duminică, 12 mai 2013

Most impressive Romanian Churches, As Seen by a Group of Lebanese Tourists

Most impressive Romanian Churches, As Seen by a Group of Lebanese Tourists


One of the most important things to know about Romania is quite simple: despite the pregnant existence and influence of the minorities (specially, the Hungarian one), the people is very unit and homogene: 90 % of the population are Romanian, speak Romanian as Mother's language and are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Here started the all story: Arrival of Lebanese tourists on Bucharest airport

Every small village has a church, and the tour leader Ziad Khairallah from Vladimir Travel/Beirut made a special selection of the most impressive and spectacular Romanian churches, with the help and on the competent suggestion of Euforia Travel/Nicoleta Balasa (I had the pleasure and honor to be the tour guide, and I was totally fascinated by their joy of life! Another story, though.)
The fantastic church of Voronet Monastery, probably the most impressive and spectacular church from Romania

Visiting the Romanian Churches is maybe the best way to learn and understand something about the Romanian history. We saw together a lot of churches, ones of them very renowned, like the Black Church from Brasov, but also one almost unknown, totally off the beaten path, the Monastery of Rasca/Suceava.

I learned on this tour (thank you, Zyad & Co from Lebanon) that nowadays the biggest orthodox church of Romania lies in Targu Mures. There the people were preparing the Easter, the most important feast of the Christianity. Everything on the way reminded us those preparations, and it was really an event celebrating Easter with this fantastic group of Lebanese tourists.
A wood church in the Village museum from Bucharest, another hit

We also saw and visited one of the oldest Romanian Churches: the church from the Old Courtyard from Bucharest, which has hosted from centuries the intronization of the happy Romanian princes! It was overcrowded, because is in the middle of Bucharest, a city with 2 Millions inhabitants. Another old church, build by the Cantacuzino family, is in Sinaia,( also known like the pearl of Carpathians, a romantic and royal getaway not far from Bucharest). The old church is little, but more interesting than the new big one.
The St Nicholas Church from Brasov

A special mention for the painted churches from Bucovina. We choose the most beautiful one, namely Voronet. It is really amazing, and totally overwhelming. The colors are based on a secret recipe (probably lapis lazuli powder, with other vegetable ingredients) and have lasted for 500 years without restoration!

As the Columbian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez used to say: the most important thing in life is to tell the story of it! I must not forget the Cathedrals from Sighisoara, Sibiu(on the model of St Sophia Cathedral from Istanbul) or the Monastery of Bistrita.

Seeing this long list of churches or monasteries ( add the Evangelic Churches from Sighisoara, Targu Mures) could lead to the idea of a religious pilgrimage. Totally wrong, it was much more than that, and the churches are just a small part of of the Romania Introduction Course! We still remember museums, restaurants, songs and dances!

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