Sibiu, the romanan city where the roofs don’t sleep.

We are in Sibiu. Geographically, it is located in the southern part of Transylvania, close to the Carpathian mountains. Built in the 1100s by the Saxon settlers invited by the Hungarian King in Transylvania, Sibiu, also named Hermannstadt, managed to preserve untouched most of its architectural heritage. While walking around the Romanian city, you’ll start to notice something a bit odd, and you may even get the sense that someone, or something, is watching you. And, wnhile you gaze at the city’s architecture, you’ll start to realize are the houses…

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Constantin Poroineanu and the legend of the crying lovers

At the end of the 19th century, Constantin Poroineanu went abroad to complete his studies. He was in Paris, when he met a beautiful girl at a student’s ball. He fell in love with her and, even though he was married and had a son back at home, they ended up having an affair. However his father did not approve this and forced him to leave the beautiful French girl and return home in Caracal, Romania, to his family. Here Constantin continued his life and affairs in agriculture and politics…

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12 Ways Halloween is celebrated around the globe

In America, people associate Halloween with pumpkins, costumes, candy, and spooky stories or ghosts but, around the world, it could be a little different. The holiday might look slightly different this year since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but we can reminisce on years past. If most places in the U.S. celebrate Halloween in much the same way, one city that stands apart is New Orleans. This town loves both to party and voodoo, so one can find things here they couldn’t anywhere else, from…

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Năsal: a delicious Transylvanian Cheese

We are in Romania. Năsal is a traditional local cheese bearing the same name as the village where it is produced in the Țaga commune, Cluj County. The soft and creamy cheese has been smear-ripened in caves since the Middle Ages. According to a Transylvanian legend, the commune of Țaga was once controlled by a wealthy, cruel count. Under his rule, the people starved and, to feed themselves, one day, some farmers were forced to steal the count’s cheese for their children. They hid it in a cave near the…

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Snagov Monastery: the island that (allegedly) houses the tomb of Dracula

We are in Romania. Transylvania has long been known as a place where vampires, werewolves, and the souls of the dead haunt dark forests, like Hoia Baciu forest, which has a reputation as one of the most haunted place of the world, and ghostly-looking fortresses. Many of the most “haunted places” in Transylvania, Romania are also popular tourist attractions. On a tiny island in a lake just outside of Bucharest stands Snagov Monastery which local tradition states is the burial place of Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler,…

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The “Merry Cemetery” in Romania: colors and irony to exorcise death.

For us cemeteries are places of mourning and sadness: these are places in which the dead rest. On the tombstones usually only the dates of birth and death appear. When someone dies, their memory generally enters a kind of idealized state in the minds of those who loved them. Often their flaws are forgiven and forgotten, and the way in which they passed (especially if it was unpleasant) often goes unspoken, and on their tombstone generalized niceties are written, often reduced to as little as “Rest in Peace.” But not…

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Torture and Executions of Vlad III the Impaler “Dracula” between History and Legend

Vlad III was the prince of Wallachia between 1448 and 1477, and is known by numerous names and appellatives, of which the most famous is the shortest: Dracula. Born in Sighisoara, Romania, he was the second son of Vlad II Dracul, of the House of Drăculeşti, from whom the patronym Dracula originates. Vlad was also known as Ţepeş (impaler in Romanian), for the habit of executing enemies according to the tremendous practice of impalement. Dracula literally means son of the dragon. In modern Romanian “drac” took the meaning of “devil”,…

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Inside the Hoia Baciu forest, one of the most haunted place of the world.

Perhaps Dracula’s stories were not enough to make Transylvania a place full of mysteries and a perfect theater for horror and ghost stories. There is another spectral landmark in the homeland of the vampire prince: this is Hoia Baciu, just outside Cluj-Napoca, Romania’s second city of Transylvania. It has been called the creepiest forest in the world, due to the numerous apparitions and disappearances that take place there. It defies the investigations of soil scientists and attracts Romanian witches, sword-wielding Americans, and people who try to clean the forest from…

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