Oltenia & Muntenia
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We love Oltenia & Muntenia
We love Oltenia for the historical, cultural and sports personalities that the region has offered us.
We love Oltenia for Brancusi’s masterpieces.
We love Muntenia, due to its varied relief, for the highest mountains of the country, furrowed by cold rivers, but also for the wide plain with its rich harvest.
We love Muntenia, because here we can be literally closer to heaven, but also because here is the home of our capital, Bucharest.
We love Muntenia, for the beauty found in the simplicity of a hike that leads us to Omu Peak, for the unique natural phenomena and for the history deeply dug here.
Discover Oltenia & Muntenia
Oltenia is the area located in the South-West part of the country, being delimited to the east by the Olt River, to the south and west by the Danube, and to the north by the Southern Carpathians.
The Oltenia area includes the following counties:
- Dolj County – entirely
- Gorj County – entirely
- Mehedinți County (without the city of Orșova and the settlements of Eșelnița, Dubova, Svinița, which belong to Banat)
- Olt County (without the areas located east of the Olt River, which are part of Muntenia)
- Vâlcea County (without the areas located east of the Olt River, which are part of Muntenia. Also, a small area located between Vidra Dam and Șteflești Peak was attached to Vâlcea County, being separated from the former Sibiu County)
- Teleorman County (Islaz commune only)Read more
We can call Muntenia the heart of Romanian history, because here it is hidden part of our nation’s history. Here, in the heart of history, resides the capital, Bucharest. Targoviste and Curtea de Arges are cities that prove the rich history of the region together with small fortresses, ruins and old churches.
Because it is an area of contrasts, here we can find fairytale places created by the Carpathians, like Babele and Sfinxul from Bucegi, Berca Mud Volcanoes, Danube, and the extensive Roman plain.
- Muntenia it is situated in the south part of the country, being delimited by the Carpathians to the north, by Olt river at west, by Danube in the south-east, and by Milcov, Putna and Siret rivers in the north-east.
- The name of Muntenia, appears for the first time in the writings of the first Moldavian rulers, referring to the entire territory of Wallachia. Today’s Wallachia is made up of Bucharest and Prahova, Argeş, Dȃmboviţa, Brăila, Giurgiu, Ialomiţa, Călăraşi, Buzău, Teleorman and Ilfov counties. Besides these ones, this region includes Predeal area, but also the south of Vrancea county, respectively the localities from the east of Olt river, part of Valcea and Olt counties.
- The specific gastronomy of this area is multicultural delight, created in years and years of different influences. From fish, pasta, dairy products, fresh vegetables or various meat dishes Wallachia’s cuisine remains impregnated in our taste sense. And because a delicious meal is topped with a good wine, we must not miss the famous vineyards such as Pietroasele, Tohani, Urlaţi, Valea Călugărească, or Coteşti.
How to get there?
Plane, train or car? Very well positioned in the south of Romania, Oltenia is well reached by all means of transport
- The main air gate of Oltenia is represented by Craiova airport, where companies such as Tarom or Wizz Air operate.
- Craiova is the most important railway / road junction in the region.
- The M900 highway, Timisoara – Bucharest, passes through the city, and most European roads have convergence in Craiova: E70 (to Caracal), E79 (Târgu-Jiu – Calafat), E574(to Slatina – Pitești)
Plane, train or car? The answer is simple.
Plane –> The largest airport of our country serves Wallachia region, namely, Henri Coanda International Airport near Bucharest. In order to arrive by plain to Bucharest there are a multitude of options from across the world. Once arrived here, visiting Wallachia region, becomes an easy objective.
Car –> If we arrive by plane, we can rent a car right from the airport, or if you already have a car, the national road DN1 is waiting for you.
Train –> In Romania the rail transport it is provided by C.F.R., on this link www.mersultrenurilor.ro we can find the train schedules.
Regardless of the chosen option, the landscapes that await us are amazing
The main cities in Oltenia are: Craiova (county seat in Dolj), Ramnicu Valcea (county seat in Valcea), Drobeta Turnu Severin (county seat in Mehedinti), Targu Jiu (county seat in Gorj), Caracal and Slatina.
Craiova is the largest and most beautiful city in southwestern Romania. The city was built on the structure of the former Dacian and then Roman settlement, Pelendava. Since 1400 it bears its current name.
- The City Hall and Local Municipal Council building – built in the twentieth century, had many uses: former headquarters of the commercial bank, branch of the Academy of Historical, Archaeological and Ethnographic Sciences, until the current occupation of the mayor’s office, prefecture and county council.
The historic center – renovated with European funds, tried to preserve the historical aspect – streets paved with granite, street furniture with antique design, lanterns, squares and squares, fountains or statues with pre-war look.
- The Jean Mihail Palace – Art Museum – houses over 1200 pieces of art, some of them belonging to Constantin Brancusi. In its current form, it dates from 1907 when it was built. Venetian mirrors, chandeliers with Murano crystal ornaments and tapestries with Lyon silk were used in the construction of the palace.
- Oltenia Museum – History and Archeology Section – recommended for the history of the region
- Nicolae Romanescu Park – the largest natural park in Romania, spread over 96 hectares. It includes ornamental plantations of trees and shrubs, a stretch of water of 4 hectares, a racecourse of 20 hectares, roads, alleys and paths that total over 35 km in length. There are also restaurants, a zoo or an amphitheater for shows.
- Recommended and frequented especially by young people is the Youth Park. Spread over about 60 hectares, it offers sports facilities such as tennis, mini football, basketball, table tennis, chess, roller and skate rink, outdoor summer theater with a capacity of 200 seats, internationally approved mini golf course, seats children’s playground, 12 km of paved alleys for jogging enthusiasts.
- Craiova Water Park – the most important water park in the region. The complex includes indoor pools, adult swimming pool, slide pools, lazy river, wave pool, children’s themed pool, beach areas, water bar, beaches for beach sports, sauna and jacuzzi.
- Ion Oblemenco Stadium – the second largest stadium in the country
- Metropolitan Cathedral
- Episcopal Cathedral
- The churches of the Holy Trinity, Mantuleasa, Saint Elijah.
Ramnicu-Valcea, the county seat in Valcea, is located on the right bank of the Olt River and is one of the important economic and cultural centers in the south central part of Romania.
- Anton Pann Memorial House and bust: the house-museum with hosts a memorial exhibition dedicated to Anton Pann: antique furniture, decorative objects, fabrics, paintings, musical works, collections of folklore, poems and stories, old books. The bust was unveiled in 1969 and is about 2m high.
- History Museum – houses numerous treasures, ancient weapons, invaluable artifacts, collections of prints, old books, philatelic collections, collections from various periods of great archaeological interest
- Revolution Square with the Independence Monument – one of the symbols of the city, built between 1913-1914.
- Other objectives: Zavoi Park, “Mircea cel Batran” Park, “Artex” Art Gallery, “Ion Dumitrescu” Philharmonic, “Mircea cel Batran” National College, Zoo, Mircea cel Batran Statue, Awakening of Romania Monument etc.
Targu-Jiu is located in the Targu-Jiu – Campu Mare depression, being the county seat. It is the closest city to the birthplace of Constantin Brancusi (Hobita, 25km) and is known for his 3 famous works: The Trilogy of the Monumental Ensemble.
- The Infinity Column – has a height of about 29m, erected between 1937 and 1938 and is a symbol of the heroic deeds of Gorj and their resistance during the First World War.
- Kissing Gate – considered the gateway to another world. Completed in 1938, the motif of the kiss, present on the pillars of the gate, can also be interpreted as an inner discovery – the eyes looking inwards. The inhabitants of the city usually get married next to this monument.
- The Table of Silence – is the place of the last meal or the last moment with your loved ones before going to war. Also completed in 1938, the Table of Silence urges meditation and silence.
The story of the 3 monuments starts from the Table of Silence, where the family of the Romanian soldier gathers, which is then led to the Kissing Gate (symbolic being the gate of the house), where they say goodbye, the soldier passes through the gate to what could be the world of then, but it is spiritually connected to those who remain at home through the Pillar of Infinity which “springs” from the earth and gives the illusion of continuity to heaven.
- Besides this impressive trilogy we also mention: Elvira Godeanu Dramatic Theater, built in honor of the actress who played the famous role of Zoe Trahanache in the comedy of the great Ion Luca Caragiale, “A Lost Letter”, Ecaterina Teodoroiu Memorial House and Mausoleum, the heroine of the First World War, the Targu Jiu Art Museum or the Alexandru Stefulescu County Museum.
The main cities in Muntenia (Wallachia) are:
Bucharest is the capital of the country, in the past being named “ The Little Paris”. It is a city of contrasts, where we can find different buildings with a unique architecture, in Art Nouveau style, but also buildings built in the communist era, parks spread over impressive areas or public squares.
Bucharest is a vibrant city, waiting for us to discover it. Among its objectives we mention:
- The Palace of the Parliament – reigns the city center, being a landmark of the city and of history. It is the second largest building in the world after Pentagon. The building process needed not less than 400 architects.
- Cotroceni Palace – the headquarter and residence for the Romanian President. Adjacent to the palace is Cotroceni Garden, which can not be missed.
- The Arch of Triumph – was erected to commemorate the formation of Greater Romania, in 1918.
- Herastrau Park – is one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Numerous events are organized here.
- National Museum of Art
- Romanian Athenaeum – if you are a fan of classical music, surely one of the performances held here will remain one of your favorite memories.
- Old town – the heart of the city. Here you will always find something to do; it is the ideal place to end a day spent in “Little Paris”.
Tȃrgovişte – princely residence and capital between 1396 and 1714, is a testimony of the country’s history, preserving even today traces of the history.
Among the tourist spots are:
- Chindei Tower – built during the reign of Vlad Tepeş is located in the museum complex “Royal Court”
- The Great Royal Church – another building part of the “Royal Court” complex
- Stelea Monastery – many consider it to be the most beautiful church in Romania.
What to visit?
Covering a large area of Romania, tourism in the Oltenia region is diversified: religious, adventure, cultural or mountain tourism. There are many monasteries and churches, caves, historical relics or winter resorts.
- Cozia, Govora and Horezu Monasteries
Cozia Monastery, founded by Mircea cel Batran – is one of the most important architectural constructions of medieval art in Romania, located 3 km from the spa resort Calimanesti Caciulata, on the right bank of the Olt and at approx. 12 miles north of Ramnicu Valcea. It was consecrated on May 18, 1388. In the narthex are the tombs of the voivode Mircea and the nun Teofana, mother of Mihai Viteazul, a nun after the death of her son, who died in 1605.
Horezu Monastery is considered the most representative construction in Brancovenesc style. It has been in the Unesco patrimony since 1993. It dates from 1697 and covers about 3 hectares. The name of the monastery comes from huhurezi, a local species of night birds from the owl family, with a colorful plumage.
Govora Monastery, located 7 km from the spa baths of the same name, dates from the 15th century. It is a nunnery, one of the oldest in the country. Govora Monastery hosted the first printing house in Romanian, the rooms of the former printing house still exist today.
- The whole area of the Olt valley is of a special beauty, from the green of the forests, the mineral springs, the monasteries and the small villages that complete this landscape. We mention the Cozia National Park with Lotrisor waterfall, Roman Arutela Camp, Arxavia Fortress Ruins, Turnu, Caineni and Cornetu hydropower plants, Frasina monasteries, Turnu, Cornet, Stranisoara or Ostrov Hermitage (the first hermitage of nuns in Romania)
- On the Jiu Valley there are also many archeological or secular objectives such as the monasteries Tismana and Polovragi, Lainici hermitage.
- The most important caves in Oltenia are the Polovragi cave, the Muierilor Cave, the Closani Cave, the Ponoare (also in this area we find the God’s Bridge).
Polovragi Cave is located at an altitude of 670, and of the entire length of 10km, are arranged for mass tourism only 800m. The rooms in the cave have various names due to the impurities of the waters.
One of the most impressive caves is the Muierii Cave with a length of 3.6 km located on 4 levels. It was the first electrically lit cave and the lower level is a speleological reservation.
Closani Cave is one of the best known in the Oltenia region, located between Targu Jiu and Baia de Arama. It has a length of 1100m but can be visited only with the approval of the Institute of Speleology because it has been preserved exclusively for scientific research: biospeleology, mineralogy, geology, chemistry, geomorphology, physics, geophysics and seismology.
Ponoarele Cave has a length of 734m and is located in the village of the same name. The entrance to the cave has the shape of an arch with a high ceiling. Access is difficult, because the entrance is sloping and most of the time the water drains from the ceiling and the soil is clayey. It has 2 floors, the lower one can be reached only with special equipment, being at a vertical descent of approximately 8-10m. This cave is connected to the Bulba Cave, located a few km from the town. The route can be done only with equipment and training in advance but also in drought conditions.
The second most spectacular road in Romania is Transalpina. It is the highest road in Romania, the maximum point being at 2145m. It has a total length of 148km and connects Novaci and Sebes. In the vicinity of the road there are several glacial lakes, of which the best known is Galcescu Lake. With an area of 3.2 hectares, this lake is the largest glacial lake in the Gorj area, with a depth of ten meters. It is located at an altitude of 1950 meters and is naturally populated with fish.
- On the Transalpine route we meet the winter resort Ranca. The resort is under development but at the moment there are 3 ski slopes accessible, one for beginners, one for advanced and one for children. Both winter and summer in this resort you can fly paragliding. The locations used are Papusa, Magura or Cerbul Peaks.
- Spa resorts: Calimanesti-Caciulata, Baile Govora and Baile Olanesti.
Calimanesti-Caciulata, located 18km from Ramnicu Valcea is considered the pearl of the resorts in Valcea, due to the microclimate, thermal springs or ionized air. The resort is open all year round so that tourists can benefit in any season from the properties of sulfurous, chlorinated, brominated, sodium, calcium, magnesium, mainly hypotonic mineral waters. In order to benefit from the treatment, referral tickets from specialist doctors are recommended.
The following diseases can be treated in Călimănesti-Căciulata:
– digestive tract disorders (chronic gastritis with hyper and hypoacidity, chronic constipation, chronic colitis, ulcer disease – uncomplicated gastric and duodenal ulcer, operated stomach sequelae, nonspecific chronic enterocolopathy);
– hepatobiliary diseases (biliary dyskinesia, chronic colic cystitis with or without stones, chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis);
– renal and urinary tract disorders (lithiasis and urinary microlithiasis with or without infection, chronic ascending pyelonephritis, urinary tract infections, stabilized chronic glomeronephritis, pyelocystitis);
– metabolic and nutritional disorders (diabetes mellitus, hyperuremic conditions, dyslipidemia and hyperlipidemia, compensated diabetes mellitus, obesity);
– musculoskeletal disorders: degenerative rheumatic diseases (cervical, lumbar and dorsal spondylosis, osteoarthritis, polyarthrosis), degenerative joint diseases of the elderly;
inflammatory rheumatic diseases (allergic joint conditions after acute rheumatoid arthritis or outbreaks);
– abarticular rheumatic diseases (tendinosis, tendomyosis, tendoperiostosis, scapulohumeral periarthritis);
– post-traumatic conditions (after sprains, dislocations and fractures);
– peripheral neurological disorders (paresis, sequelae of polio, neuralgia, neuritis, sciatica);
– respiratory diseases (people exposed to respiratory, microbial or viral toxins, chronic non-tuberculous bronchopulmonary diseases, allergic asthma, chronic bronchitis and tracheobronchitis, bronchiectasis, rhinopharyngitis, chronic sinusitis);
– associated diseases (chronic non-tuberculous gynecological diseases like ovarian syndrome caused by menopause, annexitis, chronic metroanexitis, sterility) otorhinolaryngological, dermatological, cardiovascular, endocrine, asthenic neurosis, occupational diseases).
Baile Govora is considered the second spa resort from the perspective of the concentration of iodized and brominated waters. There are 3 types of mineral waters used on internal and external cures. Also, treatments can be made with sapropelic mud brought from Ocnele Mari.
Baile Govora offers treatments for:
– Respiratory diseases (chronic bronchitis; tracheobronchitis; B.P.O.C .; pulmonary emphysema; status of repeated post-respiratory infections; bronchiectasis without hemoptysis episodes;
Allergic asthma, infectious, infectious-allergic; post-pneumator sequelae (not for malignant tumors).
– O.R.L diseases: chronic catarrhal rhinosinusitis; operated sinusitis; chronic hypertrophic rhinopharyngitis; laryngitis; oropharyngeal mycoses.
– Disorders of the musculoskeletal system: degenerative rheumatism: spondylosis; gonarthroses; coxarthroses; peripheral osteoarthritis; infectious secondary rheumatism; abarticular rheumatism; post-traumatic dysfunction: peripheral neurological disorders; central neurological disorders (patients under 62 years of age, without recurrence and epileptic seizures).
– Associated conditions: chronic gastroduodenitis; gastrointestinal dyspepsia; hepato-biliary diseases that require cholera treatment; kidney disease requiring diuresis; metabolic disorders, sequelae of rickets; asthenic neuroses; diseases caused by stress
Baile Olanesti ranks first among the spas in Romania in terms of the number of springs, the value of their total daily flow, or the variety of composition and concentration of mineral waters. The total number of springs is 35 both natural and drilled. The climatic conditions are ideal, the winters are not cold, an average of -2.6 degrees, while the average of the maximums is 19 degrees.
Baile Olanesti offers treatment in its centers for:
– digestive disorders: esophagitis, chronic hypoacid and hyperacid gastritis, chronic duodenitis, chronic ulcer, chronic nonspecific enterocolopathy, operated stomach;
– kidney and urinary tract diseases: unoperated or operated kidney stones, urinary stones, chronic pyelonephritis, chronic glomerulonephritis, chronic cystitis;
– chronic diseases of the liver and bile ducts: biliary dyskinesia, chronic non-calculous or calculous cholecystitis (with immobilizable stones), disorders after operated liver (cholecystoctemia), chronic stabilized hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis;
– respiratory diseases: chronic allergic rhinosinusitis, chronic asthmatic bronchitis, allergic bronchial asthma, occupational toxins, conditions after non-tuberculous or virolic microbial pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, chronic tracheobronchitis, bronchiectasis;
metabolic and nutritional disorders: diabetes, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, gout, obesity;
– dermatological conditions: psoriasis, incipient ichthyosis, chronic keratoderma eczema, neurodermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, acne, pyoderma;
– allergic diseases: of different typologies (food, bacteriological drugs) and with different manifestations (respiratory, digestive, cutaneous: chronic urticaria, itching, allergic contact dermatitis, occupational eczema);
– occupational diseases (heavy metal poisoning: Pb, Hg, As);
– cardiovascular diseases: stage 1 and stage hip hypertension, peripheral arteropathies;
– associated diseases: degenerative rheumatic diseases, abarticular rheumatic diseases, post-traumatic conditions, osteoporosis, diseases of the peripheral nervous system, paresis, paralysis, asthenic neurosis;e
– endocrine disorders;
– chronic gynecological conditions.
In Wallachia region we can visit the following:
- Bucegi National Park – with a total area of 35700 ha, includes important tourist attractions, such us the Sphinx and the Babes, rare species of plants, the corner flower or the carnation, and the fauna formed by the brown bear and the black goat. One of the most important tourist attractions is considered to be Omu peak, with 2505 meters.
- Muddy Volcanoes – these “volcanoes” are made of mud, a rare phenomenon in the world
- Living Fire from Lopătari – Phenomenon of nature, a flame that springs from earth, due to the continuous emanation of gases that ignite due to pressure and friction of rock
- Prahova Valley – is one of the most visited mountain areas in Romania, stretching along the Prahova River, with a large concentration of mountain tourist resorts. At an altitude of 800 meters is the mountain resort Sinaia, Busteni and last but not least, the mountain resort Predeal, located at the highest altitude in Romania, respectively 1035 meters.
- Peles Castle – with a unique character, through its historical and artistic value, can be considered one of the most important monuments of this kind in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century. Peles Castle was the summer residence for the Romanian kings and was built between 1873 and 1914 at the request of King Carol I of Romania (1866 – 1914) according to the plans of architects Johannes Schultz and Karel Liman and decorated by the famous Heymann of Hamburg, August of Mainz and Berhard Ludwig of Vienna.
- Ciucaş Massif – its beauty is given by the ruiniform relief. The most spectacular view can be found if we look at the Ciucaş Massif from Teleajenului Valley. The massif offers an alternation of rocks, quiet peaks, wooded areas, and green meadows.
- Transfăgărăşan – is the second highest road in Romania, connecting Muntenia and Transylvania, through the Făgăraş Mountains, offering speechless views. Crossing Transfăgărăşan we will marvel at the beauty of the Vidraru Lake and Dam, and of the Bȃlea glacial lake.
Events & Festivals
In terms of events and festivals in the region, most are local events. Among the latest events held we mention:
- Jazz Festival
- Wine Expo
- Craiova Art Festival (autumn)
- Traditional fairs: Cocosul de Hurez (Romanian folk pottery fair) or Nedeia Fair (livestock and goods fair, folk shows with music and dances) (summer).
Among the festivals that are taking place in Bucharest we list:
- Summer Well (Stirbey Domain, Buftea, usually takes place in August);
- Anim’Est – International Animation Film Festival (Bucharest, usually is happening in October);
- George Enescu International Competition – the largest cultural event in Romania (Bucharest, August – September);
- Bucharest Photofest – the most intense photography event (Bucharest, October);
- IMapp – a festival that combines music and 3D projections (Bucharest, Constitution Square, September).
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