This large country has a very diverse landscape and has been a cradle for several prehistoric and ancient cultures. People here created distinct styles of architecture and built many amazing structures. The most amazing wonders of Romania are:
- Historical cities and towns. Many towns and cities in Romania have well-preserved historical centers with hundreds of valuable buildings. Especially beautiful are Brașov, Sibiu, and Sighişoara which belong to the most impressive old cities in Europe.
- "Painted" monasteries – a group of very unusual medieval monasteries whose walls have been covered with beautiful frescoes… outside (and also inside)!
- Castles – Romania has the famous Bran Castle – which in pop culture is seen as Dracula’s palace. Even more impressive is the giant Corvin Castle and there are other great castles and castle ruins.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Romania
The longest known cave in Romania, almost 52 km long.
Spectacular gorge with up to 300 m tall vertical walls, 2.9 km long. Gorge contains a huge wealth of plant and animal life.
Peştera Urşilor (Bears’ Cave)
Beautiful cave with remnants of some 140 cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) trapped by rock slide more than 15,000 years ago.
Unique cave ecosystem consisting of 48 species. 33 species are found only in this cave. The ecosystem of this cave was isolated from the outer world for 5.5 million years and the air inside the cave has a different chemical composition.
Ruins of the former capital of Dacia that was built on the top of a 1,200 m high hill. The capital was protected with a system of six fortresses around it. The megalithic walls of fortifications are built from enormous stone blocks. Here are located also remnants of Dacian shrines including an enormous platform – sundial. The city was inhabited in the 1st century BC – 1st century AD.
Corvin Castle (Hunedoara Castle)
One of the largest castles in Europe, well preserved and visually very impressive. Castle was constructed in many phases from 1440 – 19th century. Site of legends with purported sightings of paranormal phenomena.
Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
The largest parliament building in the world, the second-largest administrative building in the world after The Pentagon (United States), and the third-largest building in the world by volume and the largest – by weight. This giant structure was built in a Neo-Classical style in 1984 – 1997.
One of the best so-called "painted monasteries" of the region, constructed in 1488 in local style – a unique fusion of Gothic, Renaissance, and Byzantines styles. Sometimes the painted Church of Saint George here is nicknamed the "Sistine Chapel of the East".
Sighişoara Old City
Exceptionally well preserved fortified medieval city with city walls and numerous watchtowers. Sighişoara was founded by German craftsmen who lived in this region until the middle of the 20th century. This fortified settlement was founded in the late 12th century and was an important trade center in the following centuries. It was a rich city and many great structures were built here.
Brașov Old City
One of the most beautiful historical cities in this part of Europe: a medieval city that was built by the Saxons of Transilvania. Beautiful views open to the city from the surrounding mountains.
St. Nicholas Church in Bogdana Monastery
The oldest standing church in Romania, built around 1360. The church is adorned with frescoes that were created in different time periods.
Biserica Neagră (Black Church of Brașov)
This is the largest Gothic structure in Romania. The church was constructed sometime around the 1380ies – 1470ies.
Sibiu Old City
A beautiful medieval city that was built by the Saxons of Transilvania. Much of the city walls have been preserved. Impressive is the enormous Grand Square and other squares with ornate buildings around them.
Legendary and very impressive castle. Although it is not linked to Vlad the Impaler or any known legends about vampires, since the issuing of Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula” it is announced to be the legendary abode of Count Dracula. This is well preserved and picturesque castle on the top of the mountain. Constructed in the 14th century.
Medieval fortification and settlement that was built for the protection of local people. Fortifications on the top of this hill have been built since prehistoric times.
Massive hilltop fortification that was built in the Middle Ages over the site that was inhabited since the Paleolithic and fortified by Dacians.
Prejmer fortified church
Old Gothic church, built in 1211 – 1240. In the 15th – 16th century around the church were built massive walls – almost 12 m tall and 5 m wide, with 5 towers. Inside the walls are more than 270 rooms that could provide shelter for some 1600 people.
St. Nicholas Church in Probota Monastery
A gorgeous church that was built in 1530 and covered with colorful frescoes.
The historical church of Transylvanian Saxons, built in the Gothic style in the early 14th century. The interior of the church is very impressive as it is covered with frescoes and adorned with a multitude of artworks.
Biertan fortified church
An impressive complex of buildings – a church in Late Gothic-Renaissance style that was built in 1486 – 1524. Church has sophisticated vaults. Later around the church were built several fortification walls and part of these walls persist up to this day.
One of the oldest monasteries in Romania where the first structures were built around 1371-175. Especially beautiful is the church that was constructed in 1497.
Resurrection Church in Sucevița Monastery
Beautiful, very impressive “painted” church that was built in 1585. The church is covered with frescoes inside and outside. Sucevița Monastery itself is an impressive complex of buildings with a fortification wall and four watchtowers.
St. George Church in Saint John the New Monastery
Beautiful church with frescoes covering its walls. Built in 1514 – 1522.
A very old church building that was constructed in the 7th century on the site of an ancient Roman temple and even a possible Dacian temple. This is the first church in the lands of Dacians. The interior is adorned with frescoes that were made in the 15th century.
Trei Ierarhi Monastery Church
Church with impressive, unusual architecture. Constructed in 1637 – 1639. Facades and other parts of the church are adorned with stone lacery of very diverse ornamentation.
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‘Never Mind the Balkans, Here’s Romania’ is often described as one of the best books about life in modern Romania. If you want to discover this fascinating country with someone who knows it well, Mike Ormsby’s travel writing is for you.