About 11% of the population belongs to a minority.
Romania can be a good example for many countries in Europe when it comes to minority rights. The country has 18 minorities that are officially recognized. For each, there are schools with appropriate language teaching. In 2014, a man who belongs to the German minority was elected President – Klaus Iohannis. But the coexistence of minorities has a centuries-old history.
Bucharest is a vibrant city in transition. It was built at the intersection of overlapping influences from East and West and developed into a cosmopolitan metropolis with a rich cultural life. We’ll take the tour visiting the main attractions, but we will also focus on the Jewish population of the city and their influences in the culture of Bucharest. Dinner and overnight stay.
The morning begins with the second part of the tour. The program includes, among other things, the “House of the People”. the second biggest building in the world, built during the Communist times. At noon we drive to the airport from where we fly towards Iasi / Iasi. After only one hour in the air, we will discover the cultural capital of Moldavia region. The charming city of Iasi is considered the cradle of Romanian culture and is also known under the name “Little Rome”, as it’s surrounded by seven hills. Dinner and overnight in Iasi / Iasi.
After breakfast we leave Iasi. Our first destination is Botosani, where the first Armenian church on the territory of Europe was built in 1350. We learn about the history of the Armenian people who have lived in the area for hundreds of years, together with Ukrainians, German, Poles, Jews and other cultures. This peaceful coexistence has strongly impacted the culture of the area and this European melting pot is still visible in the small city of Suceava, that we will also visit. Dinner and overnight in Radauti.
The day begins with an exploration of the traditions of the Romanian and Ukrainian population. The intricate painting of the Easter eggs and black pottery are just two of the old, local traditions we will get acquainted with. In the afternoon, we will visit three beautiful, painted monasteries that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage: Sucevita, Moldovita and Voronet. We will end the day with a delicious Moldavian dinner in a local traditional home. Overnight in Radauti.
After breakfast we start towards Kreuzburg on the Bistritz / Piatra Neamt. In Romanian, we call the Germans “Nemti”, so in translation Piatra Neamt would be “The German’s Stone”. How did this name come by and what does the area have to do with the Germans, we will learn today. The two monasteries of Agapia and Neamt are also available on our program. Dinner and overnight in Cross castle on the Bistritz / Piatra Neamt.
The main attractions for the day are the mountains of the Eastern Carpathians and the Székely population of the region. The Hungarian language, culture and religion is shared by almost 90% of the residents of this area. The Hungarian minority is officially the largest in the country. In Miercurea Ciuc we will meet a representative of this minority to learn more about their story in Romania. In the evening we reach Kronstadt / Brasov, where we will have dinner and the overnight stay.
Kronstadt / Braşov was founded by the Teutonic Knights in the early 12th century. After the withdrawal of the Order, the city was inhabited by the Saxons and started to expand. The beginning of our tour is The Black Church in the heart of the city, the most impressive Protestant church in Transylvania. After the tour is finished, it’s on to German Weißkirch / Viscri, where the Roma population still keeps their century old traditions and customs. We will learn more about this fascinating culture and get a feel of their authentic village life. In the evening we reach Sighisoara / Sighisoara, where there we will have dinner and then spend the night.
Sighisoara is one of the last remaining inhabited castles in Europe, its walls surrounding a small authentic intact community. There are small inns, charming old cafes and narrow paved streets. Spend a morning getting lost in this quiet gem of a fortress and let’s reunite for lunch on the drive to the nearby village of Malmkrog / Malancrav. Here the Saxon population has held up well, despite mass exodus in the 90s. The main attraction of the village is the Protestant church, inside which we can still admire frescoes from the Catholic period. In the late afternoon we reach Sibiel, a small Romanian village near Sibiu, where we will have dinner with a local family. Spend the night at the hotel in Sibiu / Hermannstadt.
In 2007, Sibiu / Hermannstadt was, together with Luxembourg, the European Capital of Culture. You will understand why it has earned this title in a comprehensive city tour that will take you through the most important attractions. We’ll leave an open afternoon for you to discover at leisure the hidden charm of this wonderful city in the center of Romania. We reunite for dinner to drive to Michel Berg / Cisnadioara, where we’ll be guests of the Transylvanian Saxon family Henning. You will be enchanted by their stories about the German minorities and their background.