Founded on a Dacian stronghold site this later became a Roman castrum.
Its name’s origins are either Serbian or Bulgarian, no sources mentioning it prior to 1475.
This comes either from Slavonic krajina (“border” or “edge”) or Old Slavonic kral (“king”), borrowed in Romanian as “crai”.
City prospered as a regional trading centre despite:
* an earthquake in 1790,
* a plague in 1795, and
* a Turkish assault in 1802 during which it was burned.
The city prides itself on the strong academic tradition.
And wealth of important historical figures who passed through here on their journey to fame.
Wallachian Prince Mihai Viteazu, ban (military governor) of Craiova, achieved the first unification of the 3 Romanian principalities in 1600.
Bans had the right of coining money stamped with their own effigies.
Hence the name of bani (centimes) in Romanian language.
Between 1894 – 1898, world-famous sculptor Constantin Brancusi studied at Craiova Art School (Scola de Arte si Meserii).
He also carved his first sculptures here.
Craiova-born Petrache Poenaru (1799 – 1875) invented the first cartridge fountain pen.
The majority of train locomotives in Romania originated at the Electroputere workshops in Craiova.
In 1913, here they signed the peace treaty known in history as Peace from Craiova which ended Balkan War.
Oltenia MuseumIf you wish to find out more about this region's history go visit Oltenia Museum.
Its highlights are History and Archeology and Natural Sciences (which kids will enjoy visiting).
Art MuseumArt lovers should definitely not miss the Art Museum in Craiova.
The sumptuous Neo-Baroque Dinu Mihail palace that houses the museum was completed in 1896.
The French architect Paul Gotereau, who also built the CEC building in Bucharest designed its plans.
The Museum exhibits Romanian icons and valuable masterpieces belonging to famous Romanian painters.
Among these there are Craiova-born Theodor Aman (1831 – 1891), Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907), Vasile Popescu, Stefan Luchian and Theodor Pallady.
But museum’s great attraction is the art gallery dedicated to Romanian-born Constantin Brancusi.
This displays 6 of his early sculptures, including variants of his best-known works:
* Vitellius (1898),
* Miss Pogany (1902),
* Vainglory (1905),
* Boy’s Head (1906),
* The Kiss (1907),
* Woman Torso (1909).
Moreover, Brancusi’s ‘studio’ has been recreated in the museum.
Nicolae Romanescu ParkFor those interested in enjoying a relaxing afternoon outdoor, Nicolae Romanescu Park, is a veritable green oasis.
The park is one of the valuable monuments of landscape architecture in Romania.
It was created between 1901-1903 from the initiative of the city’s mayor, Nicolae P. Romanescu.
The park’s plans designed by French architect Emile Rendont, were awarded the gold medal at the 1900 World Fair.
This park covers:
* more than 96 acres with plantations (bushes, grass areas, trees),
* 4 acres with water area,
* 20 acres with a hippodrome and
* a velodrome.
Be sure to not miss its Zoo, the Castle and the Bridge.
English Park & GardenEnglish Park & Garden is the ideal place to spend a few hours.
Although laid out on a small area, it is a wonderful piece of landscape architecture.
Botanical GardenFor those wanting to experience nature in a more scientific way, a stop at the Botanical Garden would be the best choice.
The Botanical Garden of the University of Craiova was laid on an area of about 17 acres in 1952.
Three lakes of about 0.3 acres are seen across the garden, where the flora gives the naturalistic shaping.
The Botanical Garden also houses a Herbarium of about 400,000 pages of preserved plants, and a small-scale Museum.
Mihai Viteazu Square & Musical FountainBetween streets with modern design lighting there is a restored small park.
And a monumental ensemble that includes the relocated statue of Mihai Viteazu.
Garden beds and ornamental plants lines an entire ensemble of artesian fountains.
The musical fountain stands out being a unique piece of architecture in Romania.
Every night, due to the lights show and music, this gathers together about 2,000 visitors from Craiova and neighbouring towns.
Top cathedrals, monasteries and churchesMany of the numerous religious buildings in Craiova date back to medieval times.
You can spend a relaxing afternoon visiting Cosuna Monastery, from 15th century, the oldest building in Craiova.
Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Demetrius
Built in Byzantine style in 1889, on the place of former Princely Church, this church became metropolitan cathedral in 1939.
The bell tower is built of Roman bricks probably taken from Pelendava citadel.
Oltenia’s oldest school for priests functioned here.
Jitianu Monk Monastery
Lady Balasa – wife of ruler Constantin Basarab Carnu from 17th century – guided the building of this monastery.
Nowadays it houses a rich collection of medieval art objects.
In 1370 they built the first Metropolitan Church in Oltenia region, called Metropolitan Church of Severin.
This happened during the reign of Voivode Vladislav I (1364 – 1377).
Oltenia Metropolitan Bishopric, canonical and administrative unit of Romanian Ortodox Church, founded in 1939.
At the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, Craiova’s architecture underwent a transformation.
Then Brancovenesti style – a combination of Romanian traditional art, Byzantine and Venetian elements – appeared.
One of the most beautiful churches still displaying elements of Brancovenesti style is Saint Nicolas Church (1794).
Marin Sorescu National TheaterThis occupies a special place in the history of the Romanian theater.
It is the first theater in South-Eastern Europe that became a member of the European Theater Convention.
Founded in 1850, it never ceased existing, in spite of all the turmoil characterizing Romania’s history.
Before 1900, according to the taste of the age, they staged mostly vaudevilles and musical shows.
After 1900 they staged especially dramatic performances of the universal and national classics, especially Shakespeare and Moliere.
See you all back here soon for more tips, picked expressly for you.
Meanwhile feel free to address me any question you might have about Romania.
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