marți, 8 ianuarie 2013

Epic short  trips from Suceava, inside the Romanian Bucovina

If you stay for a few days in the city of Suceava with the main goal to discover the amazing painted monasteries of Bucovina, you can find other places worth a visit.

Discover in Suceava The Armenian Church Hagigadar and observe the architectural differences comparing to an orthodox one: the form is rectangular, and there are no less than three different altars, which is normally for the Armenians. On St Mary's day the people climb the hill where this monastery lie and go three times around, all on their knees. The reward is also consistent, the most ardent wish shall hereby come true!

Not far from Suceava, and thus easy accessible even by bike, are many interesting places! If you leave Suceava for Dragomirna, after visiting the monastery, observe the genuine beech forest around Dragomirna. It is more than 90 % genuine and natural, hosting some animal species (deer, boar, fox, wolf, rabit, savage cat etc. If you are lucky enough, you can also hear a wonderful concert, without paying any tickets, when nightingales and other birds will gather your interest. The trees are old, between 90 and 110 years, and the forest huge, about 200 accres. Drive further towards Siret, and meet in the village Patrauti the church and the natural reserve Quercetum de la Crujana.This forest is much smaller, about 60 accres, but still very impressive. It consists mainly on oak, with a similar rich fauna with the same species.

In Calafindesti, not the forests, but the meadows are the main target. Usually we don't pay much attention to the meadows, but please do an exception  here in Calafindesti. You will observe here for sure the rarely Ligularia Siberica (rare in Romania for sure, and even endemic, in Russia and Siberia is common).  The Ligularia Siberica is here at its south west boundary, and you won't see it in any other place in Romania. Other rare or endemic species are still to be seen in Calafindesti!

Next is the town of Siret and the Ukrainean border. Siret is actually one of the oldest towns in Moldavia, being the first Capital of the Moldavia during Middle Age. At 1388 Siret lost this privilege, and the Capital moved in Suceava. During the Austrian occupation of the XVIIth and XIXth century the town played only trade and crafts functions. Very important was at those times the Jewish population, representing almost the half of the town. Nowadays, after Holocaust and emigration in the communist era, very few Jews are still to find, but you can visit the synagogue and the two Jewish cemeteries. Another must see in Siret is the History museum, ending in 1945, as all the Romanian Museums do!
The Jewish cemetry from Siret, an amazing memento

Another epic trip from Suceava is towards Solca, over Arbore. The village Arbore is really huge, and very picturesque, with well kept traditions. It proudly counts 7000 inhabitants, and you must see there the Village Museum Toader Hrib, which is not very big, but instructive, together with the local church. In Solca you can discover the amazing Peter and Paul church. An outskirt of Solca, namely Cacica, hosts a renowned salt mine, with an unique salt carved chapel (made in 1904). Not less unique are the salt lake, which is not big, but very deep, 38 meters, as the congress room at 44 meters underneath the ground level. If you are a history and art freak, don't miss in Cacica the Catholic church, which is overwhelming through architecture, dimensions and and importance (on the 15th August here takes place the biggest pilgrimage of the catholics in Moldavia.
The catholic church from Cacica is a favorite target for the pilgrimage in Moldavia

May be you are going to love the Romanian history and  geography on this way, but I don't want to abuse of your goodwill! I will continue next time with Vatra Dornei, Falticeni, Campulung Moldovenesc etc
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