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The Fortified Church of Biertan

Divorce/ reconciliation room at Biertan

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo


Presuming you like books and travel, one true story could open your appetite for visiting the fortified church of Biertan.

First of all because of its beautiful architecture: it is the last fortified church from Transylvania built in the gothic style. A tall fortress meant to protect the Saxons who lived there for hundreds of years, keeping outside the double exterior walls and heavy doors all unwanted threads.

This particular UNESCO world heritage site had a unique, maybe funny, but quite fascinating way of dealing with couples willing to become separated. Making sure that a divorce between their married subjects was not just a hasty request, the bishop and the other persons empowered to decide submitted the couple to a 14 days test before any official decision was taken.

One bed, a single plate, a single chair, a single fork etc. all locked in a room where the two spouses ought to cohabit for two weeks… This kind of marital counseling should have worked because they say that there was only one divorce taking place!

Interesting? Book the Transylvania Land of Legends Tour (  to visit Biertan and many other amazingly beautiful medieval monuments.




The site is open for visits between the months of May and August, from Monday to Sunday (10 AM – 1 PM and 2 PM –  5 PM).


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Village Museum of Bucharest – an oasis of serenity, the heart of the city

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One of the main attractions of Bucharest is the Village Museum, a place that guarantees some moments of peace, calm and serenity, a short trip in time, more than 100 years back in history.


The museum was founded in 1936, it is an open air museum an and it occupies 4,5 hectares inside the Herastrau Park, the city`s biggest park.

Countryside life, traditions, the way a village house should be built and organized with all utilities: the kitchen, bedrooms and baking room, weave room, the hencoops, aviary, the barn, the horse carriage, the fountain and more related to the village life. The inside of the houses is decorated respecting an old traditional house: terries on the walls, fluffy pillows, wooden painted religious icons, ceramic vases, and the colors and vivid and welcoming. And to give the truth touch of the countryside, near the house you`ll find a barking dog, a lazy cat, some chicken and a cock and some ducks, sometimes. And of course, the front yard will grow beautiful flowers and the back yard had vegetables.

The museum was built by Dimitrie Gusti`s initiative, sociology teacher, in order to give the people of Bucharest, at the end of 19th century, a better knowledge of the countryside. Each one of the houses presented respect the traditional house plan of the region the are from: roof shape, construction type, rooms, basement or no basement, attic etc. The materials respect the original village the house represents, as well. They were brought by train and assembled in Bucharest by handymans from the same village, too.

A walk of 30-40 minutes through the Museum will take you from Maramures to Oltenia and from Transylvania to the Danube Delta or the seaside. Along with the houses, the churches are also represented, from different sides of the country, and the houses architecture changes as you cross the boarders.

The visit time is 9 to 5 on Monday, and from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 to 7. More information about the place, the exhibitions and the events of each month can be found by accessing

The Trotus Valley

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The Trotus Valley may not be mentioned in Romania’s travel books. It may not be considered a touristic jewelery. It may not shine like the rest of Romania. However, some people know that this valley hides one of the most specific traditions of all times. A unique thing in the world.

A space where the clock stopped ticking in terms of traditions. Every winter, these people go back to their roots. They celebrate nature in a way that few people understand.

A tradition that shows respect for the gift of nature. And that somehow makes you wonder: “How come we became so human, after all? Was there such time?”

Yes. It was. It still is.

The story begins with a river, mountains and a small depression. And we go hundreds of years ago to understant it.


When there was only nature, animal and a little human, it was the men who was the animal’s “pet”. Years ago, people believed in the great power that animals had. The bear, for instance, was considered to have curative power, to bring fortune, health and wealthiness.

So each year, just before New Year’s Eve, there was this man that trained a bear and would go inside each house. The bear would have brought good-fortune and he was thought to have curative powers. People would let themselves stepped by the bear in order to recover from disease.

It was not just a simple action. It was a complete ritual, following some strict rules, conjurations and movements.

Nowadays, people from this valley still praise their simbol, an inheritance from the geto-dacians, a pre-Christian population in Romania.

The ritual is considered to purify and fertilize the soil in the new year.


About 20 or more people wearing masks start swinging in a circle, conducted by a so called tamer. They do it on the rhythm of specific drums, made and played by the locals. The tamer sings to them. The profound lyrics are full of significance and explain how things evolved. How the bear was took out of the forest, how he grew up and their movements describe the exact action.

His life, with the good and the bad represents the succession of the seasons. His death and resurection are the most intense part of the ritual and, metaphorically, this is the moment when the bear defeated the winter, heralding spring.

The bear masks are made of natural fur, including the head and only few people are able to prepare them in order to be worn.

By the end of the ritual, each person embodying a bear stars moving indepently, as a sign of the free life in nature that they are ready to embrace.

The bears are followed by people wearing different masks, embodying bizzare and mythological creatures. This only shows how creative this people are and how they found ways to adapt the contemporany to the legend.

According to the inhabitans, this particular ritual will never fade, nor disapper. It is not just a tradition. Is something that they have in their blood.


Legends, songs and folklorics theater

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A specific form of tradition is to be found on the Mountain’s Valley. It is called folkloric theater and simple people, with a basic education and no training at all, just the love for their traditions, become stars in a complicated play.

It’s called Banda lui Bujor and it’s an one hour play, with 12 characters. Bujor (the Romanian word for peony) is the name of the main character and Banda lui Bujor stands for his group.

The play shows a quick glipse of Bujor’s life, called for some “haiduc”. In Romanian, “haiduc” defines a person that would steal from the rich to give to the poor.

The action is set in the 1800’s when Bujor, a real character, formed a group. They lived in the forests and attacked boyar’s carriges to steal their money, that would be given to the poor. They haunted especially phanariots, foreign leaders that came to conquer Romanians. The phanariots took people’s land and obliged them to work it, also claiming taxes.


Bujor’s group seeked a certain revenge. They sacrificed their life in order to help the others. They lived in forests, always hiding.

His actions were mentioned by most of the Romanian historians and, to a national belief, Bujor remains a hero.

Through the main characters, the New Year and the Last Year appear. They are usually played buy a really young man and an old man. It’s a mixture of poetry, songs, legend and fantasy.

The most intense moments shows how Bujor and his group are captured, emprisoned and convicted. Bujor’s mother, an old woman, with visible signes of sickness come to see her son in prison. Her crying is probably the most emotional moment. The woman acting sings a tearful song, showing her dispair as a mother, seeing her son humiliated this way.

But, by the end, Bujor manages to flee and revenge, once again, people’s poverty and misery, raising against the system.