GOLD MINES ~ VAUBAN CITADEL ~ RED RAVINE ~ IDYLLIC CITY
* Roman Galleries Gold Mining Museum
* 7 pointed star-shaped citadel of Alba Iulia
* Red Ravine Nature Reserve
* Baron von Brukenthal’s candle light dinner
* Sibiu city – one of top 10 most idyllic places in Europe
* Traditional Romanian handicrafts class
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
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.
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.
DAY 5 ~ SIBIU COUNTY
Andrei Budac - aka Gheorghe Cartan - was the last outlaw in Romania.
This shepherd, who secretly carried books over the mountains, founded several schools.
He stole money from the two counts in the area and gave it to the poor.
But he came back to check them if they really used it for what they needed: house repairs, etc.
He met Franz Joseph and went to Rome dressed just like the Dacians from Trajan’s column.
Posse chased him 20 years before succeeding to shoot him.
And this only thanks to a lover’s betrayal.
And the hoax at a night of drunkenness that he will join the army.
Biertan village off-the-beaten-track tour ~ UNESCO site
You can easily spend half day exploring one of the first and biggest Saxon fortresses in Romania and the first listed on UNESCO World Patrimony in 1993.
Among top 10 unreal destinations in the world according to Cosmopolitan (2016): “Biertan seriously looks like a town from a Disney movie”.
The legend says the spouses who were fighting and wished to divorce were locked into a room of the fortress with only 1 spoon, 1 fork, 1 table, 1 bed, 1 chair and thus they were forced to bear each other. The result ? For 300 years there was only 1 divorce in the village. The fortified church was built in 15th century in late Gothic style. Inside you will notice right away the Anatolian rugs and the imposing altar with 28 scenes painted by artists from Vienna and Nuremberg. But the sacristy door will fascinate you for even more. It won the first prize at the Paris World Expo in 1900. And what makes it unique is not only the exceptional intarsia but also the still functional 19 locks system made by local craftsmen in 1515.
Enjoy Baron von Brukenthal’s candle light dinner
From the heavy crops harvested 200 years ago from the estate of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s summer residence they cooked in the palace kitchen sophisticated dishes, comfitures, pies and cakes, juices and wines.
But the Baron’s favorites were the creations based on asparagus, a vegetable considered to be the secret of longevity, with important aphrodisiac benefits and a delicacy which cuisine experts say it is the tastier during springtime. To delight all your senses to the full we invite you to the Baron’s candle light dinner ! Asparagus cream soup, asparagus and pesto salad, pork loin with asparagus, potatoes in butter and parsley and Hollandaise sauce, having as dessert strawberries with vanilla foam and for drinks lemonade with honey and strawberries, elder juice and red wine from Recas. The menu can be adjusted depending on season fresh ingredients and guests’ preferences.
DAY 6 ~ SIBIU COUNTY
Visit one of the top 10 most idyllic places in Europe
Sibiu – 3* Michelin Green Guide (means it is worth a visit) – is one of the best cities to visit and one of the most charming one in Europe.
In 2012 Forbes included it in top 10 most idyllic places in Europe.
Marvelously preserved, Sibiu is nicknamed the “sharp city” due to its cathedrals’ steeples and arrows.
Follow a traditional handicrafts class
For this you have to step within the most beautiful and largest open-air museum in Europe, which precisely reconstructs the villages from all corners of Romania to the smallest details: little houses, churches, mills, traditional objects and means of transportation…
A thoroughly prepared travel to the atmosphere of the former Romanian village that will familiarize you with the way natives used to live in the past centuries, how our grandparents and great grandparents organized their households, the little secrets from the day-to-day existence, their beliefs and the church function, the taste for art…
Drive to Bucharest or Sibiu airport.
* What to expect: highly customized itinerary planning & travel arrangements with 10% discount for travel planning services for tours longer than 7 days, 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 1,400 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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