Most important things to do in Northern Romania
In the Romanian province of Bucovina, District Suceava, very close to the Ukraina border, you have a lot of things to and to discover.
A good possibility is staying in Suceava with its good hotels, and exploring every day, a bigger or smaller neighboring area. Don't think now to Maramures and Satu Mare, nevertheless they are also in the extreme North of Romania. Now we shall be focused on Bucovina.
Observe please the hills and the mountains, making this area so beautiful and picturesque. The villages seem to be rich, the houses are big. Traditions are well kept and the rural society seems to be still o.k.! Don't miss in one day of your holidays in the area the black pottery of Marginea, which is very cute and has a long tradition.
On the day when you are going to visit the Putna Monastery, allow yourself some extra hours for an instructive trip to Radauti. The town of Radauti is easy accessible through a wide plain, the only one proper plain in the hilly Bucovina! A few centuries ago Radauti was an interesting ethnic mix, counting Romanian, Germans, Jews, Polish and other nationalities.
|The St Nicholas Church of Radauti, nowadays the Metropolitan cathedral|
Radauti has been for centuries an important trade point, which is still today, despite the huge difference comparing to the prosperous Suceava, the local star and capital. Radauti hosted even an important Orthodox archbishop, but faced many internal and fratricide fights, making it to decay a little, for the profit of Suceava.
If you arrive in Radauti at noon, or at night, it is the right time to do a culinary trip to restaurant Nordic, asking about Lidia Sticlet. I hope she is still there, at her leading place, and will strive to fill the most bizarre and cosmopolitan culinary wishes (nevertheless, she has a soft spot for the Romanian national meals, like cabbage rolls, with a half dry white wine).
|The ancient Bogdana Monastery, build by the grounders of the Moldavian dynasty, namely bogdan I, which is burried here.|
If you enter the town at other moment of the day, start your cultural trip from the very centre, with the Etnographic Museum. You will be able to understand better afterwards the rich long history of the town, as also the agricultural civilization of the area. Observe and admire the rich collections of wooden icons, sledges or horse wagons made by the local craftsmen, as also other agricultural tools widely used in the area. The objects concerning the Hutzuls are of the utmost importance, because this mystery civilization is really fascinating. No one was able to answer to the simple question " Where come the Hutzuls from?". But they do exist in many remote villages, are Orthodox of the ancient calendar an their mainly occupations are shepherds and horse keeping ( they breed a special art of horses, also known as Hutzul, which is huge and strong).
|The Etnographic museum from Radati is a good starting point for your trip in this area|
Walk further on the streets of Radauti, towards Jewish temple, build at 1876. Very intrepid bankers, trade agents or industrials, the Jews build schools, hospital, temples, and even an establishment for old people! The Jews started to come by the end of the XVIIIth century, and were forced to leave the city in 1941, when the German troops occupied the town. Very few people escaped the Holocaust, and consequently nowadays there are very few people of this ethnic group in the town (mainly old people).
Next comes the Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, which is really an important worship building with big dimensions and interesting architecture. Next to St Nicholas church you may see Catholic or Lutheran churches, which belonged once to the German colonists, brought by the Austrian administration of Bucovina. They were craftsmen, skilled glass blowers, bricklayers, carpenters as also army officers or official clerks. But a visit in Radauti is not complete without seeing the Bogdana Monastery. Its very old and very simple, without the normal signs of importance and opulence of a Royal church. The Bogdana monastery looks simply like a peasant house, with a round pointed roof. Thick walls, no towers, these are other characteristics of this amazing church. For a history or culture freak is simply a must, because here is buried Bogdan, the first ruler of Moldavia, who reached the area coming by horse from Maramures with an important suite.