Bed & Breakfast Pensions in Bucovina:
"Hilde's Residence" Pension
BUCOVINA - NATURAL ENVIRONMENT:
Moldavia is an important historic and geographic region in the eastern part of the country.
It spreads over 400 km from north to south (from the Ukraine border to the Milcov river) and 200 km west
to east (from the Carpathians to the Prut river). There are a few common names used when referring to the
Moldavia region: "Upper" for Bucovina and its surroundings, "Middle", for Neamţ-Iaşi-
Vaslui-Bacău areas and "Lower" for "Ţara Vrancei" (The Land of Vrancea).
Its landscapes, richness and forests created varied and precious cynegetic fauna. Game trophies
from Bucovina have won many medals in international hunting competitions. The stag, which lives in mountain
forests, but also close to the hills area, is of great cynegetic value; the black bear is typical for our
forests and along with the deer and the boar, they occupy a vast habitat, in the fields surrounding the
forests, also in the forest meadows and even in spruce fir forests.
Other species found in the forests of Suceava are the wild cocks, wolves and lynxes.
The traveler who crosses these lands has a unique chance to walk through virgin forests, like Slătioara
and Giumalău, which are natural reservations. Rodna and Călimani National Parks are home for some
unique species of flora and fauna, caves and remarkable landscapes. Although renown as the "spruce fir region",
Bucovina is also an area with forests which gather other species, like the beech forest in Dragomirna. The
pine forest from Tinovul Mare, Poiana Stâmpei is also a rarity which enchants the traveler's sight
and invites the specialist to analyze it.
VINE AND FRUIT GROWING:
Cotnari is a famous vineyard, both locally and internationally; on Cătălina Hill, in
a Dacian site, researchers found that people grew vine and drank wine since 200 years ago. King Alexandru
cel Bun appointed a lord to survey the vineyards from the area (1400), Stephen the Great held cellars for
wine storage and King Dimitrie Cantemir (1710) wrote about the Cotnari wine, which he considered "nobler
than any European wine". The other vineyards are close to the towns of Iaşi, Huşi, Odobeşti
(the wines made here were exported in the times of Stephen the Great, Petru Rareş, Vasile Lupu).
Today, the same area spreads towards Nicoreşti-Panciu-Coteşti and is the vastest wine
producing area in Romania. "Grasa de Cotnari", "Busuioaca de Huşi" or red wines from Nicoreşti
bring absolute delight to those who taste them. In Bucovina, the vineyards are surrounded by orchards
(Cotnari, Dealurile Iaşilor, Huşi and Nicoreşti), as well as in Ţara Vrancei.
MONUMENTS OF NATURE:
Although Moldavia is a big territory, nature was kind to it: two massifs, Ceahlău (resort
Durău) and Rarău (Câmpulung Moldovenesc) protected by natural reservations: peaks Cozia,
Pietricica and Cernegura from Piatra Neamţ, which are the richest deposits of fossilized marine rocks
in the country.
In Gura Humorului, Vatra Dornei and Dofteana there are large varieties of bushes from all over
the world, protected in dendrologic parks; you can admire the specific flora and fauna in Cheile Bicazului
and Cheile Zugreni, also swamp plants in Bosanci steppe and yew trees in Pângăraţi,
the European bison in the Vânători de Neamţ reservation.
Văratec is home for the "copper forest" and "silver forest", which are poetic metaphors
for birch trees. A great synthesis of the natural landscape is displayed in Iaşi, at the Botanic
Garden (1856), the largest in the country.
BUCOVINA - BRIEF HISTORY:
6000 years ago, the Cucuteni culture developed on the territory of Moldavia. This culture is one
of the most interesting Neolithic ones from Europe. The population lived in fortresses, used big ovens
to warm up and prepare food, but also for making ceramics with different shapes (e.g. "Round Dance from
Frumuşica"); they were adorned by stylized spiral and symmetrical motifs. The Cucuteni culture also
influenced the Getic and Dacian style from Batca Doamnei (Piatra-Neamţ), the only stone site discovered
in Moldavia. Built in the same period, the fortification from Bărboşi (Galaţi) served as
foundation for an imposing Roman complex - military fortified camp, civil site and necropolis (1st and 3rd
In the Middle Ages, Moldavia had stable, well organized towns such as: Baia, Siret,
Rădăuţi, Vaslui, Iaşi, Suceava, Târgu Neamţ, Galaţi. Around the year
1360, King Bogdan the First created the independent village of Moldavia.
BUCOVINA - FOLKLORE, CULTURE, ARCHITECTURE:
Moldavia used to be an independent state built by King Bogdan the First (1359-1365). 500 years
later, Moldavia joined the neighboring region of Wallachia (1859). It played the role of temporary
headquarters of the exiled Romanian government (1918). The victories against the Ottomans and Tartars
(15th -16th centuries) are representative for the history of this people. King Petru I Muşat, Alexandru
cel Bun, Stephen the Great, Petru Rareş, Alexandru Lăpuşneanu, Ioan Vodă cel Mare, all
defeated them. The kings of those times built powerful castles that stood firm against attacks, such as the
attack of Sultan Mohamed the Second in 1476. In Suceava and Târgu Neamţ there are still massive
walls, vast interiors, and many objects dating back to those days.
The kings also built king's courts (Suceava, Piatra Neamţ, Iaşi, Vaslui) also inside
monasteries (Bistriţa), imposing churches and royal inns (Suceava).
CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES:
Besides civil edifices, the kings and lords of Moldavia also built cultural edifices, usually
in peaceful locations, in valleys, in the mountains or at the edge of the forest. The most fruitful times
for Bucovina were during the reign of King Stephen the Great, Petru Rareş, Alexandru Lăpuşneanu
and the Movilas (1466-1600); after 1530, the area was enriched by constructing churches with many outside
frescos, often compared to an "open biblical book" or "an outdoor Sistine Chapel". The originality of these
paintings derives from their themes, purity of drawings, precision of local details and chromatic refinement,
thus creating an exceptional value - "no other country has anything quite like it" (Joseph Strzygowski).
UNESCO has introduced the monasteries from Bucovina in its catalogue "Great Monuments of the
World"; in 1975 they were awarded the Golden Apple by FIJET (International Federation of Journalists and
Writers about Tourism). The European Union will support the creation of a "National Regional Park of
Monasteries from Bucovina". It refers to the churches inside the monasteries of Humor (1535, red is
dominant), Moldoviţa (1537, yellow orange), Arbore (1541, green), Voroneţ (1547, the famous
"Voroneţ blue") and Suceviţa (1596, green-red).
There are also the architectural monuments of Putna monasteries (first ever built by Stephen the
Great, 1469, king's necropolis), Dragomirna and Rasca (1530, 1542, built by Petru Rareş), Slatina
(1561, first ever built by Alexandru Lăpuşneanu) and churches Bogdana (1360, first monument with
mural paintings built in Bucovina by King Stephen the Great), Balineşti (1493, built by King
Old art museums display important collections of silverware, fabrics, religious objects, books
and manuscripts and furniture from those times. A traditional cultural center of Middle Moldavia is the
Monastery of Neaţt (XIVth-XVth centuries), which hosts paintings from the times of Stephen the Great,
the XVth century library, history and art collections, books printed in monasteries.
Dr. Andre Lwoff, laureate of the Nobel Prize, called Bucovina "a monastic archipelago"; this
comparison relates to this area, where there are valuable monuments that evoke the long past Bistriţa
(1400), Pângăraţi (1558), Secu-Sihastria-Gihia (1602-1763), Agapia (1647), Horăiţa
(1725), Văratec (1808).
The towns of Middle Moldavia: Iaşi, Hârlau, Roman, Bacău, Oneşti , Vaslui,
Huşi, are all centers of Romanian culture, where kings Roman I Muşat, Stephen the Great, Petru
Rareş built monasteries and churches that create a vivid picture of those times.
Lower Moldavia preserves the monasteries: Rădeana (1628), Soveja (1645), Caşin (1655),
Mera (1735), Lepşa (1750), Berzunţi (1774), churches from Oneşti (1494, Stephen the Great)
and Galaţi (1645, Vasile Lupu), but also the wooden churches from the villages of Ceahlău, the
monasteries from Putna and from Ţara Vrancei (Vrâncioaia, Străoane, Valea Sării).
In Moldavia, we cannot help noticing that everyday life is
unseparable from artistic emotion. Proof of that is in the houses upstream river Suceava or the village
of Ciocăneşti, also in the collection of spoons from Câmpulung Moldovenesc, in the painted
eggs at Suceviţa Monastery, the rugs from Humor, black ceramics from Marginea, flowers from
Rădăuţi, masks from Tărpeşti or Nereju, tapestry from the monasteries of Agapia
and Văratec; also in the carved stone and wood from Grozăveşti and Valea lui Caşin, even
the "hârzob" prepared in Valea lui Oituz (smoked trout), where carpets are always
woven with the help of river water.
The museums of Etnography and Popular Art from Suceava, the towns of Câmpulung Moldovenesc,
Gura Humorului, Solca, Vatra Dornei, Piatra Neamţ, Iaşi, Focşani, Soveja form the best
image of this region. Every year, Ceahlău's Day brings together the costumes, the daces and the folklore
music from all over the country.
Memorial houses, tombstones and statues evoke the kings of Moldavia: Alexandru cel Bun
(1400-1432; Bistriţa Monastery), Stephen the Great (1457-1504; Suceava, Iaşi, Bârseşti
-Vrancea, Putna Monastery), Petru Rareş (1542-1548; Moldoviţa and Probota Monasteries), Alexandru
Lăpuşneanu (1552-1568; Slatina Monastery), Ioan cel Mare (1572-1574; Jilişte - Focşani),
Dimitrie Cantemir (1710-1711; author of the valuable "Descriptio Moldavie"; the town that bears his name),
Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866; first ruler of the National Romanian State; Iaşi, Ruginoasa, Galaţi).
Moldavia is the birth place of some of the most marvelous talents of Romania: poet Mihai Eminescu
(1850-1889; the town that bears his name), musician George Enescu (1881-1955); the town that bears his name,
Dorohoi, Teşcani), historian Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940; Botoşani), writer Mihail Sadoveanu
(1880-1961; Iaşi, Neamţ Monastery), story teller Ion Creangă (1839-1889; Târgu-
Neamţ, Iaşi, Humuleşti), politician Mihail Kogâlniceanu (1817-1891, Iaşi).
In Moldavia, most of the monuments were built in honour of the heroes who fought in World War I
(1916-1918); mausoleums, piles of bones and statues in battle locations - Mărăşeşti,
Mărăşti, Oneşti, Grozăveşti, Soveja, Vidra; military history museums evoke the
personalities of Marshals Alexandru Averescu, Constantin Prezan, General Eremia Grigorescu, the commander of
the battalion that stopped the German offensive in August 1917, at Mărăşti.
BUCOVINA - ENTERTAINMENT:
CELEBRATIONS IN BUCOVINA:
- Ianuarie - Tradiţii de iarnă la Rădăuţi
- January - Winter traditions in Rădăuţi
- February - Traditions, Dorna Arini
- March - "Mărţişor" - celebration of spring; Religious music festival - Fundu Moldovei
- April - Easter Holidays - all over the area
- May - Ethnic minorities' Day
- June - 23rd - 24th Suceava City Day
- July - Popular FestivaL; "Ciprian Porumbescu" Music Festival
- August - St. Mary's Day at Cacica;
- Craftsmen Day at Suceava
- September - "Autumn in Voroneţ" Popular Art Festival
- October - popular festivals all over the area
- November - Music Festival in Moldoviţa
- December - Christmas and New Year's Eve - specific customs for the area
Travelers will find various ways of entertaining themselves in Bucovina. Local activities such as:
trips, fishing, hunting, mountain-bike, horseback riding, carriage rides, parachute dives or other sports.
Bucovina is the home of many animal species, of which the most famous is the black bear.
- Dragomirna Monastery - at 13 km north from Suceava; built by Bishop Atanasie Crimca;
- Humor Monastery - at 6 km from Gura Humorului, historic monument;
- Voroneţ Monastery - at 5 km from Gura Humorului, historic monument;
- Putna Monastery - at 28 km from Rădăuţi on the river valley, historic monument;
- Solace Monastery - in the town of Solace, a town 25 km from Rădăuţi;
- Moldoviţa Monastery - built in 1410 by Petru Rareş;
- Arbore Monastery - built in 1503 by Luca Arbore;
- Suceviţa Monastery - built at in the middle of the 15th century;
- "Lunca Moldovei" Dendrologic Park
- "Codrul Slătioara" Forest Reservation
- "Giumalău" Cynegetic Reservation
- "Teodoresu" Flower Reservation