GOLD MINES ~ VAUBAN CITADEL ~ RED RAVINE
* Roman Galleries Gold Mining Museum
* 7 pointed star-shaped citadel of Alba Iulia
* Red Ravine Nature Reserve
Welcome and greetings on Bucharest or Sibiu airport.
Drive to Transylvania.
DAY 2 ~ ALBA COUNTY
Roman Galleries Gold Mining Museum
The most active gold mining center of Western Carpathians was Rosia Montana.
This was also one of the most long-lasting traditional gold mining sites known nowadays. Here the excavations began in the Bronze Age. The traditional gold mining ended in 1948 along with the nationalization, but the industrial mining continued until 2006.
A significant interaction between man and nature generated one of the richest and most spectacular cultural landscapes of Romania. Thus the gold mining galleries, Roman surface landscape, historical industrial landscape and Rosia Montana gold mining fair were declared national historical monument. The mining galleries – of exploitation, assistance, ventilation, and water draining out – dug in the massifs around the town exceed 80 km. Seven km of these, excavated as early as the Roman Age, are unique in Europe. And they constitute the vastest and most important system of gold mining exploitation known from Roman world.
DAY 3 ~ ALBA COUNTY
7 pointed star shaped citadel
Italian architect Giovano Morando Visconti made the plan of fortress erected between 1714 - 1738.
Marechal Vauban, engineer to King Louis XIV of France, invented its 7 pointed star shapped design. With 7 bastions and 6 gates, the imposing citadel stretches over more than 100 ha. It is the most representative Vauban fortification with bastions in Romania.
Its Gates Tour is a must as it includes the 5th gate erected at base of St Michael’s ravelin. In the ’60s they closed access to it with a brick wall and filled gate’s arched passageway with dirt. A major segment of original stone floor was preserved as well as the gate frame that allowed drawbridge to operate. Many myths and legends relates to this citadel, some closer to reality than other. They say it was a forbidden city until 2005 because it was a military unit. They also say there is a Mathew bible from year 800 in the library. Apulum Roman castrum was the largest fortress in Roman Dacia. Its construction started under Emperor Hadrianus, probably about 125 AD. For over one century without interruption Apulum was headquarters of Legio XIII Gemina.
Among artifacts uncovered here in 2011 there was an 1,800-year old inscription reminding a political episode from ancient Rome. Emperor Septimius Severus had 2 sons: Publius Septimius Geta and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla. These started to rule together as joint emperors in 211 A.D. During same year Emperor Caracalla killed Geta and ordered his brother’s name to be crossed out of history. This is why Emperor Geta’s name is crossed out on the uncovered inscription.
Here archaeologists also discovered ruins of Aurelia Apulensis colony (around 3rd century). You can see the hundreds of tiny pieces uncovered during excavations at Union National Museum.
Don’t miss the 2 most important historical buildings in Romania !
During the First World War a part of Unification Museum‘s collection – inaugurated in 1888 – was stolen or scattered.
Have lunch at Pub 13
The restaurant is situated in the old gunpowder storehouse of the fortress within the Southern wall.
Dinner and overnight at Medieval Hotel & Restaurant
This is really a great restaurant with panoramic views of the Vauban citadel.
You can feel like royalty, listening discreet music while enjoying savoury dishes served by staff in epoque costumes. Highly recommended.
If you wish to also stay here overnight, kindly note that they get fully booked with 4 months in advance !
DAY 4 ~ ALBA COUNTY
Red Ravine Nature Reserve
This 10-acre natural geological reserve is unique in Europe and second in the world after America.
Among 80 to 100 m height walls and rare plant species, birds dug in clay dozens and dozens of holes.
But what makes Red Ravine a monument of rare landscape beauty is the sculptured shapes richness.
Water has dug on pebbles, quartz sands and sandstones strange reddish columns, towers, pyramids…
Rainwater forms blood-red streams that swoop in deep abysses open to left and right.
And towards the bridge, the tunnels dug by rainwater over time cave in enormous ditches.
Drive to Bucharest or Sibiu airport.
* What to expect: highly customized itinerary planning & travel arrangements, upscale / luxury rooms and suites recommendations, traditional / fine dining top restaurants recommendations, all in city private transfers by chauffeured car, entrance fees.
* Base price (itinerary planning and all inclusive chauffeured car rental services): from 920 Euro for up to 6 guests
* Departures: all year round.
* Interests: family, romantic, gourmet / wine tasting, culture / art / museums, history, castles / fortresses, churches, nature, wildlife / bird watching, photography, relaxing, shopping.
* Personal tour manager available on request.
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