A Romanian Wedding
Go to second page - Roman, Greek & Medieval Ruins, Tulcea, Murighiol
Go to third page - Danube Delta, Hyrmalis, Macin Mnts. Monasteries
Go to fourth page - Iron Gates, Eibenthal & Bigar, Orsova, Cazanele Mici
Go to fifth page - Monastery Vodita, Turtles, Rural Romania
        Map of Romania
        Travel route in Romania
        City of Timisoara
        Site Gallery - City of Timisoara
        City of Arad
        Site Gallery - City of Arad
        Baile Herculane Roman Spa
        Site Gallery - Baile Herculane
        Holy Monastery of Horezi
        Site Gallery - Holy Monastery of Horezi
City of Timisoara

TimisoaraGeographically out on a limb, Timisoara (pronounced 'ti-mi-shwa-ra'; known as Temesvar in Hungarian, Temeschburg in German) is often bypassed by travellers, yet for no good reason. Romania's fourth-largest city has a soothing Mediterranean air, with outdoor cafes and regal, Habsburg-era buildings fronting its two main squares. Opera and drama thrive here.

Unlike other cities in the country, few Romanians have a bad word to say about Timisoara, dubbed the 'city of flowers' after the ring of pretty parks which surrounds it.

Locals view themselves as being residents of Romania's 'Primul Oras Liber' (First Free Town), for it was here that protests in December 1989 ignited countrywide uprisings that eventually toppled Ceausescu.

In part due to its proximity to Hungary, Timisoara is one of Romania's most developed cities. Timig County, of which Timisoara is the administrative centre, is the richest agricultural area in Romania.

Timisoara Trivia

  • Hollywood's original Tarzan was born in a Timisoara suburb.
  • Frenchman Gustave Eiffel, who engineered Paris' Eiffel Tower, built a bridge over the city's Bega canal.
  • Timisoara was the first European city to introduce horse-drawn trams (in 1869), and the first to sport electric street lighting (in 1889).
  • The world record for drawing 'speed cartoons' is held by Timisoara artist Stefan Popa (he can draw 131 cartoons in one minute).
  • Every October Timisoara hosts Romania's week-long, national beer festival.

Tarzan of Timisoara

MGM's original Tarzan was born in Timisoara. Billed by the movie-makers as 'the only man in Hollywood who's natural in the flesh and can act without clothes', Johnny Weissmuller (1904-84) was a box-office hit in the 1932 Tarzan the Ape Man.

The Romanian-born actor went on to make 11 more Tarzan movies which featured the not-so-bionic Jane, and the yodelling jungle-cry (not really WeissmOller but a mix of recorded animal sounds). MGM allegedly paid Weissmuller's wife $10,000 to divorce him in a bid to appease lovestruck fans (Weissmuller married five times in all). In 1940 he was dropped by MGM and went on to shoot 16 Jungle Jim movies with Columbia before retiring in the 1950s.

Weissmuller was hot in the swimming stakes too. He was an Olympic gold medallist five times over in 1924 and 1928, and won 76 world and 52 national swimming titles for the USA during a five-year sporting career. He later modelled swimwear.

Throughout his life, Timitoara's Tarzan never declared himself Romanian. His family left Romania in 1907 for the US and he consequently claimed Pennsylvania as his birthplace to ensure his eligibility for the Olympics.
(Source: Romania & Moldava, Lonely Planet, 2001, www.lonelyplanet.com)

Site Gallery - City of Timisoara
 
Victoria Square
** Location of City of Timisoara **
Victoria Square Victoria Square Victoria Square
Victoria Square Victoria Square Victoria Square
Victoria Square Victoria Square Victoria Square
Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Metropolitan Cathedral Metropolitan Cathedral Metropolitan Cathedral
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Around City Center
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Unirii Square (Nightime)
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City Architecture
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City Architecture City Architecture City Architecture
City Architecture City Architecture City Architecture

City of Arad

AradArad, 57km north of Timisoara, sits in winemaking country on the banks of the Mures River, which loops around Arad's 18-th century citadel then flows west to Szeged in Hungary.

Arad developed as a major trading centre during Turkish occupation of the city between 1551 and 1687. There's not much to see here except elegant late-19th-century architecture, commissioned while the town was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Arad is the main gateway into Hungary.

(Source: Romania & Moldava, Lonely Planet, 2001, www.lonelyplanet.com)

Site Gallery - City of Arad
 

City of Arad City of Arad City of Arad
City of Arad City of Arad City of Arad
City of Arad City of Arad City of Arad
City of Arad City of Arad City of Arad
City of Arad City of Arad City of Arad

Baile Herculane Roman Spa

Baile HerculaneLegend has it that Hercules bathed in the curative natural springs still flowing today in the mountain spa resort of Baile Herculane. The first baths were built by Roman legions following their invasion of Dacia. Inspired by the incredible healing powers of the springs, they named the resort Ad Aquas Herculi Sacras, meaning the `Holy Water of Hercules'.

During the early 19th century, Baile Herculane developed as a fashionable resort, attracting royal visits from Habsburg emperor Franz Joseph. Sadly, most of the grand hotels and baths stand empty and neglected.

Mount Domogled (1100-meters) towers over Baile Herculane to the west, dominating the Cerna Valley in which the resort lies. The extensive forest reservation, which has been protected since 1932, includes rare trees, turtles and butterflies.

(Source: Romania & Moldava, Lonely Planet, 2001, www.lonelyplanet.com)

Site Gallery - Baile Herculane Roman Spa
 

On the way to Baile Herculane
** Location of Baile Herculane **
To Baile Herculane To Baile Herculane Victoria Square
Baile Herculane Spas
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Baile Herculane Train Depot
Baile Herculane Train Depot Baile Herculane Train Depot Baile Herculane Train Depot
Baile Herculane Train Depot Baile Herculane Train Depot Baile Herculane Train Depot

Holy Monastery of Horezi

Holy Monastery of HoreziThe Holy Monastery of Hurezi (1690-1697) is located in a spectacularly picturesque area, an area abounding with history and spirituality. Not far from Ramnicu Valcea (40 km), only 3 km from the town of Horezu, the Holy Monastery rises majestically as a stern but at the same time welcoming fortress, offering a ray of light and a feeling of Romanian spirit.

From anywhere in the country, near or far, a curious tourist or a pious pilgrim will find here the reward of their journey; the holy place offers to anyone passing its threshold not only the peace and tranquility of Romanian monasteries, but also true treasures of Romanian old art and history. A visit to the Holy Monastery of Hurezi is, before anything else, an opportunity to lower your knee, than an instant of joy, when the soul tastes the sweetness of prayer and of the divine services that keep soaring to the Lord. Al the same time though, it is an instant of relived history, a window to the troubled times that afflicted Wallachia 300 years ago, when the Ruler of the country, Constantin Brancoveanu (1688-1714), seeing "the shifting values of this vain and unsound century", decided to erect the Holy Monastery of Hurezi, which "gives a measure of the generosity and zeal that consumed him in improving the House of God, the Holy Church, for which nothing was ever too expensive. Its unmatched beauty and harmony bid us to chant praising God: Hallelujah.

The history of the Holy Monastery of Hurezi is a representative page from the book of the Romanian nation, in which, beyond the goods and evils that befell the people and places, the echoes of their works s h o n e through. The architecture, the paintings, the museum, the icons and the holy relics all stand witness to a holy place build to last and to carry through time the sign of victory.

The centerpiece of the entire Hurezi complex is the Great Church, the hub around which all life in the monastery revolves. An element of unique beauty is, besides the exquisite painting and the harmonious architecture, the iconostasis, carved in gilded wood.

The chapel is the "vertically dominant part" of the Hurezi complex architecture. Not far from the monastery, to the west, in a clearing over the water, the Hermitage of Saint Stephen was built in 1703. Near the monastery, to the north, in the middle of an orchard at the foot of the hill, you can find the Hermitage of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, built under the care of loan the Archimandrite in 1698.

The balcony tower of Dionisie is one of the architectural pieces of great value found at the Hurezi Monastery. The baroque sculpture of the railings and of the five columns - each with its unique pattern - is famous. The decoration brings the same elements specific now to the Brancoveanu style: acanthus flowers, twisted flutings, symbolizing wealth, harmony, and rhythm. Besides the beautiful stone wreaths, in which floral elements coexist with zoomorphic ones, we can find, as a foreshadow of the prayers and hope for unity, the combined coat of arms of Wallachia and Moldavia.

(Source: The Holy Monastery of Hurezi, Monastery brochure, Horezu - Valcea, Romania)

Site Gallery - Holy Monastery of Horezi
 

On the way to the Holy Monastery
To The Holy Monastery To The Holy Monastery To The Holy Monastery
Holy Monastery of Horezi
** Location of Holy Monastery of Horezi **
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi
Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi Holy Monastery of Horezi

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