Oltenia

Oltenia
Table of Silence
King Decebalus sculpture
Kazan gorges
Horezu Monastery
Transalpina Highway
    Oltenia Region, S-W of Romania, the territory between the Danube, the Olt river and the Southern Carpathians is historical province. Oltenia region have 5 counties: Dolj (important town: Craiova), Valcea (Ramnicu Valcea), Olt (Slatina), Gorj (Targu Jiu), Mehedinti (Drobeta Turnu Severin).
    People of Oltenia are proud, loving, beautiful and famous because of their desire to be free. In the recorded history, the population living in the North of the Danube river (the Getae) was first mentioned by Herodotus (in the 4th century BC). Men were recognized for their bravery in battle. Perhaps this is the explanation why they remained the main ethnic population in this area despite the wars, many years of Roman colonization and the attacks of migrating people. It is true that their influence left traces in Romanian vocabulary, customs, traditions and food. The subcarpathian zone of Oltenia has many important touristic objectives such as: the health resorts of Herculane, Olanesti, Calimanesti-Caciulata, Govora and Voineasa, Horezu Monastery, The Muierii (Women's) and Polovragi caves and Targu Jiu town with the well-known artworks of the great romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi: The Table of Silance (Masa tacerii), The Gate of Kiss (Poarta Sarutului) and the Endless Column (Coloana Infinitului). Along the road from Targu Jiu to Drobeta-Turnu Severin it is worth visiting the beautiful Tismana Monastery, the group of caves from Closani, the ruins of the famous bridge built over the Danube by Apolodor of Damasc between 103-105 A.D. (near Drobeta Turnu-Severin town), the Roman camp and thermal (in the same zone) which were built during Hadrian's reign and the hydro-electric plant from the Iorn-Gates I (Portile de Fier), at the frontier between Romania and Serbia. Mountainous and green, Oltenia contains some of southeastern Romania's oldest surviving artifacts, edifices, and folklore, with little Turkish, Russian or Greek influence.

    Horezu Monastery

    The Monastery of Horezu sits in picturesque surroundings, 40 km west of Ramnicu Valcea city and 3 km from Horezu city. It is the biggest monastery in Wallachian Voivode Constantin Brn coveanu as a necropolis. But his body never lay there. In 1714, he and is sons were tortured and killed for his refusal to renounce Christianity. Recently sanctified by the Romanian Orthodox Church, Constantin Brancoveanu was a great ruler and visionary diplomat in medieval Europe. He fought the Ottoman expansion, at the same strongly supporting art and religion. Hugely wealthy he built a series of monasteries, churches and palaces in what was later called Brancovenesc Style a strong influence on Walachia’s architecture. The interior decoration was completed in 1694.  On the way to the Monastery of Horezu .
     

    Targoviste

    The former voievodal residence influenced the medieval and modern destiny of Romania. 80 kilometres from Bucharest, in a region where the hills meet the plain, Targoviste has a historical century- old inheritance. For more than three centuries, the city was the main economic, political, military and the cultural centre of Wallachia. The ruins of Curtea Domneasca ( the Princely Court) give proof of the impotance of the city at that time. Targoviste was the Princely residence and capital far almost the whole period from the 15th to the 18th centuries, Targoviste is the place where the ruler Mihai Viteazul planed and pursued the first union of the Romanian Principalities. at the end of the 19th century, the city was modernized by the introduction of public lighting, the construction of the first industrial enterprises.       
     
    Craiova

    The capital of Oltenia is Craiova. This town is the seat of the Dolj county and it is placed in the Northern part of Oltenia plain lying on the left bank of the Jiu river. This geographic zone was inhabited since the Neolithic. Also Dacians had in the neighborhood an important settlement called Pelendava. he main feature of Craiova during the two first decades of the 19th century was an economic flourish determined by the increasing of interest in the handicraft, commercial trade field and in public services. Craiova was regarded as an important university, commercial, administrative and cultural center. During the czarist rule (1828-1834), Craiova continued its economic development. That is why in 1832 documents recorded here more than 595 shops. There were exported animals, cereals, furs to Austria and Turkey. In 1846 in this town was set up the first Romanian stock company for the transportation of cereals by ship.

     

    Ponoare – an outstanding monument

    It is a unique in Romania is the natural reservation of ponoare, wich was declared natural monument thanks to the platform karst of the Mehedinți plateau: the Zatoane lakes, sometimes vanishing, other times springing up the surface. Cave, the Godțs bridge, a spectacular vault resulted from a threshold thumbling down from between two dolinas. The lilac forest stretching some 20 acres, whose blossom occassions a big folk festival every year.
     
    Ramnicu Valcea
    Town located on the middle course of the river Olt, at the very foot of the hills of Cetățuia, capela and Traian, Ramnicu Valcea, the capital of the Valcea county is the major tourist objective of eastern Oltenia at the mountain foot.  A heart of ancient human culture, the city was mentioned for the firts time in a Midlle Ages charter issued by the cabinet of ruler Mircea the Old (1389). The city is gifted with a special climate that turned it into a spa. The county museum owns an inventory rich in neolithic, geto dacian, and Roman Elements, national costumes, textile collections, ceramics of Horezu. The Anton Pan memorial house is an another attractions.  Owing to its hotels, motels, camping grounds, restaurants an recreation areas, the city of Ramnicu Valcea stays the major tourist ojective of northern Oltenia.          

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