Archives March 2016

Deva fortress reopens for visitors

The Deva fortress, one of the most important medieval fortifications in Transylvania, is set to reopen in April, after three-year long restoration works.

The fortress was closed between 2007 and 2012. Refurbishment works restarted in 2013 at two of its precincts, according to local media reports. These are the first restoration works conducted at the fortress since 1849, when the site’s ammunition deposits exploded, destroying the eastern side of the monument. The works were financed with funding coming from the European Fund for Regional Development and the Deva city hall.

The Deva fortress was erected during the 13th century but living traces on site date back to the Neolithic. Its first documentary mention is made in 1269, followed by another mention in 1444 when prince Iancu de Hunedoara receives the fortress ‘with all of its riches’, meaning 56 villages and gold mines. During the second half of the 17th century, prince Gabril Bethlen built here a bastion serving as prison and torture place. At the foot of the bastion he built the Magna Curia palace, a Renaissance-style building. In 1784 the fortress served as refuge place for the noblemen escaping the revolt led by Horea, Closca and Crisan. Around 1817, emperor Francis I of Austria had the place refurbished, with works on site lasting for 12 years.

The monument is accessible by foot but also with a cable car, running between 09:00 and 21:00 May through September and 08:00 to 20:00 October through April.

How to get there:

From Bucharest, you can take the E81, the DN1/E60 and DN1/E68 or the DN1/E68 as shown here. Once in the city, the fortress can be found behind Stadionului St., as shown here.

Photo source:

Prislop Monastery, popular pilgrimage spot in Romania

For almost seven centuries now, Prislop monastery has been one of Romania’s most important spiritual points. Located at an altitude of 640 m and a distance of almost 15 km from Hațeg, a 500 years old locality in Hunedoara county, in the past years it has become a very popular pilgrimage spot for both laic and religious Romanians. The main reason is that here lies one of the country’s spiritual leaders during Communism, monk and priest Arsenie Boca, said to have made wonders and guided people closer to God. It is a certainty that he was persecuted by the Communist regime at that time, forcing him to secretly practice his duties as a priest.
The Prislop monastery is also known for hosting a Saint Mary icon said to have made wonders, as well as the icons hand painted by Arsenie Boca, orthodox leader whose name is deeply tied to the rebirth of the monastery.
According to the legend, princess Zamfira, the second founder of the monastery, was ill when she arrived at the Prislop monastery and was cured by the water she drank from the monastery’s spring.

For more details, visit Prislop Monastery’s facebook page.

Tourist attractions nearby

Sarmizegetusa, Corvin Castle, Dinosaurs Geopark in Hațeg, Retezat National Park and the Deva Fortress

How to get there
The shortest route, from Bucharest: take the E81, pass Pitești and Râmnicu Vâlcea, enter Brezoi locality and continue on road 7A. When you reach Petroșani, take road 66 until you reach Hațeg (town in Deva county). From there, take the road 687 which reaches the Prislop Monastery.

Sarmis Cristal Guesthouse
Address:Str.Progresului Nr.57, Sarmizegetusa, judetul Hunedoara.
Phone: 0754.030.337

Casa Cânda Guesthouse
Address: 190 Strada Principala, Salasu de sus
Phone:0740 132 925

Hotel Diamond & Complex Ovi
Address: Lacului St., Cinis, Hunedoara county
Phone: +40757 102 850

Expat Fair 2 Bucharest 2016, April 16, Willbrook Business & Convention Center

Expat in Romania? Have no worries! You are not alone! We invite you to the most important event designed especially for you, the Expat Fair. Here you can connect with your new city, learn about the expat lifestyle, add value to your new experience and expand your personal and professional network.

JOIN US on the 16th of April 2016 at the second edition of the  Expat Fair in Romania. The one and only event that will offer you all that you need from the expat community to start up your new life in Romania.

The Expat Fair is the ideal event for the expats who want to have a smooth transition into a new country. It answers an increasing need for a fast and unimpeded integration and creates meet-and-greet opportunities for the expat community.

Still in doubt? Take a look at the first edition, and see how it was, through the “window” we open here for you.

The fair will be hosted by Willbrook Platinum Business & Convention Center – a venue embraced by the Baneasa woods, an elegant project in which environmental considerations contribute to a fundamentally superior building: more comfortable, more efficient and more appealing.

We are welcoming all internationals who live, work and study in Bucharest, both newly arrived expats and long-standing residents, individuals, and families alike.

Enrich your knowledge about the Romanian culture, have a look at the stands of different service providers and their special fair offers, get informed, join the customized workshops, meet new people at the casual networking session and discover what Bucharest and Romania have to offer!

See below the workshops confirmed so far:

Culture & children’s play – the importance of an international environment and how this affects play;
You better jump –  From expat to being a part of the community;
How to become a hero as an expatriate – by making yourself replaceable;
Living and working in Bucharest as a foreigner in 2016 – is it cool or overestimated? a panel discussion with insiders on expat experiences in Romania.

You can do all of the above under the guidance of our confirmed partners so far, such as: King’s Oak –  British International School, ICUnet.AG, Hotel Cismigiu, Gosselin Mobility Romania, Grecu & Asociatii, JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, DSBU – Deutsche Schule Bukarest, Questfield, AISB American International School of Bucharest, AmCham- American Chamber of Commerce Romania, Santa Fe Relocations, AGS Movers Bucharest, Rilvan Moving & Relocations, My Romanian Store, Nordis Expat Properties,Terra Carpatica, Ramada Hotel & Suites Bucharest North, BWFR Business Women Forum Romania, City Compass Media/, AlphaCab, Club Snagov, PQB Communication Designers, Eventbook, Eventlink360, Ametras, Roedl&Partner, Smybox, Consuela Dezso, Alexandra Pasca Photography, Kathrin Weident Photography, Willbrook Platinum, Flavours Food Design and more.

The Expat Fair is organized by the City Compass Group – a ‘feel at home in Romania’ service provider for over eight years, with top quality English-language media – online & print, customized city tours and team building services and intercultural consulting.

The event is warmly supported and endorsed by several embassies, expat communities and corporations that gather a large number of expats.

Don’t wait for too long, take action today and join us!

Corvin Castle: the standing legend

Best-known for the shivers sends tourists down their spine, Corvin Castle is one of the most important tourist attractions in Transylvania. Also known as Corvins’ Castle, Hunyad Castle or Hunedoara Castle, it is the largest medieval building in Romania still standing. With 42 rooms, two terraces, two bridges (of 55 and 30 meters), 7.000 square meters of built surface and a tower 72 meters high, it has an aura of an unbeatable fortress.

The Gothic-Renaissance castle, most probably built in the XIV century, has managed to defy wars, fires and generations for hundreds of years.  Host of imprisonments and even executions throughout time, it gave birth to dark legends of killings and sufferance. Vlad the Impaler is said to have been imprisoned here by Iancu de Hunedoara, the ruler who owned the property at that time, reason for which the castle ended up being associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, although the writer sketches another location for his setting, closer to Moldavia. Another legend is the one of the twelve Turkish prisoners who were promised they would be set free if they dug a well 30 meters deep and to whom, after 15 years of work, liberty was denied. It is said that the inscription on a wall “you have water, but no soul” belongs to them.

During modern times, several well-known film productions chose Corvin Castle as setting, some of them portraying world or Romanian historical characters: François Villon, Vlad Tepes, Mihai Viteazul, Alexandru Lapusneanu, David, The Damned Kings, Vlad, Jacqou le Croquat, Blood Rayne.

The Corvin Castle can be visited every day, from Monday to Sunday during 09:00 – 17:00 (last entry is 40 minutes before closing time). Entry fee is 25 lei for adults and 5 lei for students and pupils. An audio guide is available for Android and iOS phones, you will pay 6 lei for it.

If you are looking for a very special place for an event, it is good to know that the castle administration is open to renting: the wedding chapel is 800 RON/hour, while castle festivities cost 1.200 RON/hour.

For more information on the facilities, check out the official website.


How to get there


1-3 Castelului Street, Hunedoara city, Hunedoara county

GPS coordinates:

Latitude N 45 45.006
Longitude E 22 53.302

Road access:

From south: E79 via Targu Jiu – Petrosani – Deva

From north: E79 via Oradea – Beius

Romania’s Semmering: the oldest mountain railroad

The first mountain railroad in Romania was built in 1863, during the reign of the Austrian Empire in Banat, the country’s western region. Located between Oravița and Anina, it is unique in Romania and falls into the A class category of historical monuments.

The Oravița — Anina mountain railroad is also known as Banat’s Semmering, in comparison with the similar, but famous Austrian railroad. Today, Banat’s Semmering is still considered to be a masterpiece in railroad constructions, unique in Romania and south-eastern Europe. It has 14 tunnels dug in hard rock, ten viaducts and four train stations, on a 33, 4 km route with a level difference of 340 meters. The railroad has cuts into rock totaling 21 km and support walls on a length of 10 km. But the great art of the construction lies in its slope of 20 per thousand, compared to the other railroads which have a slope of 14 per thousand.

The beauty of the landscape throughout the route is breathtaking in any season. “Throughout the road, the beauty of the landscape goes hand in hand with the thrills each unexpected kilometer gives: tunnels dug in the mountain rock, viaducts over deep valleys and open crossings.” says Prof. PhD. Gheorghe Popovici in his book on the mountains in Banat region.

Today, the train traveling this route consists of a Romanian diesel-electric locomotive, built specifically for the Oravița – Anina line and two second class wagons with wooden benches, built in 1914. The wagons were reconditioned several times, but the shell and the interior remained unchanged. Interior heating is on steam. The average speed is 17 km/ hour, the road from Oravița to Anina being traveled in two hours.

How to get there

By car, from Bucharest: Bucharest – Pitești: E81 road; Pitești – Craiova: E574 road; Craiova – Orșova – Plugova (locality in Caraș-Severin county): E70 road; Plugova – Oravița: 57B


Noblesse Guesthouse
Address: 51B Trandafirilor St., Băile Herculane, Caraș-Severin county
Phone: +40255 560 566

La Ponton Guesthouse
Address: 1016A Dunarii St., Eşelniţa, Mehedinți county, DN 57 – Orșova – Moldova Nouă national road
Phone: +40 25 231 49 49


UNESCO World Heritage site: Rudăria water mill park

The largest complex of water mills in southern Europe – 22 watermills, two centuries old – stretches on three kilometers along the Rudăria river, at the foothills of Almăjului Mountains in Banat (western region of Romania including Timişoara). The famous water mills park attracts tourists from Romania and abroad, as the site is included in the UNESCO World Heritage and was recently revamped by the “Astra” Village Museum in Sibiu.

Although the use of these primary hydraulic systems was introduced in the area in the second and third centuries, the first 8 mills were officially registered in 1722. Just 50 years later, in 1874, 51 mills were functional. In the meantime, due to floods and other events, their number went down to 22. Locals still use them for grinding and as a meeting place. One mill grinds about 130 kilograms in one day and is managed by 15 to 25 families from the village. Visitors can understand better the milling system here in the museum at Rudaria, where a dismantled mill is exhibited.

Surrounded by mountains, the Efitime Murgu locality (in older times called Rudăria, after the river crossing it) in Caraş-Severin county has a picturesque landscape: Aninei and Semenicului in the north-west, Almăjului in south, Locvei mountains in south-west and Ţarcului and Cernei mountains in the background, towards east.

How to get there

By car, from Bucharest: take E81 road to Piteşti, then E574 to Craiova and E70 to Orşova. As you pass Orşova, continue on E70 until you reach road 57B. Turn left on 57B and continue until you reach a roadsign indicating the Eftimie Murgu locality. Turn left on that road (571F) and continue until you exit the village. After a few miles it reaches a forestry road and the entrance at the mill park.


Photosource: Wikipedia