In 2011, Leif Pettersen was writing “Romania’s Top 5 World Heritage sites”. The article was published by www.bbc.com in partnership with Lonely Planet. In my previous post about Romania, I was sharing with you 10 Misconceptions about Romania. Today, I decided to share Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
So far, UNESCO has inscribed eight sites in Romania on the list of World Heritage Sites. It is a range from natural sites as Danube Delta and the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians to cultural landmarks.
In my opinion, whoever sees any of them at least once in his lifetime will love Romania.
Let virtually visit them:
Cultural Sites (6)
- Churches of Moldavia
- Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains
- Historic Centre of Sighişoara
- Monastery of Horezu
- Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania
- Wooden Churches of Maramureş
1.Churches of Moldavia
The region of Moldavia as part of Romania is scattered with painted monasteries. Many of them have been founded by Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) as a gratitude for his victories over the Ottomans. Many monasteries have murals painted on both inside and outside. However, exterior murals have survived even after centuries of exposure to the elements.
There are eight UNESCO protected Churches of Moldavia:
- Church of the Assumption of the Virgin of the former Monastery in Humor
- Church of the Annunciation Monastery in Vatra Moldovitei
- Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist in Arbore
- Church of St Nicolas and the catholic of the Monastery in Probota
- Church of the Holy Rood in Patrauti
- Church of the Resurrection of the Monastery in Sucevita
- Church of St George of the Former Monastery in Voronet
- Church of St George in Suceava
2. Dacian Fortress of the Orăștie Mountains
This site is filled with mystical and positive energy and mystery.
There are six Dacian Fortresses located in Transilvania, in Hunedoara and Alba counties, in a wonderful mountain area. Fortresses were once the nucleus of the Dacian Kingdom. People’s bravery from that kingdom made Herodot, the Greek father of history name them “the bravest among the Thracians”.
3. Historic Center of Sighişoara
The Chinese made copies of different famous cities like Venice, Paris, and Austrian Village. For Transylvania for sure, they have to make a copy of Sighișoara. The spirit of the medieval age is in every stone.MaeveTheObrien
Sighișoara is a small medieval town with cobbled and narrow streets, well preserved historical buildings, and small squares. It looks like a real fairy tale.
Visiting Sighișoara, you breathe its history. Therefore, it is difficult not to fall in love with the town.
4. Monastery of Horezi
It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage in 1993, due to its beauty, and cultural significance.
It dates from the end of the 17th century and was founded by Prince of Wallachia Constantin Brancoveanu. It is a beautiful church with extremely well-preserved paintings over the centuries. It is also considered a stunning architectural masterpiece.
5. Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania
The villages with fortified Churches in Transylvania are another cultural heritage of Romania. Why fortified churches? Being exposed to invaders who were searching for grains and valuable goods, locals built the churches in the middle of the villages and fortified them. Consequently, they built protective walls and special chambers for hosting a large number of villagers and their goods.
Beside their beauty, the fortified churches are a way of teaching visitors about the architecture of the 13th-16th centuries.
The spectacular villages are:
- Viscri (the village where Prince Charles has purchased and restored houses)
- Valea Viilor
6. The Wooden Churches of Maramureş
The county of Maramures is situated in the northern part of Romania. According to Lonely Planet, “Maramureş is home to some of Europe’s last peasant villages, strewn among rolling hills and steeped in local customs and history”.
You can choose to visit the ancient church in Ieud dating from 1364, or one of the tallest wooden structures in Europe, a huge steeple of 72 m of the church in Surdești. Visiting Maramureș, probably you will want to visit the all eight wooden churches that are World Heritage Sites.
- Church of the Presentation of the Virgin in the temple in Bârsana
- Church of St Nicholas in Budești
- Church of the Holy Parascheva in Desești
- Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Ieud
- Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Plopiș
- Church of the Holy Parascheva in Poienile Izei
- Church of the Holy Archangels in Rogoz
- Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Șurdești
Natural Sites (2)
7. Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is one of the largest and best-preserved of Europe’s deltas. It is located in Dobrogea, Romania and is Unesco World Heritage and also, Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
8. Ancient and Primeval Beech Forest of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
Romania has nine locations where the European beech is protected by Unesco
- Lotru Mountains
- Țibleș Mountains
- Șinca Secular Forest
- Slătioara Secular Forest
- Cozia Massif
- Domogled- Valea Cernei
- Cheile Nerei-Beușnița
- Izvoarele Nerei
- Strimbu Băiuț
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