Tuši's blog

Monday, August 01, 2022


Romania: Summer Vacation 2022 - Day 5: Alba IuliaBrâncoveanu Monastery and Refugiul Valea Viștei

Our main destination for this year's summer vacation was Romania. In the morning we visited Alba Iulia, the location of the Roman camp Apulum. After the sightseeing we left the city and drove to Brâncoveanu Monastery, where we stopped to stretch our legs and admire the attraction from 17th century. We finished the day with a hike to Refugiul Valea Viștei refuge in Făgăraș Mountains.

Previous days of our Summer Vacation 2022: Day 4 - 15781, Day 3 - 15780, Day 2 - 15779, Day 1 - 15778.

After we fixed the broken wire in new part of Alba Iulia, we walked towards the old part of the city.

Entering the old town.

 Monumentul Unirii - Monument of the Great Union rises in Unirii Park, the area where, in 1918, the over 100000 Romanians from all over Transylvania gathered to decide on the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

Jumping over the glas floor.

Catedrala Încoronării - Coronation Cathedral dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel is a Romanian Orthodox cathedral, built soon after and in commemoration of the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

The Coronation Cathedral and surrounding buildings were raised in the western part of the Alba Iulia Citadel, on the site of a gatehouse near the Roman Plateau.

The cathedral lies on a rectangular lot which has four pavilions, one in each corner, linked by galleries that recall those found in monasteries, formed of open double arcades held up by columns. Some of the columns have Corinthian capitals with Brâncovenesc touches.

The National Museum of Unification stands in the centre of the old citadel of Alba Carolina, as a permanent reminder of the events that marked the vast history of the city through its two millennia of existence.

Tuši, Bronco and Nada in the Alba Carolina Citadel.

Bronco and the bronze citizens of the citadel.

The 20 meter high stone obelisk of Horea, Cloșca and Crișan (Obeliscul lui Horea, Cloșca și Crișan) is located in front of the third gate of the Alba Carolina fortress.

The obelisk was erected in order to celebrate 150 years from the execution of "Horea, Closca and Crisan", the leaders of the 1784 uprising.

Located on the eastern side of the Alba Carolina Citadel, the 3rd gate is the main access point into the actual fortification.

After the crackdown of the revolt, the three were arrested, Horea and Cloșca were publicly executed on the breaking wheel on 28 February 1785, while Crișan took his own life in prison a few days earlier.

The Alba Carolina Citadel (Romanian: Cetatea Alba Carolina, Hungarian: Gyulafehérvári vár) is a star-shaped fortress located in Alba Iulia. Its construction commenced on November 4, 1715, during the Habsburg rule in Transylvania, and was completed in 1738. 20000 serfs were involved in its construction, which is estimated to have cost around 3 million florins. The citadel was built on the site of two other fortifications: the legionary fortress of Legio XIII Gemina (known as Apulum), as well as the medieval Belgrad citadel.

On our way to Făgăraș Mountains we quickly checked the Romanian Eiffel Tower. Although the original Eiffel tower was designed by the French Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the technology how to build it was invented by the Romanian engineer Gheorghe Pănculescu.

At the foot of the Făgăraș Mountains, we visited the Brâncoveanu Monastery.

The monastery is also known as Sâmbăta de Sus Monastery or Mănăstirea Brâncoveanu.

There is evidence of skete monasticism being practiced in the area by the early 17th century. Sâmbăta de Sus village and surrounding land entered into the Brâncoveanu family's possession in 1654. Constantin Brâncoveanu, Prince of Wallachia, built a stone and brick church in place of an older wooden one around 1696, with the monastery established by 1701.

The architecture of the monastery church is completely in the Brancove style.

At the end of the 17th century, Transylvania had barely escaped the attempts of Calvinist principles to Calvinize it. The attacks continued, however, on the main point of resistance, the Orthodox faith of the Romanians, aiming in fact at their denationalization. In order to strengthen and save Romanian Orthodoxy from the new danger of Catholicization, which appeared when Transylvania passed under the rule of the Habsburgs (1683), the ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu founded an Orthodox monastery in Sâmbăta de Sus, to bear witness over time to the unity of the nation and faith of Romanians from both sides of the Carpathians.

An important role until the destruction of the monastery in 1785 was played by the abbots Ioan (originally from Pojorta) and Visarion the hieromonk, who after the demolition retired to the village of Sâmbăta de Sus, bringing - also a special contribution to the construction of the church in the village.

For our loved ones.


In 1785, taking advantage of the fact that after 1772, the Sâmbăta de Sus estate had temporarily left the possession of the Brâncoveanu family (until 1802) due to non-payment of a debt, which led to the pawning of the estate to the account of the merchant Dumitru Marcu, the Vienna court, to request of the Catholic administration, sent General Preiss, who demolished the Brâncoven monastery. The cells were completely destroyed, and the church brought to a state of ruin.

The honor of becoming the second founder of the Brâncoveanu monastery from Sâmbăta de Sus went to Metropolitan Dr. Nicolae Bălan , who began the restoration of the church in 1926. The works were done under the supervision of the Historical Monuments Commission, being led by the architects Georges Cristinel, Petre Dumitrescu and Friedrich Buertnes, who sought to restore the original shape of the monument. The consecration took place in 1946, after the war. Metropolitan Nicolae Bălan kept the old painting inside the church.

We ended the day with a hike in the Făgăraș Mountains.

Bronco was bitten by a wasp, so he just wanted to cool his bite point.

Finally we arrived to our bivouac, Refugiul Valea Viștei.

Preparations for dinner.

Geocaches found (all received a visit by trackable item "Magic: The Gathering, Rivals of Ixalan Trackable: Vampire Die Bonbon Dose", TB8Q8AY):
- [GQ10] Sweet Kiss, GC7V4KP, where I retrieved a trackable item "Finnish Flag Micro Geocoin", TB9N8D5 and it stayed with me for the rest of the day
- Brancoveanu Monastery, Sambata, GC18VWG

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