much more then a large boring field
"Wallachia? Just a boring plain, except Bucharest, of course." once told me an American penfriend. Well, such affirmation raises the sugar in my blood. I demonstrated him and I'll do it again for you that it's only lack of information. Just follow me.
All these happen because travel agencies prefer to use beaten paths rather than cut a new one. In my opinion they're wrong. Why?
Let's see what we have. We have large plains but they aren't so boring if you know what to do.
We have hills with vineyards. And, naturally, we have wine. We have churches and monasteries, too. And Brancoveanu style. We have sculptures and an extraordinary artist, Brancusi. We have fortresses and a powerful character, Dracula. We have mountains and spa resorts. We have...
But first, click next link to find out where is Wallachia. I wrote this page to help you easier locate this province but also to help you locate its sub provinces.
In a couple of hours you can pass through Wallachia from Danube Meadow (the lowest area in Romania) to high hills and mountains (Fagaras Mountains, also called Transylvanian Alps, are the highest mountains in Romania).
I have to confess myself. I hate plains. But these days a dear friend told me she loves fields. She said those large endless spaces gave her soul tranquillity and hope. Often you can't define the horizon line and it's like you'd step in the sky. I never saw plains like that. Did you?
Believe or not, these plains are certainly for fishers. Many rivers cut the plain and flow into Danube River. And there are countless lakes. So Wallachia's ready for any fishing style and almost every fisher wish. Oops!! I forgot the Black Sea.
Subcarpathian area offers you vineyards and orchards, glacial and saline lakes, caves and natural curiosities. You can practice nautical sports, fishing and hunting or simply have a good rest. Traditional life is also best preserved here.
Then the mountains... I can't do anything but love them.
From the southern Romanian province you have the easiest access to many national parks
- National Park Semenic-Carasului Gorges
with its old wild beech forest, unique in Europe
- National Park Nerei Gorges-Beusnita
the longest gorge from Romania, flowers and waterfalls
- Natural Park Iron Gates
an impetuous entrance in Romania for the old Danube River
- National Park Domogled-Cerna Valley
a mountain area with Mediterranean ecosystem.
- National Park Retezat Mountains
glacial lakes decorated with rhododendrons.
- National Park Cozia Mountain
astonishing landscape at the end of an easy hike
- National Park Piatra Craiului Mountains
a steep slope to hike and climb with chamois
- Natural Park Bucegi Mountains
where the Romanian Sphinx watches over the Prahova Valley
- Natural Reservation Muddy Volcanoes
with their strange relief, very much alike to the Moon
- Natural Park Little Pond of Braila
a small and less known "Danube Delta",
- National Park Macinului Mountains
the oldest mountains in Europe
- Biosphere Reservation of Danube Delta
the youngest land in Europe, with generous biosphere diversity
Beside all these parks you can also take a hike in the Parang Mountains (rocky peaks, stony plains and well expressed glacial shapes), Fagaras Mountains (the highest Romanian mountains) or Ciucas Mountains (easy hikes, beautiful views). The way of Transfagarasan road offers you a wonderful journey through mountains to Transylvania.
In Southern Carpathians you'll find the most of ski resorts and the easiest access to them.
Wallachia is rich in thermal and mineral waters. That's why in the Subcarpathians area you'll find lots of spa resorts like Olanesti, Calimanesti, Caciulata, Govora, Slanic Prahova, Pucioasa, Telega and Sarata Monteoru.
Wallachia's history and culture
Wallachia keeps traces of its past as well as the other provinces. From Dacian fortresses and Roman settlements to Ceausescu People House (now Palace of Parliament) in Bucharest.
That's right! Here you'll find only few medieval fortresses comparing to the other provinces. And mostly there are ruins like Poenari Fortress, Targoviste or Bucharest.
Capitals of Wallachia were successively Curtea de Arges, Campulung, Targoviste and Bucharest. Craiova was and is still considered the capital of Oltenia.
Bucharest, once capital of Wallachia is now the capital of Romania. Its nickname "Little Paris" came from its boulevards watched by huge trees and its restaurants and coffee houses with terraces near the street.
Due to the constructions/demolations from the communist time, only few places that preserve the French charm remained, but you still have lots of things to see and do.
Nearby Bucharest you can discover palaces and monasteries, such as Snagov, Caldarusani, Mogosoaia, Cernica, Pustnicul, Comana.
The Monasteries have been built in a totally different style from Moldavian monasteries. The local people habits, traditions and the way the villages look, as well as the scenery are different but still wonderful.
Horezu Monastery (built in 1690-1697) is the most important religious architectural monument from the Brancoveanu reign (times that generated the only really genuine Romanian architectural style - Brancoveanu style).
Wallachia gave us, Romanians and the whole world, a great artist, Constantin Brancusi. And Brancusi left us a beautiful and unique legacy: an open-air monumental complex of sculptures in Targu-Jiu (a close little town to the vilage Hobita, where he was born). No need to pay a fortune to see those pieces from the "world heritage" because it's free. It'll be a petty to miss this.
And "Here we are!", dear Dracula fans! This is the place for "Vlad the Impaler" subject. Why? Romania has a real character in its history, called Dracula. And Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler ruled Wallachia. He built in Wallachia, he fought for Wallachia even he died for Wallachia. Here is his natural place.
You have to know we are talking about two different Dracula: one from the real life and the other from Bram Stoker's fiction. The real Dracula was not quite a kind man. And this gave birth to many legends.
The villages show up an extraordinary genuine architecture, especially in the mountain areas. Wooden or stone households. Large gates, well-adorned porches and rustic furniture will please your eyes.
Also, this is the place where you will find fine pieces of popular art: pottery in Oboga and Horezu, brightly coloured carpets and folk costumes.
In the end it's your call to love or don't love Wallachia. But I really hope you'll not say any more Wallachia's just a boring plain.
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