Carpathians & Transyilvania


 

Kings Rock (Piatra Craiului) National Park - Brasov county - Romania

The Carpathians

The Carpathian Mountains are the eastern wing of the great Central Mountain System of Europe, curving 1500 km (~900 miles) along the borders of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and northern Hungary. Romania contains by far the largest area of the Carpathians, and forms the eastern and southern boundaries of the region. 55.2% of the Carpathian region is located within Romania. 47.4% of Romanian territory is part of the Carpathian mountain range. The Romanian Carpathians are divided into three groups: Eastern Carpathians, Southern Carpathians and Western Carpathians.

The highest peaks are in the Southern Carpathians – Moldoveanu (2544 m/8,346 feet) and Negoiu (2535 m/8,316 feet). The Carpathians’ ensemble is characterized by its varied landscape owing to the different types of relief particularities (glacial, karstic, riverine, structural-lithological), the alternation of mountainous and depressions units, gorges and valleys and the diversity and configuration of the vegetation. They contain the highest concentration of large carnivores in Europe, with estimates of over 6000 brown bears, 2500 wolves and some 1750 lynx living in the region. The Romanian Carpathians represent an exceptional tourist attraction.

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• Flora
The flora of the Carpathians includes 1350 species, among which 116 are endemic. The Carpathian floral year begins at the end of February – the beginning of March, with the coltsfoot, the snowdrop, the hollow wort and the pheasant’s eye. The rose bay flowers blossom at the beginning of June, when the mountain slopes above the juniper belt become red being covered by the splendid carpet of rose bay. It is indeed a special event. In July and August, the lawns, the slides and the rock walls are turned into multicolored canvases by the other plants in bloom: little lilies of the valley, pigeon chins, various species of pursuance, bird’s eye, saxifrages, spotted gentian and the yellow gentian. Autumn time is announced by the amellus starwort (Aster amellus) and the swallow wort gentian.
 


 

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Transylvania

Derived from the Latin word “transilvana”, meaning over the forests, the name of Transylvania survived after many gloomy periods throughout centuries.

Transylvania is situated in the center of Romania, surrounded by the Carpathians. At present, Transylvania is divided into 10 counties, which cover 96,837 sq. km.

Transylvania is the home of a wide diversity of people: Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Armenians, Jews etc. That is why the architecture in Transylvania is a mosaic of many different styles: Byzantine, Romanian, Gothic and Neo-Gothic, Renaissance, Barocco. The peasant and German strongholds and settlement (some of them dating from the 13th century) are the main attractions of the region: Prejmer, Harman, Biertan, Feldioara, Viscri etc.

The towns of Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita, Sebes and Medias are the landmark of a remarkable history and civilization. Middle Age traces are all over the place: murals, towers, bridges, ramparts, narrow streets and squares, strongholds built in the way of the Tartars, the Turks and other plunderers. The 200 fortified churches and Saxon strongholds are unique in Europe. The visitor can become the witness of an apparently lost history!

Transylvania is also the legendary realm of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The vampire’s traces are to be found in Bran, Tihuta pass, Sighisoara.

But, most of all, we are sure that the traveler will appreciate the spiritual traditions of the Land Over the Forests.

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