Romania

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  • Topic: Romania, Bucharest, Transylvania
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  • Published : March 26, 2013
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ROUGHGUIDES

Romania

THE ROUGH GUIDE to

The Rough Guide to

Romania

written and researched by

Tim Burford and Norm Longley

NEW YORK



LONDON



DELHI

www.roughguides.com

Contents
Colour section 1 Contexts 429
Introduction ............................... 6 Where to go ............................... 7 When to go .............................. 11 Things not to miss ................... 1 The historical framework ........ 41 Minorities and religions .......... 448 Wildlife and environmental issues................................ 451 Music ..................................... 459 Dracula and vampires ............ 471 Books .................................... 476

| C ONTENTS |

Basics

25

Getting there ............................ 27 Getting around ......................... 2 Accommodation....................... 7 Food and drink ........................ 9 The media ................................ 41 Festivals................................... 42 Sports and outdoor activities ... 45 Travel essentials ...................... 46

Language

485

Words and phrases ................ 489 Glossary................................. 494

Travel store Small print & Index

497 509

Guide

53

1 Bucharest............................ 55 2 Wallachia .......................... 10 3 Transylvania ...................... 14 4 Moldavia ........................... 261 5 Maramureş ........................ 25 6 The Banat ......................... 57 7 The Delta and the coast .... 87

The great outdoors colour section following p.408 Romania’s religious architecture colour section following p.248

  Gura Apei Lake, Retezat mountains, Transylvania  Local transport, Maramures

| INTRODUCTION | WHE RE TO GO | W HE N TO GO

4

5

| INTRODUCTION | WHE RE TO GO | W HE N TO GO

Romania
Travel in Romania is as rewarding as it is challenging. The country’s fantastic mountain scenery and great diversity of wildlife, its cultures and people, and a way of life that at times seems little changed since the Middle Ages, leave few who visit unaffected. Rather than expecting an easy ride, try to accept whatever happens as an adventure – encounters with Gypsies, wild bears and tricky officials are likely to be far more interesting than anything purveyed by the tourist board.

Introduction to

| INTRODUCTION | WHE RE TO GO | W HE N TO GO
6

As fascinating as the major towns and cities are – such as the capital, Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara and, most enchantingly, Sighisoara – Romania’s charm essentially lies in the remoter, less visited regions. Almost any exploration of the villages of rural Romania will be rewarding, with sights as diverse as the log houses in Oltenia, Delta villages built of reeds, and the magnificent wooden churches, with their sky-scraping Gothic steeples, of Maramures, not to mention the country’s abundance of more traditional churches, which reflect a history of competing communities and faiths. Romanians trace their ancestry back to the Romans, and have a noticeable Latin character – warm, spontaneous, anarchic, and appreciative of style and life’s pleasures. In addition to ethnic Romanians, one and a half million Magyars pursue a traditional lifestyle long since vanished in Hungary, while dwindling numbers of Transylvanian Germans (Saxons) reside around the fortified towns and churches their ancestors built in the Middle Ages to guard the mountain passes. Along the coast, in the Delta and in the Banat, there’s a rich mixture of Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgars, Gypsies, Turks and Tatars. In many ways, Romania is only just emerging from the shadow of the regime of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who, during more than two decades of rule, drove the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Today,

 Princely Church in Curtea de Arges, Wallachia

Fact file
• Occupying an area of some 27,000 square kilometres, and with...
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