Wallachia

Facts about Wallachia

About the
name
Land of the Vlachs or Walachs, the ancient population
of the area
Location Southern part of Romania; The Olt River divides Wallachia
into Muntenia in the east and Oltenia in the west
Area 41,000 sq miles
Population Approximately 6 million
Main cities Bucuresti, Craiova, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Ploiesti, Targoviste
Climate Temperate continental with hot summers and cold winters

Highlights

Wallachia’s unique mix of historical and natural attractions promises a different experience each day. Discover heritage buildings and museums in the capital city, enjoy day trips to a royal palace or century-old monastery, hike the mountains or follow Brancusi’s art trail - the choice is yours.

First documented in 1459 by Vlad Tepes, Bucharest is the main city of the region and the capital of Romania. Whether you are spending most of your travel time here or just using it as a gateway to a discovery journey around Romania, Bucharest and its cultural scene is going to surprise you: 37 museums, 22 theaters, 18 art galleries, opera houses and concert halls await your visit.

The best way to explore Bucharest is to take a stroll along Calea Victoriei to Piata Revolutiei, site of the Romanian Athenaeum and the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum of Art. The old city center (near Lispcani) is a must to understand why Bucharest was known as "Little Paris" in the 1920s. Also, don’t miss the Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world.

Beyond Bucharest, the foothills of Wallachia give way to the Carpathian Mountains. Just an hour and a half north of Bucharest is the beautiful Prahova Valley, where the popular ski resorts of Predeal, Busteni and Sinaia are located. Sinaia is also home to the magnificent Peles Castle - a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered one of the best-preserved royal castles in Europe. In the summer time, these resorts are starting points to hiking trails in the nearby Bucegi Nature Park.

A must stop for art lovers is the town of Targu Jiu on the banks of the Jiu River. This former market town is closely associated with Constantin Brancusi, the Romanian artist who is considered to be the founder of modern sculpture.

Some of Romania’s most tranquil monasteries can be found in this region, including Horezu, a masterpiece of the 'Brancovenesti' architectural style and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Horezu is also a renowned pottery center, where travelers can marvel at the colorful pottery created in local workshops by talented artisans.

Romanian

Places to explore

  • Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, with its French
    architectural old center, the Palace of Parliament, The Museum of the
    Romanian Peasant, the Village Museum and many other attractions
  • The magnificent Peles Castle in Sinaia, considered one of the
    best-preserved royal castles in Europe
  • The Princely Court and Poenari fortress (the authentic residences of
    Vlad the Impaler)
  • The beautiful Orthodox monasteries built in a Byzantine style, tucked
    into the foothills of the Carpathians:  Arnota,  Bistrita, Cozia,
    Curtea de Arges, Govora and Horezu
  • The pottery workshop center at Horezu
  • The 16th century Princely Court and monastery at Curtea de Arges
  • The Constantin Brancusi architectural complex in Targu Jiu,
    with its famous masterpieces: Endless Column, Gate of the Kiss,
    Table of Silence and Avenue of Chairs
  • Prahova Valley and the popular ski resorts of Predeal, Busteni and Sinaia
  • The Unirea salt mine in Slanic Prahova, where 2.9 million tons of salt have been extracted since 1685. Due to the therapeutic microclimate, former mine shafts are used as asthma treatment facilities. Visitors can also enjoy a walk around the mine and the salt-carved sculptures.

Romanian

Main Museums

  • The National Art Museum in Bucharest – works by Romanian and international artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Stefan Luchian, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Messina, Titian, Tintoretto, Velasquez, and others
  • The Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest – over 90,000 items,
    such as traditional costumes, textiles, ceramics and icons
  • The Village Museum in Bucharest – complete traditional houses, workshops,
    and churches that have been brought here from around the country
  • The History Museum of the Romanian Jewish Community in Bucharest
  • Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest
  • The Ethnography and History Museum of Oltenia in Craiova
  • The Art Museum in Craiova – a collection of Brancusi’s finest work is on display
  • The Iron Gates Museum in Drobeta-Turnu Severin
  • The Museum of Printing & Old Romanian Books in Targoviste – exhibiting the 1521 manuscript believed to be among the earliest texts written in Romanian

Romanian

Performing Arts

  • National Opera House and Operetta House in Bucharest
  • National Theater in Bucharest
  • Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest – 19th century concert hall,
    home of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
  • National Theater in Craiova  
  • Oltenia Philharmonic Orchestra in Craiova 
  • Opera and Operetta Theater in Craiova

Romanian

Outdoor Adventures & Parks

  • Cozia National Park – important bird migration corridor from central Europe
    to the Aegean Sea on the Olt Valley
  • Bucegi Nature Park – featuring near-vertical cliffs which drop up to 1000m,
    glacial circle valleys, waterfalls and ski slopes
  • The Small Moor of Braila Nature Park – nesting ground to over 205 species
    of birds

Romanian

Activities

Biking, Camping, Caving, Climbing, Fishing, Hiking, Nature walks,
Wildlife and bird watching

Romanian

Food & Wine

Traditional Food

Muntenia and Oltenia cuisine feature a variety of sour soups with lots of vegetables. It is not unusual to find an earthen oven in the backyards of houses in the Muntenia region. Here knot-shaped bread and pies are baked and delicious vegetable stew is slow cooked in clay jars.

Soup as well as haricot bean stew, potato stew with plenty of onions, braised sauerkraut and scovergi are popular dishes in this area of the country. Other traditional dishes include chicken soup with homemade noodles, giblet sour soup, tripe soup, meatballs soup, meat and/or rice (cabbage or grapeleaf) stuffed rolls, grilled fish in pickle sauce served with polenta.

Local lore has it that the famous mititei, one of the most popular Romanian gastronomic specialties, were created by accident in the kitchen of "La Iordache" restaurant, a fin de siècle culinary hotspot in Bucharest.  One night, when there were no more of the famous sausages known as patricieni, as the cook had runt short of bowels to stuff with the remaining minced meat, he placed the meat straight on the grill. The emerging sausages were somewhat smaller but the customers highly appreciated them, naming them mititei (meaning “the wee ones”).
The owner of the restaurant added thyme, caraway and saltpeter to the local recipe to enhance its flavor.

When you mention traditional food in the Oltenia region, Oltenian sausages come first to mind - finely chopped beef and pork meat mixed with garlic, pepper and salt, and then stuffed into sheep guts and smoked for two hours. Then you have to mention beef ragout, carp stuffed with mushroom, lamb stew with chives and smoked bacon.

In this region, like all over the country, onion and garlic are highly praised, combined with other ingredients to make deliciously savory dishes.

Other local specialties:
Fried or broiled Danube mackerel
Dried prune stew or prune and meat stew
Cheese or pumpkin pie
A la russe or boeuf salad
Moussaka (of Mid-Eastern origin)
Chulama – chicken cooked in white sauce

Vineyards

This region produces some of Romania's best red wines including Feteasca Neagra, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dealu Mare / Valea Calugareasca Vineyards

Dealu Mare, extending from the Prahova Valley along the south-facing hillsides of the Carpathian foothills eastwards to Vrancea County, is considered to be the best area in Romania for the cultivation of red grapes.

Valea Calugareasca (Valley of Monks) - one of a series of vineyards forming the Dealul Mare wine-growing region, owes its name and quality of wines to a hermitage - and perhaps the particular skill of the monks in preparing the wine. The standard-bearer of this vineyard is Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dealu Mare Vineyard is very generous with foreign grape varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, as well as Romanian grape varieties - Feteasca Neagra.

Dragasani Vineyard

Dragasani has an old history which can be traced back some 3,000 years. Tonic, slightly frothy and having a long-lasting flavor, the wines of Dragasani have become popular outside Romania’s borders following world recognition at the Bordeaux wine contest in 1989 and at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Today, Sauvignon, Riesling, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, and Tamaioasa Romaneasca are produced here.

Other vineyards in the region include: Pietroasa, Samburesti, Segarcea, Stefanesti, Urlati

Winetasting

Stefanesti Winery

Wine tasting tours include visits to the cellar where wines are kept for maturation, wine-producing workshop and the vineyard.

Contact information:
Soseaua Bucuresti Pitesti 0343, Stefanesti, Arges County
Telephone: (248) 266.838
Email: address@scpvv.stefanesti.s5.com

Rhein - Azuga Cellars

Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the traditional art of producing the sparkling wines. The local technique has been preserved throughout the years and passed on from generation to generation.

Romanian

ESSENTIALS

  • Transportation
  • Tourist Info
  • Maps

Transportation

By air

Major airports located in:
Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport - Otopeni (OTP)
- www.otp-airport.ro

Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu International Airport - Baneasa (BUH)
- www.baneasa-airport.ro

Craiova (CRA) - www.aeroportcraiova.ro/index.php?lang=en

Airlines with service to the region:
All major European and American airlines operate flights to/ from the region
of Walachia to numerous destinations in Central and Western Europe,
North America, South America, Asia and the Middle-East.

By train

Main train stations:
Bucharest,
Craiova, Sinaia, Predeal, Ploiesti, Targoviste, Targu Jiu

There are daily trains connecting Bucharest to the main cities in the region.

To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from /to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord

For the list of international trains with service to/from Romania please visit:
www.romaniatourism.com/transportation.html#bytrain

Road access

Border crossing points in the Wallachia region from Bulgaria into Romania include: Giurgiu, Calarasi

Tourist Info

Sinaia Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Bd. Carol I nr. 47
Telephone: (244) 315.656
Email: contact@infosinaia.ro
Open: Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Maps

- Regions Map - Historical-Regions-Map.html
- Romania - Detail Map - Romania-Detail-Map.html

Romanian