General review – Romania Meeting

The 5th transnational meeting of PIE  was held in Romania on 27th Nov -01 st Dec 2017.  At the beginning we were sure that we would see wonderful places and meet wonderful people but it ended up with a fairy tale, which is full of medieval castles , kings and queens and a magnificent scenery.The meeting began in the cosy atmosphere that our dear hosts prepared for us. 2 students welcomed us at the gate with traditional costumes on and served us colac – traditional Romanian bread- and salt. They are very symbolic as bread is the daily food and salt is the flavor of the food and therefore both are important in human nutrition. Also bread ( wheat) symbolizes the fields’ wealth and salt was the true gold of antiquity , the most expensive item of commerce. We have learnt that Romanians welcome important guests with these primordial meaningful elements to show their hospitality, kindness and love for their guests.

Being a vocational school Liceul Tehnical of Hırlau  educates its students in several branches such as culinary art, tailoring, textiling, carpentry and mechanics.Visiting the students and teachers in their workplaces made us feel happy as they looked happy with smiling faces and shining eyes. Also we had the opportunity to work hard in the kitchen to make colac under the supervision of Ms Rodica Gheorghiescu and Ms Lacramiora Roiu- Bichescu. The moments we worked together will stay with us as unforgettable memories.

It is obvious that history is very important for Romanian people and you can feel it all around the country. Even in a small piece of land , you can see and touch something historical. Hırlau, where our host school locates, is a small town with 11.295 inhabitants. And though it is so small , it is famous for magnificent St. George Church, which was built by Stephen the Great in 1492. At twilight on 27th November Ms Mihaela Andronic informed us about the history of church.  That time of the day was like a special effect to make us feel the history and past days of the church.

Travelling around Romania was like walking through history and Bran Castle was one of the most important elements of it. We felt the mystery, intrigue and the magic of this wonderful place on our trip up there on 29th November 2017. The Castle was built on a steep cliff between Măgura and Dealul Cetăţii (“fortified town’s hill”), with an exceptional view of the nearby hills, Moeciu Valley and Valea Bârsei. At the beginning it  was inhabited by professional soldiers and mercenaries, The lord of the castle was elected by the King. By the end of the fifteenth century, the castle’s commander also held the title of Vice-Voivode of Transylvania. Of course the most famous of all was Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) or mostly known Count Dracula. He was regarded as a tyrant and extremely ruthless voivode but still  is one of the most important figures of the castle and the history. We cannot move on without mentioning the other famous resident of the castle : Queen Maria of Romania, who was described as ‘the great queen who spread her blessing everywhere she walked, ‘ lived there from 1920 to1938. It is possible to see her belongings in the castle as if she is still living there.

On completing our visit to Bran Castle we headed for Brosov, a Saxon city situated at foot of Mount Tâmpa. It is very attractive  with natural beauties and Renaissance architecture. The first place we visited in Brasov is the Black Church , which  is one of the most impressive religious edifices in Romania. The church was originally named Saint Mary’s Church. But in 1689 a great fire destroyed the interior and damaged the walls and the roof. After the renovation, the edifice was named the Black Church, mostly because of the exterior walls and roof were  blackened from the fire. Even today we can see the devastating consequences of the flames. Then we walked through the streets and enjoyed the scenery.

Our next destination was Sibiu. Located in the central Romania, it has a distinctly Germanic feeling like Brasov.We went there to visit the magnificent Christmas Fair, which is spectacular with decorated colorful lights. It was just like a city of lights whose slogan is ‘ Light before all else ‘.

Just like bread and salt, wine has a very significant place in Romanian people’s lives and we were told that nearly all houses have the equipment to make their own wine at home in Hırlau.The Vine and Wine Museum of Hırlau is the perfect place to see and understand the importance of it in a more formal and systamatic way. Mr.Iancu Paul ; the father of the dear headmistress of the school –Ms Paula Lorela Iancu ; was the founder of the museum and dedicated his life to enhance it.

1st December is the National Day in Romania and we were happy to see the city of  Iasi decorated with the  Romanian flag and Christmas lights. As it is mentioned on the 5th day’s  report we visited   the Metropolitan Cathedral “Saint Parascheva” which was founded by Veniamin Costachi. Secondly we visited St Mary Cathedral, which has a modern architecture and focuses on the colours blue and white, which gives the feeling of extra spaciousness.

The city has numerous landmarks and two of them are, of course, ‘ The Palace of Culture‘ and

‘ The National Theatre ‘, which holds the second best place among theatres all around the world, according to the survey conducted by BBC Culture in honour of World Theatre Day in 2015. We had a great chance to visit this magnificent theatre with Mr.Dumitru Budu, who is the Head of Costume Tailoring Section. Seeing the authentic costumes that were worn at the first performance held in the theatre , sitting on the special boxes and walking through the corridors took us to the glorious days of courtesy and refinement.

The Palace of Culture  was built between 1906-1925. Its main purpose was to serve as Palace of Justice and administrative headquarters for the city of Iasi. The palace is located, in part, on the ruins of medieval royal court, mentioned in documents in 1434.

The  building was inaugurated on October 11, 1925 and served as the Palace of Justice until 1955, when it was intended for hosting some of the most prominent cultural institution in the city of Iasi. Today, the palace represent the premises of “Moldova” National Museum Complex, housing four major museums: the Museum of History of Moldova, Ethnographic Museum of Moldova, Museum of Art and the Museum of Science and Technique. We visited the Ethnographic Museum and learnt a lot more about Romanian culture and traditions. Yhe most exciting part of the visit was going up the Clock Tower. A guide took us there in an elevator and it was an amazing feeling to be inside of a clock tower. The carillon clock is a system of 8 bells. These 8 bells in the tower reproduce, every hour, the sound of Union Horites, the Romanian anthem of 1859.

When the 5th meeting was over, we came back to our countries happier and wiser but alas a bit sad as well. We have completed nearly the two third of the project and the big family of PIE is coming to the end. However we all know that through the project we have knotted our hearts to be together forever. Multumesc Romania for your effort, hospitality and contribution.

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