Rebranding for the Roumanien Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism initiated the procedures for The Brand of Roumanien Tourism
Roumanie obtained 2nd place at Berlin International Tourism Fair
Russia's interest for Roumanien Spas
BRASOV AND PRAHOVA VALLEY
Setting. Relief. Altitude
This area overlaps on the territory of Prahova and Brasov counties and it represents one of the most important touring areas in Romania due to the different winter sports that can be practiced here, to the mountaineering trips one can take up the mountains as well as due to the wonderful scenery along Prahova Valley. The relief is varied and it includes three levels:
- mountains - among the highest in Romania, here you can find Fagaras Mountains (their northern slopes), Piatra Craiului, Leaota, Bucegi (2505 m, Omu Peak), Ciucas and Barsei (Piatra Mare and Postavarul) as well as Clabucet Mountains.
- hills - the southeastern part of Buzau Hills, two of the largest Romanian depressions, Brasov and Fagaras.
- plain - Ploiesti Plain, part of the larger Romanian Plain.
Bucegi Mountains are situated mainly on the territory of Prahova County and they represent one of the most interesting sightseeing points in Romania. Their altitudes exceed 2000m: Omu Peak, 2505 m; Costila Peak, 2498 m, Caraiman Peak, 2326 m; the scenery is wonderful, the abysses and the peaks alternate with strange wind or rain shaped rocks Sfinxul, Babele.
Bucegi Massive was declared a National Park that includes several complex natural reservations. To the wonderful scenery the alpine vegetation should be added; this is extremely varied from one season to another. Many plants species were declared "natural monuments": the edelweiss, the wild carnation, the orchid. Several itineraries pass through these reservations and here you can admire the natural setting, the vegetation and sometimes the fauna (the wild black goat, the bear, the capercaillie, etc).
Ciucas Massive (Ciucas Peak, 1954 m) represents one of the most interesting and complex regions in the Romanian Carpathians. These mountains often take the shape of towers; bizarre shape rocks can also be found here: Babele Bratocei, Coltii Tigailor, Mana Dracului, and many others.
Prahova River springs from Piatra Mare Peak and it separates Bucegi Mountains from Garbovei Mountains, forming one of the most fascinating defiles in Romania. Along Prahova Defile there are many resorts such as: Predeal, Azuga, Busteni, Poiana Tapului, Sinaia where you can spend moments you will never forget.
Fagaras Mountains offer the tourist an unforgettable scenery, their peaks being covered with snow for 8 to 9 months a year; in these mountains you will find the highest peak in Romania: Moldoveanu Peak, 2544 m.
Piatra Craiului Mountains impress through the abysses and the vertical rock walls. Here you will also encounter Piatra Craiului Carnation which is a natural monument unique in Romania as well as in the entire world.
Ciucas Mountains represent a huge recreation park due to the fat that here you can practice several winter sports as well as climbing and mountaineering. Strange shaped rocks are also to be found in these mountains: Tigaile Ciucasului, Babele la Sfat, Sfinxul Bratocei, Mana Dracului, etc.
Rucar - Bran Defile separates Piatra Craiului Mountains and Bucegi Mountains and it offers a wonderful, impressive scenery.
- Brasov airport
- Prahova Valley and Defile has represented a connection between Transylvania and Walachia as it is crossed by several railways that start in Bucharest and head towards the west and the north of the country (Arad, Oradea, Satu Mare, Baia Mare). Moreover, the European highway E60 goes towards Oradea - Hamburg; E85 through Oituz Defile, E64 from Brasov towards Talmaciu (Sibiu County).
The climate is temperate - continental with small differences due to the high altitudes; in the southern part, in Prahova County, there is a microclimate of silvosteppe and in the northern part of the area the weather conditions are harsher and the winds are stronger. In Brasov depression, at Bod, on the 25th January 1942 the lowest temperature ever in Romania was registered: -38 degrees C.
There is 1, 5 million inhabitants on a surface of over 10.000 sq km (4.3% of the surface of the country); alongside Romanians, there are Germans, Hungarians (colonized here in the 17th and 18th centuries).
Brasov is the residence city of the county bearing the same name, documentary attested in 1234 under the name of Corona; during the Middle Ages it developed rapidly. Brassovia, Barasu, Brasov, Kronstadt, as the present day Brasov was called along the centuries, became in the 12th and 13th centuries an important trade center also due to the fact that the town was situated at the intersection of several commercial routes that connected the three Romanian provinces. Thus, in a short time, Brasov became the most important handicraft products provider for Walachia and Moldavia, fact proven by the privileges granted to Brasov tradesmen by both Moldavian and Walachian rulers.
Brasov was and still is an important cultural center. Here, Deacon Coresi printed the first books in Romanian. The first Romanian high-school in Transylvania was founded here in Brasov in 1850 by George Baritiu. Nowadays, Brasov is a touring center par excellence due to its social-cultural values and to the fact that it represents a starting point for mountaineering trips in the surrounding areas. Moreover, in Brasov the music festival "Cerbul de Aur" takes place every year.
Ploiesti is the residence city of Prahova county and it is situated at 60 km north from Bucharest. The legend goes that it was founded by a shepherd called Ploaie who settled here at the beginning of the 16th century (1503). However, the city was actually founded by Mihai Viteazul in 1597 when the ruler declared it a burgh and transformed it into a military center. Furthermore, the petrol extraction started in the second half of the 19th century transformed Ploiesti into one of the most developed cities in Romania.
Poiana Brasov is a mountain resort located at 13 km from Brasov and 190 km from Bucharest at an altitude of 1030 m. It is famous for the winter sports that can be practiced here at the foot of Postavaru Massive on whose peaks snow maintains for 4 to 5 months a year. You can go up Cristianu Mare peak on cable transportation. Moreover, Poiana Brasov is the ideal place where you can spend your summer holidays. The mountain climate rich in ozone is good for the treatment of neurosis, fatigue. Access ways: by train (Brasov railway station) or by car.
Predeal (25 km south from Brasov) is situated at an altitude of 1110 m. it used to be a customs point until the Union of the Principalities in 1918 and at present it is one of the most beautiful mountain resorts in Romania. It has great ski slopes as well as cable transportation. Predeal represents also a starting point for mountaineering trips up the surrounding mountains: Clabucetu Taurului and Clabucetu Baiului Mountains, Garbova, Dihan, Trei Brazi, Paraul Rece Chalets.
Timisul de Sus (5 km from Predeal) is situated on Timis Valley and it is a resort similar to Predeal. Paraul Rece is also a resort located at 9 km from Predeal at an altitude of 960 m.
Sinaia (Prahova County) is a mountain resort situated at 62 km from Ploiesti and 45 km from Brasov, at an altitude of 800 -1000 m. It is at the foot of Furnica Mountain in Bucegi Massive and it was initially called Izvor; later it took the name of a monastery built here by M. Cantacuzino in 1695 (name also taken from Sinai Mountain). The climate in Sinaia and the mineral water springs provide a wonderful setting for tourists. The slopes are good for skiing and for sleighing. During summertime, you may follow one of the marked routes and go up Bucegi Mountains. If you happen to be in Sinaia, do not miss to visit Peles Castle inaugurated in 1883 and built by Carol the 1st in German Renaissance, Italian and British Renaissance style; French Rococo and Hispanic Moor styles intermingle in this interior design. Peles Castle, nowadays a museum, includes many works of art: stained glass, tapestries, embroideries, paneling, paintings, sculptures, wood or ivory statues, oriental carpets, all these being rare and valuable art objects. Pelisor Castle was built from 1899 to 1903 in Art Nouveau style. Sinaia Monastery was built in 1695.
Busteni (75 km northwest from Ploiesti, 135 km northwest from Bucharest) is a resort located at the foot of Caraiman Mountain (882 m altitude). From here you can go up Bucegi Mountains, towards Piatra Arsa, Caraiman Peak, Ialomita Cave and Urlatoarea waterfall. During winter months you can practice skiing or sleighing on the slopes in Busteni. Moreover, you can visit the memorial house Cezar Petrescu where the writer created most of his works.
Slanic Prahova is at 44 km north from Ploiesti and it is an all year resort situated at an altitude of 400 m. In this area there were several salt mines (including the largest salt mine in Europe) nowadays used as treatment basis highly recommended for breathing affections. Moreover, this resort is good for the treatment of gynecologic problems, rheumatism and neurosis. "Lacul Miresei" (="Bride's lake") formed in 1914 and later it was set for treatment; the legend goes that its name comes from the fact that a bride threw herself in the lake after being deserted by her husband on their wedding day. Do not miss to visit the salt mine under exploitation. In the old, deserted mine you can visit "Genesis Hall" where you can admire salt - carved statues.
Cheia (61 km from Ploiesti) is a mountain resort located at an altitude of 850 - 900 m and it is highly recommended for the treatment of neurosis, asthenia, fatigue and rickets. Nearby, you can visit Cheia Monastery (the 13th century) and Suzana Monastery (the 14th century). Here you can also practice winter sports as well as mountaineering.
Breaza is a resort situated at 43 km northwest from Ploiesti at 450 m altitude. Nearby, you can visit Bibescu Palace and Lespezi Monastery (the 12th century).
Azuga at 60 km northwest from Ploiesti is a resort situated at an altitude of 950 m and it is a starting point towards the chalets in Bucegi Mountains. The beer, the glass and the weavings made here are famous all over the country.
Brasov fortress - its construction was started in 1395 and t the time it was the most important fortress in Transylvania. From the ancient castle "Poarta Caterinei" (1559) can still be seen at present; it is a gate that has on its frontispiece the symbol of the city: a crown over a stem with powerful, deep roots. "Bastionul Tesatorilor" (1421 - 1573) is one of the fortress towers that preserved very well along the centuries. Nowadays, it hosts a museum called "Cetatea Brasovului".
Fagaras fortress was built in the 15th century on the ruins of a wooden construction. It used to be a princely court and Mihai Viteazul himself sheltered his family here during the battles from 1599 - 1600.
Feldioara fortress (21 km north from Brasov on DN 13) was erected between 1211 and 1225 by the Teutonic cavaliers (Marienburg fortress). In 1529, nearby this fortress, Petru Rares and the Moldavian army defeated Ferdinand the1st of Habsburg.
Bran Castle (22 km from Predeal) was built from 1377 to 1382 on a 60 m high rock, initially being a military and a customs center. The castle was reinforced during the time of Iancu de Hunedoara, remade in 1921 and 1930 and it still preserved its role as a defense point in the defile leading towards Walachia. Due to the authentic medieval atmosphere it preserves, Bran Castle was often associated with the legendary vampire Dracula.
Prejmer fortress used to be a powerful fortress in the south of Transylvania (the 15th and the 16th centuries), having high walls and a number of 300 rooms set on three levels; it used to be a shelter during hard times.
Harman fortress (12 km northeast from Brasov) dates from the 15th and the 16th centuries and was set around a Roman monastery from 1240.
The Black Church in Brasov (1384 - 1477) was initially called St. Virgin Mary and it is one of the most important Gothic art monuments in Romania. Its name comes as a sequence of a great fire in 1689 that blackened its walls. The largest bell in the country is in the 65 m high tower. Inside the church there is one of the largest organs in Romania as well as a collection of oriental carpets dating from the 15th and the 18th centuries.
Bartholomew Church in Brasov is the oldest monument in the city (1223) and it was initially built in Roman style to which Gothic elements were added later.
St. Nicholas Church in Brasov was erected by Neagoe Basarab on the site of a demolished wooden church.
"Casa Sfatului" in Brasov lies in the center of the city and it was built in 1420, remade in the 18th century in baroque style; nowadays, it hosts the County Museum.
The Castle in Sambata de Sus is located at 20 km southwest from Fagaras and it was erected by Constantin Brancoveanu, Walachian ruler.
The Castle in Sambata de Jos was built by baron Bruckenthal who was governor of Transylvania in 1770.
Johannes Houterus statue in Brasov next to the Black Church was erected as a reminder of the one who in 1535 founded the first printing house in Transylvania. In 1530 he also published a description of the entire world, a sort of geography and astronomy manual that was highly appreciated at that time.
The fortress in Ghimbav (Brasov County) was built in the 16th century and at present you can admire only some ruins of the initial castle and its 6 towers.
Codlea fortress - here you can see the ruins of a fortress from the 13th century.
The History Museum in Ploiesti has interesting archeology and history collections. There is a permanent exhibition including documents and testimonies regarding the history of this city founded by Mihai Viteazul.
The Memorial Museum Nicolae Iorga in Valenii de Munte. The publications and the documents displayed here prove the important contribution brought by N. Iorga to Romanian culture and history.
The Memorial Museum B.P. Hasdeu at 97 km from Bucharest, in Campina, is located in the castle built as a reminder of his daughter who died when she was 19. Here you can see objects that used to belong to the great writer and historian. The castle has the looks of a medieval castle.
The Memorial Museum I.L. Caragiale in Ploiesti is in a house built in the 13th century and displays objects that used to belong to the great writer.
The Clock Museum in Ploiesti is unique among the museums in Romania as here there are displayed different clocks of various sizes and shapes as well as clocks and watches that used to belong to famous persons.
The Memorial Museum Nicolae Grigorescu in Campina (97 km from Bucharest) displays several paintings, carpets and various objects that used to belong to the famous painter (1838 - 1907).
The Ethnography Museum in Ploiesti
Zamfirei Monastery dates from 1743 and has mural paintings made by Nicolae Grigorescu.
The Culture Palace in Ploiesti was built at the beginning of the 20th century in neoclassical style.
If you are interested in mountaineering trips we recommend some wonderful itineraries in the Carpathians.
Sinaia - Vf.cu Dor Chalet - Piatra Arsa Chalet - Babele Chalet - it may take from 4 to 6 hours along a route marked with red stripe and yellow stripe, during winter it is accessible for experienced climbers;
Babele Chalet - Omu Peak - Malaesti Chalet - Poiana Izvoarelor - it takes from 5 to 6 ore; yellow stripe, blue stripe, red triangle, not recommended during winter; this itinerary is a continuation of the first one and it leads to the highest peak in these mountains: Omu Peak, 2505 m.
Poiana Izvoarelor Chalet - Gura Diham Chalet - Busteni 2 to 3 hours, red stripe, accessible during winter .
Sinaia - Poiana Stanii Chalet - Piatra Arsa Chalet - Pestera Chalet - Padina Chalet 5 to 6 hours, blue stripe, not recommended during winter; nearby you can visit Ialomita cave and monastery.
Busteni - Valea Urlatorilor - Piatra Arsa Chalet - Caraiman Chalet - Babele Chalet 6 to 7 hours, blue triangle, yellow stripe, blue dot, not recommended during winter.
Bran - Clincea - Vf.La Scara - Vf.Omu - Ialomitei Waterfall - Padina Chalet 7-9 hours; red triangle and blue stripe, not recommended during winter.
In Postavaru - Piatra Mare Mountains:
Brasov - Soseaua Veche - Poiana Brasov - Prapastia Lupului - Postavaru Chalet - Cristianu Mare Chalet 5-6 hours; red stripe, red cross, accessible during winter for experienced climbers.
Brasov - Saua Tampa - Livada Stechil - Fantanita cu Brad - Crucuru Mare Peak - Poiana Ruia - Postavaru Chalet; 5-6 hours; blue stripe, accessible during winter for experienced climbers.
Predeal - Trei Brazi Chalet - Poiana Secuilor Chalet - Spinarea Calului - Poiana Trei Fetite - Cristianu Mare Chalet 5-6 hours, yellow stripe, accessible during winter for experienced climbers.
Timisu de Jos - Lamba Mare Valley - Poiana Ruia - Postavaru Chalet; 3-4 hours; blue cross, blue stripe.
Cristian - Dealul Triunghiului - Poiana Cristianul - Valea Sticlariei - Poiana Mare - Poiana Brasov - 3-4 hours; red triangle, accessible during winter.
In Fagaras Mountains:
Victoria - Arpas Chalet - Turnuri Chalet - Podragu Chalet - Saua Podragu (red triangle).
Victoria - Valea Ucisoara Seaca - Boldanu Mountain - Turnuri Chalet (blue circle).
Sambata de Jos - Sambata Touring complex - Valea Sambetei Chalet - Fereastra Mare a Sambetei (red triangle).
Caldarea Sambetei - Cheia Bindei Peak.
Podragu Chalet - Culmea Podragu - Fereastra Zmeilor (red circle).
Balea Cascada Chalet - Valea Doamnei - Balea Lac Chalet.
In Bucegi Mountains:
Sinaia - 1400 m - Vf.cu Dor, Busteni - Babele - Pestera Ialomitei - from here you can easily get to Bucegi Mountains Plateau where you can admire the stange shaped rocks (Sfinxul, Babele).