Fairy Tale Land of Bucovina

Still in search of the perfect Easter holiday we explore today a new region of Romania. We do not leave the embrace of the mountains and the beauty of nature, so we start a journey in Bucovina, in Campulung Moldovenesc to be exact, not only the city, but the scenery that surrounds it.

Campulung Moldovenesc is a place with beautiful culture and terrible history. For a long period of time it was annexed by the Austro-Hungarians, and it was almost entirely destroyed in WWI. But this did not defeat the spirit of the Romanians, we reconstructed and restored.

In its long history it underwent many invasions. First the Dacians were settled here, only to be colonized by the Romans, then there were invading tribes of Goths, Gepids, Huns, Avars, Magyars, Tartars. This only contributed to the cultural diversity of the area. The city itself is litered with historical monuments, from train stations from the 18th century to wooden houses from the 17th century. But as I said the surrounding area, that falls under the regional administration is stunning beyond words.

What Bucovina is best known for are the spectacular painted monasteries. Moldovita, first built in 15th century, was destroyed by a landslide and stayed in ruin for many years till it was reconstructed in 1532 and it’s still standing today. Built in Transylvanian gothic style and with the outside walls covered entirely in post-byzantine murals, this monastery is a true jewel of the area. Voronet Monastery is another jewel of the area, not great in size but impressive and valuable in its whole. It was built by the order of Stephan the Great in 1488, and it was finished in 3 months and 3 weeks, which is a record. Today the beautiful painted monastery is part of the of UNESCO Heritage.

The entire area is surrounded by a beautiful hilly and mountain area, a natural wildlife reserve, where you can see wild animals like the brown bear. One of this natural beauties is the area called “The Devil’s Mill”, a natural reserve where one can observe wild flora and wild animals like bear, deer, marten, lynx, wolf, fox, grouse etc. A great area for camping and walks for all nature lovers.

Rarau Mountains_sunset

Another such beautiful natural monument would be The Lady’s Stones (Frauenstein in German), another natural reserve in the Rarau mountains, when one can admire the natural landscape, flora and fauna, of which some are rare specimens.

The beauty of the land can be experienced by foot or by car, but there is another way to take in all this beauty. The narrow railroad train called ‘Mocanita’. This would run officially until 1998. It had 20 stops with a station but it would stop to pick up travelers that waved it down.  In 2014 the “Mocanita” and it’s entire route was declare a national monument. The name Mocanita came in use when the railroad officially opened in 1912, and it comes from the name of the people that were somewhere on its route, mocani. Today it is used only on short segments of its route and only for touristic purpose.

No matter what your preferred means of locomotion is, it is certain that Campulung Moldovenesc will give you a taste of Romania’s well guarded national treasures, some of them being here even before man itself.

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Photo source: pinterest.com

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