Archives September 2014

Starbucks opens coffee shop in Novo Park offices in Pipera

Starbucks recently opened a new coffee shop in the Novo Park office compound in the Pipera area of Bucharest, one of the Romanian capital’s office areas.

The coffee shop covers 200 sqm and is located at the ground floor of the D building. It can be accessed via the Fabrica de Glucoza street, as well as from the Dimitrie Pompeiu boulevard.

This is Starbucks’ eight coffee shop in Bucharest. Contact details for the new Starbucks (as of September 2014) are here.

Travel café concept store opens up in Bucharest

Romanian tourism agency Perfect Tour has opened the first Travel Boutique in Romania.

Covering some 240 sqm and located on the famous Calea Victoriei boulevard in Bucharest, just across the street from the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel, the store is a mix between a traditional travel agency and a sophisticated café.
It is divided into four thematic areas, namely explore tours, exotic tours, cruises and Disney.

Check out contact details here.

Romanians’ 10 favorite words in English

The level of English knowledge in Romania is above average, at least among the younger generation, and many foreigners recognize that soon after arriving. Many Romanians even tend to use Romglish on a daily basis – a combination of phrases in English and in Romanian.

But there are several English words which entered everyone’s vocabulary, it seems. Here’s a (far from final) list of the most used. Feel free to add yours in the comment box below.

Read the entire article on

Understanding Romania better – the Village Museum

The Village Museum in Bucharest has always been an oasis of normality in a sometimes too fast, too consumer-oriented world. Whenever we want to clear our heads a little, we go to the village museum, to see the old houses, and imagine the ways Romanians must have lived in the old days. Some – too few – still preserve those old ways to this day.

To a Romanian, this visit could be a reminder of their roots, a reminder of their region – many people who live in Bucharest comes from elsewhere in Romania – a reminder of their long lost families.

To a foreigner, a walk through the old houses and courtyards full of flowers at the Village Museum is a true discovery of Romania. The second best thing to finding these houses in the middle of dusty villages, somewhere in the country. It is a must to anyone who wants to understand Romania better.

Read the entire article on

Restaurant review – Brunch @ the Intercontinental

Andrei Chirileasa of wrote about the Sunday Brunch at the five-star Intercontinental hotel downtown Bucharest.

Summer is over, people return from their holidays and spend more of their weekends in the city. For premium hotels in Bucharest, it’s the beginning of the autumn brunch season. We decided to go to the best known brunches in town and see what they have to offer. We started with the lobster brunch at the five-star hotel Intercontinental in Unirii Square, downtown Bucharest.

A brunch is probably one of the most relaxing ways to spend your Sunday, especially if you are a foodie like I am. I mean, what’s not to like? All you can eat buffet and lots of time to do it. The only downside is the guilt that comes afterwards and the kilometers you (probably) have to run to burn all those calories.

But the lobster brunch at the Intercontinental is worth the guilt. It’s a culinary journey created by Italian executive chef Alfonso Salvaggio. A journey that starts with tasty appetizers (I particularly liked the duck breast), delicious soups (the carrot and coconut milk soup was my favorite), and goes on with five main courses that suit all tastes.

Read the entire review on

Hospice opens a new palliative center in Bucharest

Hospice Casa Sperantei Foundation recently opened a new center in Romania’s capital, five years after the start of the project. The center required an investment of over EUR 5.7 million, all of which came from donations. It’s the first and only unit with integrated services for palliative medicine in Bucharest.

Read more about the center on

Old Town’s new concert hall and cultural center – Gabroveni Inn

The Gabroveni Inn in Bucharest’s Old Town opened for public last week-end, after undergoing extensive renovation work in the last two years. The Inn includes a new concerts halls which seats 200, a smaller hall for 70 people, a hall which can become a studio or rehearsal room, four exhibition halls, offices, a coffee shop and a tourist information center. The Inn will host exhibitions, concerts, and various other cultural shows.

Read more about Gabroveni Inn on

Newly opened adventure park

One of the largest adventure parks in Romania, part of leisure complex Arsenal Park in Orastie, was recently inaugurated. The setup of the adventure park as well as for a children’s playground is part of a larger project which is currently underway, which also includes bike tracks, zip lines, skating rink, skate park, an equestrian center, a SPA center and an aquapark.

The new Aventura Park Arsenal has six climbing trails of various difficulties that go from 3 meters high up to 30 meters high. Safety equipment is mandatory for those who want to climb the trails. The park is open each day between 10:00 and 20:00 and fees range from RON 30 to RON 40 (EUR 6.8-9.1) for three hours of outdoor activities. The playground can take in 300 children at once.

Arsenal Park is a leisure complex which can accommodate 200 tourists. It offers various activities, such as military instruction, airsoft and paintball, but also shooting and archery lessons, and all sorts of leisure vehicles (bikes, golf cars, go-kart bikes, Segway and even military vehicles. The park spans on an 88 hectare land and is also an outdoor military museum, featuring cannons, tanks, military trucks, planes and helicopters.

Herăstrău, the green oasis in the north

HerăstrăuPark is one of the most popular green oasis in Bucharest. On some 110 hectares, out of which the lake covers some 70 hectares, the park is the haven for runners, bikers, and all other sorts of sports activities. It is a relaxation hub in the Northern part of Bucharest, and a favorite place for many of the Romanian capital’s expats.

More on Herăstrău park on

Cine Grand Titan, a new multiplex in Bucharest

Cinema multiplex operator Cine Grand will open on September 19 its first multiplex in Bucharest, in Auchan Titan commercial complex. 

More about the multiplex, on

RCS & RDS rebrand their shops with Digi

Romanian telecom provider RCS & RDS recently opened its first store under the brand Digi, a brand under which the company has already been selling its product packages for some time in Romania. The shop, which is located downtown Bucharest on 1 Magheru  Blvd., is the first step in a re-branding process of all RCS & RDS’ stores to Digi.

So far, RCS & RDS has used the Digi brand for its product packages, as well as for its host of TV stations, while the shops were the last to keep the old brand.

More about the re-branding, on

La Placinte – Moldovan pies & dishes

La Placinte is a chain of restaurants from the neighboring Republic of Moldova that has become quickly popular in Romania – where it is one of the “new things” one has to try out. They they have three restaurants now, all in downtown locations in Bucharest, and they are preparing about six more openings. La Placinte will also expand to Brasov and Iasi, and one of the future restaurants in Bucharest will be in the Old Town.

So what is La Placinte about? First off, it’s the famous placinte – the pies themselves. These are not any sort of pies, these are traditional pies from neighboring Moldova, some of which with cabbage, with meat, with cheese and dill. These pies have to be tried to be fully understood. On top of it, the menu is so nicely designed and the pictures look so appealing, that on our first try, it was really hard to choose something. We went with the sour cabbage pie and with the royal pie with cheese, and I am glad we did. For me, the pie was a bit on the bigger side, meaning it took me a while to finish it, but for my husband Andrei, it was the perfect size.

The full restaurant review on

Cosmote & Romtelecom telephony providers re-brand as Telekom Romania

Mobile telecommunications company Cosmote and the landline telephony, Internet & TV provider Romtelecom will re-brand as Telekom: Telekom Romania Mobile Communications and Telekom Romania Communications, respectively. The two companies thus take the brand name of their parent company Deutsche Telekom.

The official re-branding happens on September 13, and will mean all communication with subscribers of these two companies will switch to the Telekom brand. Subscribers of both companies will receive a single bill.

More about the re-branding, on

One-day trip in Romania: the Seven Ladders Canyon

Corina Chirileasa of writes about a one-day adrenaline – filled trip to the Seven Ladders Canyon close to Brasov, in Central Romania, where the system of metallic ladders pinned to the rock was recently renovated.

My third attempt to climb the metallic ladders pinned to the rock at the Seven Ladders Canyon was successful this summer. My first trip to the special canyon close to Brasov was about 11 years ago; I was in my early 20s, had no fears and lots of energy, so I crossed the canyon like a breeze. The second attempt, a couple of years ago, was unsuccessful however – the ladders were shaky and the whole experience was terrifying – I chose to return after climbing only a few stairs of the ladder.

Luckily, the metallic ladders were replaced last year, and I got to feel the adrenaline again while crossing the beautiful canyon carved by the Sapte Scari river. Some of the ladders pinned to the rock are long – the longest is 14 meters, and going up that ladder was not a walk in the park, especially as the lower half is quite exposed to the waterfall to the left. My senses were tight and my eyes to the sky as I climbed each stair of the long ladder. However, the whole experience was less hard than I remembered it from over a decade ago. And luckily, if you find the whole experience tiresome, you get to return on an alternate route through the woods, rather than go back down the ladders.

The full article and lots of pictures on


Cross-cultural immersion – brain is like a cultural sponge, the organ of culture

By MIhaela Iordache, guest writer

Inteligence is not fixed, so it is the obvious conclusion that you can change age as you learn for example. Knowing how you learn gives huge insight and implications for people of any age. The brain is flexible, we call this trait ‘brain plasticity’.

Cultural IQ for Global Leadership 

In today’s business world it is critical to understand the way how the business function relates to cultural and social influences. The way to develop this competence is quite provocative at least.

Leaders are expected to be able to adapt to change rapidly and handle the complexity of interpersonal relationships in order to minimize the ambiguity of cultural differences in values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.  We now talk in terms of Global leadership, about CQ, or cultural intelligence also known as intercultural competence.

We talk about intelligence of course we talk about brain.  We are happy to see a growing research and recognition of brain’s plasticity and of the coevolution of culture and the brain makes it clear that cultural and neural processes are interrelated.  The neuroscience of culture is here to make clear that the brain is wires to enable social behaviors and to adapt to new social models and patterns.  The brain wiring or rewiring is a result of the coevolution of culture and brain. How? Well if a cultural practice must adapt to your neural constrains, and then also the brain adapts to the specific cultural practice. It’s a party in your brain as other circuits are wired as a result of learning – adapting is learning- and particularly implicitly learning. The brain is like a cultural sponge, the organ of culture.

So what does this mean? Is the brain made of plastic?

Well no. The plasticity or neuroplasticity is the process that reorganizes the neural pathways in the brain. For example, this happens when you learn new things or memorize new information.  Neuroplasticity means new neural connections and the ability of the brain to change itself.  Your brain is like the command center that mediates your everyday experience.  It changes throw experience, learning and behaviors. So everything you do repeatedly and continuously over time, commonly known as habits (of behavior or thinking), are built in your brain as a neural path.

Culture modifies the brain

“Neuroplasticity research has shown us that every sustained activity ever mapped – including physical activities, sensory activities, learning, thinking, and imagining – changes the brain as well as the mind.” (Norman Doidge in “The Culturally Modified Brain” in The Brain That Changes Itself)

For example, if a child is transferred from a city to another city, and then to another continent and another city between birth and age 8, he developed his emotional intelligence and communication skills. Young children are exposed to new connections more than adults.

Being multicultural literate is also a great advantage of raising children in different cultural environments, I believe more opportunities are offered both on personal and professional levels.

Neuroplasticity and Cultural Tasks

Patterns of brain activity change when the person actively engages in certain psychological tasks on a regular, repeated basis. For example, Tibetan monks who are highly skilled in a meditation practice involving “unconditional compassion” show a strikingly greater volume of a high-frequency brain wave. Similarly, driving a taxicab in a complex, European city like London without any modern navigation devices year after year increases the volume of the posterior part of the hippocampi (the area in the brain that plays a crucial role in spatial navigation). This is remarkable because hippocampi are known to “shrink” as one gets older. Culture plays a critical role in all of these tasks.

It provides insights into the complexity of the brain and helps us to understand why so many questions and problems related to our brain remain unresolved.

However, relating what we know about neuroplasticity to metacognition, and understanding what is required to build and maintain brain fitness enables us to apply that knowledge to our everyday lives and personal goals. The rewards are life-changing.

CQ for everyday life

Cultural intelligence goes further. CQ is described by the ability to function skillfully in a different cultural context.

A person that is able to empathize and work well with others from different cultures, acknowledging different values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in order to anticipate, act and react in proper ways, is a culturally intelligent person. CQ has three critical elements in order to build effective intercultural interaction: cognitive, motivational and behavioral. It is more that adapting to different cultural norms and values (motivation), more than adapting to an unfamiliar environment (interest and curiosity),  in order to respond to ambiguity and engage effectively and appropriately in intercultural interactions.

CQ motivation is a person’s interest in engagement with people and the culture itself – the CQ motivated person enjoys learning and applying what she has learned with interest and confidence, gets comfortable with ambiguity that comes when crossing cultures. CQ behavior is the person’s ability to engage with others through language and nonverbal behavior that is developed through trial and error.

The process of cultural intelligence is important as it focuses on the experiential aspect of what one learns and re-learns after reflecting on the experience.


Traveling by the Mocăniţa – Romania’s famous steam train

Corina Chirileasa writes about a half a day train trip by the Mocanita, the famous steam train in the Maramures region of Romania, an experience which should not be missed while in Romania.

It’s the start of a working day in Vişeul de Sus, a village in Maramureş, Northern Romania. At 8 in the morning, people already form long queues to buy tickets and jump on the famous steam train, the Mocăniţa, that used to carry wood down the mountain.

Now the same train, fed with wood and water, very slowly takes travelers through the woods, to a place that seems close to the end of the world. Of the modern world.

Before getting there, however, some preparation is needed: summer is a busy season for the Mocăniţa, which runs from early July to mid – September. It’s the season when four trains, and not just one, make the daily 21-km trip, and when people need to sign up on waiting lists for a chance to be on one of the four trains. So piece of advice: make sure you reserve seats in advance! Or that you’re there way before the sun rises….

We ended up on a waiting list, and we were lucky enough to be called quite fast and let know there were two seats for us on one of the four trains – that really made our day!

Read the full story and check out the photo gallery on

Citronelle, the new ‘market to table’ restaurant & terrace @ Crowne Plaza

The Crowne Plaza hotel in the northern part of Bucharest opened in late summer of 2014 its Citronelle restaurant & terrace. It is Chef’s Ashlie Dias of Crowne Plaza newest concept from “market to table”.

The menu is an homage brought by Chef Ashlie to the trendy restaurant concepts he came across in his career in New York, San Francisco, Hawaii or Lyon.

The summer terrace tucked away among pine trees in the hotel’s 4,000 square meters garden.

Some of the house favorites are Spinach salad with organic red quinoa, marinated tofu and tomatoes, or the Mediterranean sea bream with pea risotto, citronelle and ginger oil with toasted sesame seeds. They also recommend the Wiener snitzel served with baby salad greens or our signature fries.

More about the new restaurant, here.

The full menu (in English) is here.

Shopping on Republicii St. in Brasov

The Republicii St. is the main pedestrian street of the old center in Brasov. It features a surprising amount of shoe, clothing, accessories, and bookstores. You will also find ATMs, pharmacies and banks.

Stray Dogs

About stray dogs: It is said that if you dream that a dog bites you, you might fight with somebody… As you may have heard or experienced, stray dogs are sometimes a threat to public safety. If you are bitten by a dog you must immediately go to a hospital and in Bucharest the only place to get rabies shots is at

Matei Bals Institute:

Adress: 1 Calistrat Grozovici St. (Behind Colentina hospital)
Phone: +40212 010 980
Web: (website in Romanian language)
There the vaccination costs 68 RON. The local authorities can pick stray dogs up, but there is a special department (part of City Hall) which deals with them.

Administratia pentru Supravegherea Cainilor fara Stapan

Address: 2, Selari St.
Phone: +40 21-312 95 55
The website is only in Romanian, and people working at this department speak hardly any English, so you may want to have a Romanian friend make a call. You can also call “Four Paws” (or Vier Pfoten) which is a non-profit organization that takes care of (or picks up) stray dogs.


Address: 42, Theodor Aman, St., suite 6, Sector 1
Phone: +40 21- 316 77 31

Another new program through Four Paws is the Stray Animal Care project, which started in 2002 and tries to implement a project of sterilization. Contact Anca Tomescu, the coordinator of the program for more info.
Hint! You can also check out The GIA (Group Initiative for Animals Association), which offers animal care on a large scale- see the NGO section for more details!
Stray dogs are not just to be felt sorry for, however. There are other serious issues that arise from their presence as well. Attacks on people do occur and there have been some famous and fatal examples of this. For this reason we have put together a brief FAQ section here for you.

Question: How can I avoid being bitten by a dog?
Answer: Never approach an unknown dog, especially one that is tied, confined behind a fence, or in a car. Never pet a stray dog. Even if you know the owner, always let the dog sniff you first. Never turn your back to a dog and run away; a dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you. Don’t disturb a dog while it’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies. Be cautious: always assume that the dog sees you as an intruder or a threat. Also, remember that dogs form packs and are more prone to attacking you than lone stray dogs.

Question: What should I do if I think a dog may attack?
Answer: If a dog that you think may attack confronts you, follow these steps:

  • Never scream and run.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until it is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

Question: What should I do if I am bit by a dog?
Answer: If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic. Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water, and contact your physician for additional care and advice.

Question: What about my children?
Answer: The most important lessons for children to learn are to avoid dogs they don’t know, and not to stare them in the eyes.

Travel planner: An autumn walk through history and art in Mogosoaia

mogosoaia-mariana-2Guest writer Mariana Ganea goes to Mogosoaia palace to meet with history and art. 

I took advantage of the beautiful autumn days last weekend, waking up early and spending the day very close to Bucharest, in a wonderful place. It’s called Mogosoaia. As I had expected, there I found the mix of autumn colors on the background of the Palace that stands there by the lake. After half an hour of driving from Bucharest, or some 10 kilometers away, on the road between Bucharest and the ancient capital of Wallachia, Targoviste, I arrived at the museum complex. My plan was to spend the entire Sunday there, inhaling fresh air, listening to the birds singing and walking on the park alleys, but my expectations were exceeded. Mogosoaia can offer so much more.

The full story here.

Tips on legal & business in Romania


If you start or run a business in Romania, there are several institutions of which you should be aware. They will most likely check your business, or you will have to submit various papers to them.

Here we list the most important. Depending on your area of activity, you might need to be in touch with some or with all of these institutions. To make sure you comply with all the rules and the often changing regulations, you should use an accountant – you can find a list of recommended accountants and tax services providers later on in this chapter.


You can get the exchange rate of all major currencies on the Romanian Central Bank’s website (BNR). The new rate is published every afternoon. The BNR website is also available in English.


These two sites, and, are the largest sites for job advertisements and candidate databases; in addition to contacting the HR agencies listed here, you should definitely consider uploading your CV on one or both sites.


For more notaries check, which is in English and lists all notaries, with a good search function.


There are several large Romanian and international law firms active in Romania, here we list only some of them.


Here we list some of the mediation companies. To search for more, the official website is, and it has an English version.


Romania has set up a new ministry to deal with European Affairs, including EU funding. Their website is still just in Romanian, but you might find it useful The section “Calls for proposals” highlights the main financing lines and when projects can be submitted.

Banking & money wire in Romania

Banking for foreigners has become easier in Romania: opening an account and getting a decent level of service, comparable to Western Europe, is no longer a problem in Romania. For most banks, it is fairly easy to open a bank account with your passport and a document which proves where you live. Others also ask you to have a personal identification number (Cod Numeric Personal – CNP) before opening a bank account in Romania, for which you will have to register at the Foreigners’ Registration Office.

Chip and pin cards are normally accepted at all cash machines. ATMs distribute only the local currency, the RON (new Romanian lei). There is only one bank – ING, which has an ATM for EUR – check the list below for details. Most large shops offer the possibility to pay by card, but always be prepared with some cash as many stores still prefer the cash only options.

Romanian banking fees are fairly high compared to many other countries, Western Europe and the US in particular. For small but frequent payments you can also look into PayPal.

For cash money transfer, you can use Western Union and MoneyGram. If you would like to obtain a Romanian credit card then you will need to apply for a card limit, submitting an income statement (‘Adeverință de venit’ in Romanian) certified by a public notary.

This section includes the largest banks in Romania based on assets. You can find a wider selection on the Romanian Central Bank (BNR) website

Tips for maintenance & repairs services


In Romania you will often hear the word ‘termopane’, meaning windows and doors made of a special material, and with glass which offers better insulation and noise protection.


You will find key cutting/copying services in most shopping gallerias near major hypermarkets in Bucharest, as well as in various areas in the city, on street locations. Some of them look shabby and very old fashioned, but don’t be put off, they still make very good key copies.


There are several options for getting around drinking the tap water in Bucharest (we would not recommend drinking it). The worst is probably buying it in large quantities in supermarkets – it is relatively expensive. There are some water delivery services that are a good option for home deliveries. Another option is to buy a water purifier, which filters the tap water with 5 different filters. We have had very good experiences with this option.


Private security companies in Romania usually work on contract and provide services to protect your home or your office, with staff on site and /or security devices and equipment (cameras, alarms).


The gas provider in Bucharest is GDF Suez. If you live in a house in Bucharest, you will have to pay the gas bill separately. Romanian regulators announced the gas market will soon open to other suppliers.

Constantin Brâncuși – the Romanian who carved life out of stone

Constantin Brâncuși is a Romanian sculptor who became famous in France but who got his inspiration from rural Romania, from the small village of Hobița, in Gorj county, where he was born in 1876.

Brâncuși grew up in Hobița, an area known for its rich tradition of folk crafts, particularly woodcarving. His parents were poor peasants and from the age of seven he had to take care of the family’s flock of sheep. Showing talent for carving objects out of wood, Brâncuși often ran away from home to escape the bullying of his father and older brothers. At the age of nine, Brâncuși left the village to work in the nearest large town. At 11 he went into the service of a grocer in Slatina, in Olt county, before becoming a domestic aid in a public house in Craiova, Dolj County, where he remained for several years. At 18, Brâncuși handcrafted a violin using materials he found around his workplace.

Impressed by Brâncuși’s talent for carving, an industrialist entered him in the Craiova School of Arts and Crafts where he pursued his love for woodworking, graduating with honors in 1898.

He then enrolled in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, where he received academic training in sculpture.

In 1903, Brâncuși traveled to Munich and from there to Paris, where he found a community of artists and intellectuals. His circle of friends included artists and intellectuals in Paris such as Amedeo Modigliani, Ezra Pound, Henri Pierre Roché, Guillaume Apollinaire, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Rousseau, and Fernand Léger.

While surrounded by the Parisian elite of the time, Brâncuși kept in touch with many Romanian artists and intellectuals who were also living in Paris, such as George Enescu, Theodor Pallady, Camil Ressu, Nicolae Dărăscu, Panait Istrati, Traian Vuia, Eugène Ionesco, Emil Cioran and Paul Celan.

After two years of work in the workshop of Antonin Mercié of the École des Beaux-Arts, Brâncuși was invited to enter the workshop of the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin, which, despite admiring the French artist, he chose to leave after two months saying: “Nothing can grow under big trees.

Soon after leaving Rodin’s workshop, he made his first commissioned work, “The Prayer”, which was part of a gravestone memorial. In the following few years he made many versions of the “Sleeping Muse” and “The Kiss”. His works became popular in France, Romania and the United States.

In 1913 Brâncuși’s work was displayed at both the Salon des Indépendants and the first exhibition in the United States of modern art, the Armory Show.  In Arts Revolutionists of Today (1913), he exhibited a much-discussed portrait bust of Mlle Pogany.

In 1920 he began working on the group of sculptures known as “Bird in Space”; the works are based on his earlier “Măiastra” series. Over the following 20 years, Brâncuși would make 20 some versions of “Bird in Space” out of marble or bronze.

In 1938, he finished the World War I monument in Târgu-Jiu where he had spent much of his childhood. “Table of Silence”, “The Gate of the Kiss”, and “Endless Column” commemorate the courage and sacrifice of Romanian civilians who in 1916 fought off a German invasion, and can still be found in the city’s park.

Some of Brâncuși’s famous works include the Sleeping Muse (1908), The Kiss (1908), Prometheus (1911), Mademoiselle Pogany (1913), The Newborn (1915), Bird in Space (1919) and The Column of the Infinite (Coloana infinitului), popularly known as The Endless Column (1938).

Brâncuși is called the patriarch of modern sculpture, as he is considered by many to be the pioneer of modernism. His works are housed in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Museum of Art of Romania (Bucharest) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), as well as in other major museums around the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has the largest collection of Brâncuși sculptures in the United States. A reconstruction of Brâncuși’s one-time studio in Paris is open to the public.

In his last years, Brâncuși, who never got married and who did not have any children, was cared for by a couple of refugees from Romania. He became a French citizen in 1952 in order to make the caregivers his heirs and to bequeath his studio and its contents to the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. The Romanian sculptor died in 1957 in Paris. His grave can be found in the Montparnasse Cemetery, where some of his friends’ graves were already adorned with his sculptures. Romanian authorities are currently trying to repatriate his remains, with the help of a French law firm hired by the Romanian Government.

George Enescu – famous Romanian composer

Thanks to the classical music festival that takes place once every two years in Bucharest the name of Romanian composer George Enescu is no longer a novelty to many foreigners, so let’s discover who Enescu really was and what made him famous throughout the world.

George Enescu is a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher, who was born in the last part of the 19th century (August 19, 1881) in north eastern Romania, in the village of Liveni.  He showed his musical talent early on, creating his first composition when he was five.  Shortly thereafter his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. At the age of seven, Enescu entered the Vienna Conservatory. He graduated before his 13th birthday, earning the silver medal. Between 1895 and 1899 he continued his studies in Paris. In 1898, when he was just 17, Enescu started his career as a composer at the “Colonna Concerts” hall in Paris with his work called, so suggestively, “Romanian Poem”. After his graduation, he started giving violin lessons and recitals in Bucharest and was admired by many of the country’s elite, including by the Queen Elisabeth who invited him to perform at the Royal Peles Castle in Sinaia. Princess Martha Bibesco, who had a very important role in Romanian cultural life during that period, was also an admirer and supporter of the young Enescu.

The young composer found inspiration in Queen Elisabeth’s poems, who was writing under the name Carmen Sylva, and wrote some lieds based on her work. At the beginning of the 20th century, Enescu composed two of his famous works: “Romanian Rhapsodies” (1901-1902) and “7 songs on the Clement Marot’s verses” (1908). During World War I, he performed and conducted classical music concerts in Bucharest and, in the inter-war period, he organized shows in Romania, France and the US. During those years, he became a well-known and respected violin professor and taught the likes of Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis and Yehudi Menuhin. The latter was much influenced by Enescu, whom he considered his spiritual father.

In 1923, Enescu made his American debut, as a conductor in a concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  It was in America, in the 1920s, that Enesco was first persuaded to make recordings as a violinist. In 1935, he conducted the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris and Yehudi Menuhin (who had been his pupil for several years starting in 1927) in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major.

His opera Oedip premiered in 1936 in Paris and enjoyed great success. In 1939, when he was 58, he married Maria Rosetti (known as the Princess Cantacuzino), a good friend of Queen Marie of Romania. While staying in Bucharest, Enescu lived in the Cantacuzino Palace on Calea Victoriei, which now is the George Enescu Museum. During World War II, after he donated an important amount of money to the Romanian government to help defend the country, he remained in Bucharest acting, composing and, above all, promoting Romanian composers and musicians.
After World War II for a short period of time he performed in Bucharest and Sinaia with famous performers as David Oistrach, Emil Gilels and Yehudi Menuhin. In protest to the Communist regime, Enescu left for Paris, where he died in 1955. He is buried at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in the French capital.

Ion Popescu Gopo

Ion Popescu Gopo, a famous cartoon creator, never got to see the new wave of cinema in Romania. He died in 1989, just before the fall of the Communist period. He stayed in the memory of Romanians however for his cartoon character, nicknamed Gopo’s little man, which got him several international prizes. One of his animations was awarded at Cannes in 1957. He is also the director of a famous children’s film, Maria Mirabela, from 1981. The local film awards are called the Gopo awards in his honor.

Sergiu Nicolaescu

Sergiu Nicolaescu is among the most prolific Romanian film directors, both before and after the fall of Communism in the country. Best known for having directed and starred in many historic films, Nicolaescu brought to life many important figures from the history of Romania. Some of his most famous films are Mihai Viteazul/ Michael the Brave from 1970, Dacii/Dacians from 1966, also released as Les Guerriers), Razboiul Independenţei/War of Independence in 1977, Mircea, in 1989, Ciuleandra in 1985, as well as for his series of thrillers that take place in the interwar Kingdom of Romania, such as Un comisar acuză/A Police Inspector Calls from 1973. Besides directing the film himself, Nicolaescu starred as the police inspector Tudor Moldovan, whose adventures are depicted in several of his films. Nicolaescu died in January 2013, at 83, after directing 11 more movies in the post communist period. His filmography includes over 40 films.

Liviu Ciulei

Liviu Ciulei, a Romanian director who died in 2011 in Germany when he was 88, is one of the best-known Romanian directors and teachers. He was a theater director, not only in Romania, but abroad as well and started directing movies in the 50s. Some of his bets known films are Pădurea spânzuraților/Forest of the hanged, from 1964, based on the novel by the same name by Liviu Rebreanu, and Valurile Dunării/The Danube’s Waves, from 1959. Ciulei got the award for his directing of The Forest of the Hanged at the Cannes Film festival in 1965.

Dan Pița

Dan Pița, another Romanian director and screenwriter in his 70s has directed several award-winning films since 1970, including the 1985 hit Pas în doi/Passo doble, which won an Honourable Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival. Among his best known features are Nunta de piatra/Stone Wedding from 1972, Profetul, aurul şi ardelenii/ The Prophet, the Gold and the Transylvanians from 1978, Tanase Scatiu from 1976, Pruncul, petrolul şi ardelenii/ The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians in 1981 and Noiembrie, ultimul bal /The Last Ball in November from 1989. His latest directed film appeared in 2005.

Lucian Pintilie

Lucian Pintilie is one of the best-known Romanian directors and screenwriters. Aged 79, Pintilie started directing in the 60s, but was one of the leaders of the first wave of post-communist film directors. Among his best known post-communist films are Balanta/Balance, from 1992, O vară de neuitat/ Un unforgettable summer from 1994, Terminus Paradis from 1998, and Niki Ardelean, colonel în rezervă/Nikki Ardelean, retired colonel, from 2003. His most famous films from during the communist period are Reconstituirea/Reenactment, from 1968, and De ce trag clopotele, Mitică?/Why do the bells ring, from 1982, a film which was banned for several years during the communist period.