vineri, 1 februarie 2013

Epic monasteries by Bucharest


Supposing you are in Bucharest for a few days. You met the wonderful city with its hotels, restaurants, squares, monuments, museums etc. You are also sick on clubbing and dating,partying and drinking, you are not in the mood, or not so young anymore.

Now you need a relaxing day, only for yourself, which should also mean some action and is also supposed to  enrich yourself, from a spiritual point of view. Sending you again to a few orthodox monasteries does not mean that I wanna convert you. I respect very much other religions and beliefs, and the Romanian are also open minded and tolerant. Only stupid people are extremist and not able to understand the next of them embracing other convictions. I will propose you three monasteries very close to Bucharest. The selection is totally personal, based on my personal knowledge and experiences I had in the Romanian capital.
The huge Victory square mirrors all the city of Bucharest through the style mix of neighboring buildings

But, first of all, before leaving the proud city of Bucharest, please go to the Victory Square/Piata Victoriei where this tour starts. The Victory Square is a little miniature copy of the big city, and mirrors its eclectic, but charming mix of architecture styles. Please find and observe on one side the Residence of the Romanian Government, build at 1937, which looks over the all country with a strong disciplining eye. Nowadays the doubtless master there is the young unexperienced Victor Ponta, but this situation could change very quickly. Nomine odiosa, as the old  Latins used to say, and I only mention this already unpopular name just to remember him to stop being arrogant and self sufficient. on another side there are three museums one next to other. The oldest is Natural History Museum, named Grigore Antipa, its founder. It dates back from the XIXth museum. Last, but not least, on a side of the Square there are relatively new blocks of flat, 30-40 years old.
The Cernica monastery, by Bucharest, is a peace island, very close to the overcrowded  city

But let's finally leave the city, forgetting it, despite its secret magnetism. Drive first towards Constanta, and sop after only a few kilometers (or miles, o.k., I am a tolerant Romanian) and discover the Cernica Monastery, a place where many inhabitants of Bucharest go very often and are very happy doing that. Its picturesque position might be an explanation, there is an island of joy and peace, and has a lake next to it. Cernica is, of course, the name of his founder, in the first decades of the XVIIth century, namely the Governor Stirbei Cernica. There are actually three churches inside the monastery, which have been build successively during the XVIIIth century.
The caldarusani monastery might be almost impossible to pronounce, but is really wonderful and spectacular.

Not far away (nevertheless remember to be in an overcrowded big city, strangled by traffic jams), you may discover an older but nicer monastery, namely Caldarusani. Bag you pardon for the impossible pronouncing and orthoepy  of this Romanian word, name it as you wish if is easier and more convenient to you. Just don't forget to visit it, it is your time worth.

Last, but not least, The Comana Monastery, 30 km away from Bucharest. According the local legends, it has been build by the ruling prince Vlad The Splinter, also known as Dracula (due to Bram Stoker is the most notorious Romanian all times!). New archaeological diggings and discoveries have totally confirmed this legend! Nevertheless, stop dreaming to find something very spectacular tighten to Dracula in this monastery, there are other places living on the myth!
Comana Monastery was build by Vlad Tepes, according a  verified  local legend

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