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Pictures From Your Travels

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Chieftain
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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pictures From Your Travels
    Posted: 11-Jan-2013 at 04:59

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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jan-2013 at 05:06

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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 10:19
Sinaia, the Pearl of Carpathians


Photos I made three days ago in most renowned Romanian resort, at the foot of Bucegi Mountains.


In 1690 was built in these wilderness of eternal forests a monastery (the church appears in one photo). In late 19th century king Carol I built here his summer residence, the Peleș Castle, at an estimated cost in present money of 120 million euro. Around the castle, a resort formed.



It is situated in Prahova Valley, between Bucegi and Baiului mountains. Bucegi Mountains are an imense massif with a plateau suspended at 2000 m, something like in Jurassic Park. Tallest point is 2505 m. Baiului Mountains reach 1935 m. In the forests of these mountains live some 200 bears that in the summer can often be seen searching for food inside the town even in daylight.


Bucegi Mountains appear more spectacular seen from Bușteni, the neighbour resort (in last picture).









Various sights


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr





Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr








Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr








Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr








Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr











Royal Castle Peleș, 1873-1914


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr










Pelișor ("Little Peleș"), a castle built in 1899–1903 as the residence for Carol's nephew and heir, the future King Ferdinand


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr









Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr














The Casino, 1913


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr



Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













Royal Train Station, 1913


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr

















The monastery, 1690


Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 10:30
Bușteni Train Station and Bucegi Mountains


Bușteni, Prahova Valley, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 11:08
Glad ya reminding me of these. These are some great and beautiful as well as interesting pics.
 
Ya get the Thumbs Up.
 
Some of them mountain shots remind me of various places in the US Rocky Mtns regions.
 
Well done.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 11:13
Thank you!

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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2013 at 05:56
Some pictures of trips in 2011



Some Saxon peasant fortresses and fortified churches




Transylvanian Saxons are an ethnic group that was colonized in Southern Transylvania (excepting a group in Bistrița area, in province's north-east) in 12-13th century by the Hungarian Kingdom, to defend the frontier and facilitate commerce with Wallachia, Moldavia and further on, Constantinople and Russia.


They brought in these lands their organization, construction techniques and style. Although called Saxons, they're originary from Franconia and Louxemburg, with smaller groups from other parts of Western Europe, like Wallonia etc. Their language is a local German dialect belonging to the Moselle Franconian group.


In middle-age they formed the majoritary population of all Transylvanian cities, even outside their area of colonization (those cities that later will become Hungarian, like Cluj, Turda etc) with the exception of Székely towns.


The richest medieval heritage of Romania is found in this Saxon area, with the finest cities and towns in Romania: Sibiu, Brașov, Sighișoara and some less spectacular (Mediaș, Sebeș, Orăștie).



In 1930 there were 230.000 Transylvanian Saxons (from a total German population of 745,421 in Romania). In 2002, there were only 18.000 Saxons, most of them having emigrated in Germany during communism and after 1990.    



The some 300-400 Saxon villages have the aspect of small medieval towns, with rows of houses having tall gates, each household comprising an interior yard. In 13th century most of the communities of these villages erected undefended Romanesque churches, many surviving today although most of them with modifications. In 14-15th centuries, the Turkish continous invasions determined the Saxon villagers to start a program of fortifications, usually surrounding the church with curtines and towers or extending the church with galleries, towers etc. There was a large variety of forms and solutions, almost every complex being differend than others. From the initial number of over 300 peasant fortresses and fortified churches, today are preserved around 150, from simple churches with a tower to huge ensambles comprising two or three courtyards, several towers etc.



Seven of the most representative of these monuments are inscribed on Unesco list of World Heritage Sites. By chance, the photos that follows present four of them, which doesn't mean that all not presented here are less interesting.























Râșnov / Rosenau this is one of the few Saxon peasant fortifications that is not built inside the village but on the top of a 150 m tall mountain above the town. The medieval castle dates from 12-14th century and sits on the place of Dacian town Cumidava.


Photo is taken from far but the castle can be seen



Râșnov / Rosenau, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr










Viscri - perhaps the most picturesque Saxon fortification, although not very big. The village is outside the intense circulated areas, in an isolated zone of natural beauty, with many wild animals (although is not in mountains).


In this village, the British Prince Charles has bought two houses and restored them using them as his residence during his visits in Romania or guesthouses in the rest of the time. He has several proprieties in Transylvania but this village is the prefered one.

The locality is particular also for the fact that the main activity is the crocheting of wool socks that are sold in Germany by a German company.


The peasant fortress dates from 16-18th century, with parts of the church from 11-13th century.



Viscri / Deutschweißkirch, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Viscri / Deutschweißkirch, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr





Viscri / Deutschweißkirch, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr















Cincșor / Klein-Schenk - the village has a 15th century peasant fortress and is situated in the mirific Land of Făgăraș, a former medieval Romanian comitatus stretching along Olt River at the foot of Făgăraș Mountains.



Cincșor / Klein-Schenk Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Cincșor / Klein-Schenk Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






Cincșor / Klein-Schenk Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr












Dealu Frumos / Schönberg 13-16th centuries. Is situated inside the "triangle" whose corners are the citires of Sibiu, Brașov and Sighișoara, an out-of-time area with tranquill villages and partly forested rolling hills.



Dealu Frumos / Schönberg Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













Netuș / Neidhausen also in the same area


Netuș / Neidhausen Saxon fortified church, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr















Miercurea Sibiului / Reußmarkt - this was the place of one of Transylvania's most important markets, that took place every Wednesday (the name means Wednesday in Romanian and Hungarian).


The peasant fortress is the oldest village fortification in Saxon Transylvania, being erected in 13th century together with the church.


The medieval market's square which in picture appears before the fortress was recently restored at the time of the photo (2011).



Miercurea Sibiului / Reußmarkt, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr












Saschiz /Keisd - the village has two fortifications. The one of the church in the middle of the village (in picture) whose tower was built to resemble the Clock Tower of Sighișoara (the village was in Sighișoara Seat), dates from 15-16th century and is an Unesco monument.

On the hill near village is a another 14th century castle.



Saschiz / Keisd Saxon fortified church, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













Câlnic / Kelling - is another Unesco monument. The Keep surrounded by the first curtain was built in 13th century as the residence of local greav / Graf (count). In 15th century was bought by peasants and extended.


Câlnic / Kelling, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Câlnic / Kelling, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr











Prejmer / Tartlau - is the biggest Saxon peasant fortress, with three courytards and walls 4 m thick (plus some other meters of the rooms' width) and 12 m tall. Erected in 15th century, the fortress surrounds a fine and precious 13th century church, built in Cistercian style which beside other treasures, has a very precious 15th century painted polyptych altar.

Inside the walls, on several levels, are 271 rooms each belonging in the past to a family and sheltering them and their wealth during invasions.




Prejmer is one of the seven Unesco Saxon fortifications.



Prejmer / Tartlau Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr



Prejmer / Tartlau Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Prejmer / Tartlau Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr





















Hărman / Honigberg - also a 13th century precious church, itself fortified and surrounded by a fortress with seven towers.



Hărman / Honigberg Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Hărman / Honigberg Saxon peasant fortress, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr

Edited by Menumorut - 09-Feb-2013 at 06:03

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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2013 at 21:12
Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben




Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and, in tandem with the city of Luxembourg, it was designated a European Capital of Culture for the year 2007. Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes.








The city was founded in 12th century by Germans close to one of two main passes through southern Carpathians, being on the main route of commerce between Hungarian Kingdom and Byzantium / Ottoman Empire. Although is in a low area, mountains are not far and the Olt Defile, the aformentioned pass, is absolutely gorgeous, a 47 km canyon passing through mountains covered in temperate jungle.



Home to the Universitas Saxorum, the assembly of Germans in Transylvania, during the 18th and 19th centuries the city became also the second and later the first most important center of Transylvanian Romanian ethnics.




Sibiu has the most medieval appearance of a city in Romania. Much of historical center was restored to meet the great number of tourists and the events that took place as being the European cultural capital in 2007.




The majority of its population was still ethnic German until 1941 and counted a large Romanian community, as well as a small Hungarian one. Starting from the 1950s and until after 1990, most of the city's ethnic Germans emigrated to Germany.



Among the roughly 2,000 who have remained is Klaus Johannis, who is mayor of Sibiu since 2000. Despite the fact that Sibiu's German minority had shrunken to a mere 1.6%, Iohannis was elected with 69.18% of the votes and has won two re-elections in a row, obtaining some of the largest electoral scores in the country: 88.7% of the vote in 2004, and 87.4% in 2008 re-elections. He is the first ethnic German mayor of a Romanian city since Alfred Dörr, who served from 1940 to 1945. His good management turned Sibiu and the surrounding area in one of the most developed in Romania, with good infrastructure and so on.











The Evangelical Church, 14th century


Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




Sibiu, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr




















The Council Tower, 13th century. The passage at its base connects the two main squares, the Grand Square (of Baroque-Neoclassical appearance) and the Little Square (the one in the picture, of medieval appearance).



Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













The Little Square


Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













Baroque Palace in Grand Square


Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr













Courtyard of Altenberger House, 14-15th century. The building housed the city hall between 1549 and 1948


Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr












Some medieval tower and passage (appears also in first picture)


Sibiu / Hermannstadt / Nagyszeben, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr






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  Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Feb-2013 at 03:21
Alba Iulia / Gyulafehérvár / Karlsburg



A city with a population of 58,681, between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom and the latter Principality of Transylvania. Alba Iulia is historically important for Romanians, Hungarians and Transylvanian Saxons.








In Antiquity, here was the largest city in Roman Dacia, Apulum,with a population close to present one 40-50,000).


In early middle age it was the first city in Transylvania and the first Christian bishopric, with oldest church in this province erected in 10th century.


The historical Romanian name, Bălgrad, means White City or White Fortress and comes from the white stone ruins of the Roman city.



In November 29, 1599, Michael the Brave, Voivode of Wallachia, entered Alba Iulia following his victory in the Battle of Şelimbăr and became Voivode of Transylvania. In 1600 he gained control of Moldavia, thereby uniting the principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania under his rule for the first time. This lasted for a mere year and a half, until he was murdered in 1601.




At the end of World War I, representatives of the Romanian population of Transylvania (the exact number is disputed between Romanian and Hungarian historians) and representatives of the Transylvanian Saxons gathered in Alba Iulia, on 1 December 1918 (celebrated as the National Day in post-communist Romania), to proclaim the Union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania. In the same year, Bessarabia and Bukovina united with Kingdom of Romania. In 1922, Ferdinand of Romania was symbolically crowned King of Romania in Alba Iulia.


Thus, the city is the symbol of Romanian unity across the former historical provinces.








The fortress, with seven bastions in a stellar shape, was constructed between 1716 and 1735, by two fortification architects of Swiss origin. It was built after the dmeolition of medieval fortifications, which followed a rectangular plan and which in turn were built over the Roman Walls, reusing part of them.

The fortress has preserved three of the monumental gates decorated with sculptures.



The Catholic Cathedral, 12-13th century, is the longest church in Romania and the most precious medieval building in country. The tomb of Romanian John Hunyadi, famous military general and voivode of Transylvania is located here, as is that of the Polish-born Isabella Jagiełło, Queen of Hungary.





The Bathyaneum Library, an 18th century Baroque church transformed for this use, is famous all over the world for its ample series of manuscripts, incunabula and rare books, such as Codex Aureus (9th century), also known as the Lorsch Gospel.






The National Museum of Unification is located in the "Babylon" initially military building (1853), transformed into a museum since 1887. The museum exhibits over 130,000 pieces of priceless works, organized chronologically. Most important is the collection of Roman discoveries.









Horea's Cell in Third Gate, where he was hold before execution.

Vasile Ursu Nicola, known as Horea, (1731-1785) was a Transylvanian Romanian leader of the Revolt of Horea, Cloşca and Crişan in 1784-85. After the revolt was defeated, he was executed by being broken on the wheel on the Hill of the Forks, just outside Alba Iulia's fortress. The place is now named Horea's Hill and a commemorative obelisk was erected.


Alba Iulia - cell of Horea, 1784 Romanian revolutionary by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr














Horea's Hill, where Horea and Cloșca have been killed


Alba Iulia / Gyulafehérvár / Karlsburg, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr









Alba Iulia / Gyulafehérvár / Karlsburg, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr










Torture Room


Alba Iulia / Gyulafehérvár / Karlsburg, Transylvania, Romania by CARPATHIANLAND, on Flickr

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