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Romania – a step back in time
During the 12th and 13th centuries peoples of Saxony were invited by the Hungarians to live in Transylvania and to aid the defence against Turks and others. Not only did they build enormously ordered villages but they also constructed fortified churches in which to withstand a siege. Each house has its vegetable plot and beyond that lie the orchards and fields of the village, usually cropped with maize. Higher up lie meadows and pastures while beyond those are ancient oak and beech forests. Sighisoara is a Saxon town with a stunning walled citadel and it is within these walls that our painting, walking and photography groups enjoy part of their adventure.
Painters explore two very different regions of Romania – Bucovina in the North and Transylvania in the South West corner. Bucovina is at the heart of the painted monasteries region. It is a historical region in Central Europe, currently divided between Ukraine and Romania, located on the northern slopes of the central Eastern Carpathians.It is home to the very special monastery of Voronet - often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of the East", with a particular feature, an intense shade of blue known as the "Voroneț blue".
Our walking holidays begin in Bran, central Romania, in the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains – set in the most beautiful National Parks in the country. Take a cable car high into the mountains, and enjoy a 360 degree view over the Southern Carpathians. In Romanian "Piatra Craiului" means "Rock of the King". The landscape has an Alpine feel, and Magura and Pestera villages are typical of the high Romanian hamlets. We visit the medieval centre of Brasov, and marvel at The Black Church – the biggest church between Vienna and Constantinople. The final part of our walking journey takes us to Viscri, a typical Saxon village nestled between the oak forests that cover these hills. Prince Charles owns a traditional house in the village, and is passionate about conserving the traditions of this region.