11 days, 10 nights

Highlights:
Synagogues
Jewish Cemeteries
Jewish Community Bucharest
Ellie Wiesel House
Holocaust Memorials
Unesco Heritage List monuments : Patrauti Church, Voronet Monastery , Humor Monastery ,
Wooden Churches in Maramures – Ieud – Unesco heritage List
Saxon Citadels : Brasov, Harman , Prejmer
Sighisoara – the only citadel still inhabited
Rasnov Peasant Citadel
The Bran Castle
The Peles and Pelisor Castles in Sinaia
*For all Saturdays mornings, during our tours in Romania, you can join the Shabbat service.

Day 1

Arrival at Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest.

Overnight Hotel Rembrandt ,3 *a coquettish hotel, located in the historical centre of Bucharest

Bucharest historical centre by night and welcome dinner .

Day 2
BUCHAREST JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

Romania is a country with a rich Jewish heritage. The first Jews probably first arrived along with the Roman legions who invaded Dacia (today’s Romania) in 101 A.D.

Romania is unique in Eastern and Central Europe for its scores of well-maintained synagogues and cemeteries still used by Jewish communities scattered throughout the country.

Romanian synagogues are of several types.

Bucharest’s synagogues have a Moorish style.

In Transylvania, architectural styles resemble those of their Hungarian counterparts: impressive and elaborately decorated synagogues dating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In Moldavia, folk-style synagogues are unadorned on the outside but highly decorated inside with native paintings and lavish wood carving.

The Choral Temple and the Holocaust Monument

This is by far the most important Bucharest’s synagogue . It dates back from 1845. The temple as it appears today is the result of an interior and exterior reconstruction in 1932 – 1933 .

The Choral Temple is one of the precious few Romanian synagogues whose architects are known.

The Great Synagogue and the Holocaust Museum in Bucharest

Founded in 185o by a congregation of Polish Jews, the synagogue was first repaired in 1865 and adapted for electric lighting in 1915. In 1980 it was turned into the Romanian Jewish History Museum.

Kosher lunch in the Canteen of the Community with other members .

Meeting with the members of the Bucharest Jewish Community .

Jewish Theater has a tradition of 125 years in Romania.
In 1948 the Bucharest State Jewish Theater was created, offering a mixture of traditional and modern theater. The repertoire includes plays from Jewish, Romanian and international drama. Its permanent home is the Playhouse of the Jewish Theater. The auditorium has 300 seats and a system of simultaneous translation from Yiddish and other languages into Romanian.

BUCHAREST CITY TOUR

The Civic Center and the Palace of Parliament
In 1971 Ceausescu visited North Korea and returned full of admiration for the grandiose avenues of Kim II Sung’s Capital. Thirteen years later ,inspired by what he had seen in Pyongyang, Ceausescu set out to re-model Bucharest as “the first socialist capital for the new socialist man” and to create a new administrative center which was to be a “symbolic representation of the two decades of enlightenment we have just lived through.” Implementing this megalomaniac vision entailed the demolition of a quarter of Bucharest’s historic centre, containing 9000 nintheenth-century houses, whose 40.000 inhabitants were relocated in new developements on the outskirts of the city

The Patriarchal Cathedral, at the top of Dealul Mitropoliei, built in 1655 – 1668 , the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Church .

The Old Palace of the Chamber of Deputies(1907)

The Historic Quarter , north of Piata Unirii, French street leads west into the maze of streets and picaresque houses that fills the oldest part of Bucharest. It was here that prince Vald tepes ( Draculea ) built a citadel in the fifteenth century.

The Old Court Church,( 1546 – 1558) is the oldest church in the city .A few doors east from the Old Court is the most famous hostelry Hanul lui Manuc ( Manuc ;s Inn) . It was built as a caravanserai in 1808 by an Armenian called Manuc.

The Stavropoleos Church, built between 1724 and 1730 for the first Phanariot ruler, the church has a gorgeous , almost arabesque façade.

The Revolution Square: with the former Communist Party Headquarters , a Stalinist monolith , featuring the famous balcony where Ceausescu delivered his last speech .

The Royal Palace is for sure the most imposing building facing on to the expansive Piata Revolutiei

The Romanian Atheneum – a magnificent Neoclassical structure, built in 1888, hosting concerts all year round.

Accomodation Hotel Rembrandt” 3 * Bucharest

Day 3
BUCHAREST – PLOIESTI-BUZAU- BRAILA-GALATI

Wallachia Synagogues
Jews were fewer in Wallachia than in Transylvania or Moldavia and for this reason synagogues are few and far between. Many Jews were here Sephardim but also a few Ashkenazim .

Visit the Ploiesti synagogue “The Great Synagogue in Ploiesti”, erected between 1794- 1795. The interior is elegant, the exterior is monumental .

A taste of the red wine in the Cellars Urlateanu, in Urlati town, situated on the Wine Route .

The Temple at Buzau , built between 1903 – 1910, it is a monumental structure seating 400 people on the groundfloor and 200 in the women’s galleries .

The Great Synagogue at Braila , which is of medium type , with very rich ornamented chandeliers .

The Craftmen’s Temple in Galati, built in 1896. Galati was once a major Jewish Center . From the outside , it looks like any public building, but it is, in fact, one of the major buildings in the city.

Accommodation in Galati , Hotel Kreta 4 *

Day 4
GALATI- TECUCI-BARLAD-VASLUI-IASI

Visit the Synagogue in Barlad

Arrival in Iasi

IASI – is the second-largest Romanian city. It is the economic, cultural and academic centre of the Romanian region of Moldavia

Records of Jews exist in Iasi from the 16th century. Today, Iasi has a Jewish population of 300 to 600, and one working synagogue which dates from the 1600s.

There is also a Jewish community center serving kosher meals from a small cantina.

Visit the Great Synagogue in Iasi , wich is the oldest monument of Judaic religious architecture in Romania , built in 1670-1671

Visit the Jewish Cemetery

Outside of the city on top of a hill is the Jewish Cemetery which has graves dating from the late 1800s. Burial records date from 1915 to the present day and are kept in the community center.

The first Yiddish Theatre in the world was established here by Abraham Goldfaden, before he migrated to New York.

Accommodation in the Grand Hotel Traian 4* Iasi

DAY 5
IASI – PODU ILOAIEI-TIRGU-FRUMOS-ROMAN- PIATRA-NEAMT

Visit the Podu Iloaiei Jewish Cemetery

The Jewish community in the village of Podu Iloaiei appeared in the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th.
The synagogue sadly no longer exists. Only the Jewish cemetery remains, still preserving tombstones from 1829 and 1830

Visit the the Mass Grave in Tirgu-Frumos Cemetery

In the cemetery Tirgu-Frumos Cemetery is a huge common grave , created during the pogrom of Iasi. Near the common grave there is a commemorative monument, built in the communist period, with an inscription in Hebrew and Romanian: “To the 640 Jews buried here, victims of the fascist barbarism, killed in the ‘death train’ on 29-30 June and 1 July 1941. Let us not forget the Fascism’s crimes!”.

Visit the Tailor’s ( Poel Tzedek) Synagogue in Roman. The Tailor’s Synagogue is a medium type edifice erected in 1898. The Jewish Community in Roman is at least four centuries old, as is shown on tombstones and documents. There were 16 synagogues in Roman at 1887 and a total of 15 synagogues and prayer houses in the 1930’s .

Arrival in Piatra Neamt. Accommodation in Hotel Central 3*

DAY 6
PIATRA-NEAMT- TIRGU-NEAMT- FALTICENI- DRAGOMIRNA MONASTERY – PATRAUTI CHURCH – SUCEAVA

Visit the Piatra Neamt Cathedral Synagogue , acknowledged as an historic monument by the Romanian Academy. It is the oldest wooden synagogue still standing in Romania ( according to some legends , the date of this synagogue is 15th century). Strongly influenced by the local architecture, the synagogue shares a family resemblance with the synagogues from Poland and Bohemia.

Piatra Neamt Jewish cemetery , a very nice one, split in two parts : a very old one , with tombs from the XVII and a new one dating from 1900 .

The Neamt Monastery is first mentioned in a 14th century document. Nothing remains of the original buildings. The monastic buildings were built and rebuilt several times during the centuries. The present constructions, which form a defensive wall around the church, were built during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dreagomirna Monastery
“Seeing it is a joyful surprise” wrote the great historian Nicolae Iorga.

The monastery of Dragomirna was built in a marvelous area, close to the forest , built in 1609 .

“The church at Dragomirna is decorated with splendid frescoes, but they are to be found only in the altar and the nave .

The paintings represent an innovative element, a new way of choosing the themes and a new painting techniques that is strictly connected to iconographic and miniature art.

Patrauti Church – UNESCO HERITAGE LIST

Built by Stephen the Great , in 1487.

The church of the Holy Cross is small but well proportioned, consisting only of a pronaos, a naos and a chancel.

The frescoes inside the church were painted in part soon after construction work finished, and in part about ten years later, during the last decade of the 15th century. They are not restored, to this day.

Arrival in Suceava, accommodation in Hotel Balada 3 *

DAY 7
SUCEVA- HUMOR- VORONET – CIMPULUNG MOLDOVENESC- BORSA- IEUD- SIGHETUL MARMATIEI- DESESTI CHURCH-BAIA-MARE

Humor Monastery

Humor was one of the first of Bucovina’s painted monasteries to be frescoed and, along with Voroneţ is probably the best preserved – UNESCO HERITAGE LIST -.

The dominant colour of the frescoes is a reddish brown. The master painter responsible for Humor’s frescoes, which were painted in 1535, is one Toma of Suceava.

The subjects of the frescoes at Humor include the Siege of Constantinople and the Last Judgment, common on the exterior of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, and also the Hymn to the Virgin.

Voronet Monastery

This is one of the famous painted monasteries from southern Bukovina, UNESCO HERITAGE LIST .

Often known as the “Sistine Chapel of the East”, the frescos at Voronet feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as “Voroneţ blue”.

The Church of St. George of the Voronet Monastery is possibly the most famous church in Romania.

It is known throughout the world for its exterior frescoes of bright and intense colors, and for the hundreds of well-preserved figures placed against the renowned Azurite background

Visit the Iza Valley with the famous wooden churches :

Iza Valley is a region with enchanting and captivating scenery. Iza is one of the most important rivers in Maramures. All along the Iza Valley are small villages dating back to before the fifteenth century.

Birsana monastery, listed on UNESCO HERITAGE LIST
Built in the 16th century by the Dragos family. One of the most important monasteries in the region of Maramures.

Bogdan Voda Church

Bogdan-Voda’s wooden church dates back from 1718 and inhabits the site of an even older church which was burnt down in the 1717 raid by the Tartars.

Ieud Deal Church , listed on UNESCO HERITAGE LIST

Ieud also has two distinctive wooden churches which have been declared historical and architectural monuments.
The first one is ‘The Birth of Virgin Mary ‘ Church on the hill, built in 1364 and the oldest church in Maramures. It is built from pine and fir wood with small windows, a double roof and a single, impressive steeple. The paintings are original, dating from the 15th -16th century and their condition is relatively good. The church also has a collection of glass painted icons.
The second church was erected in 1699 and it is called the Church in the Valley. Built in “Maramures gothic” style, the church is also called the “Wooden Cathedral”.

Sighetul Marmatiei with the Ellie Wiesel House

“I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone–terribly alone in a world without God and without man.”
—Elie Wiesel, “Night” (1958)

Eliezer Wiesel (commonly known as Elie) is a world-renowned Romanian Jewish, philosopher, humanitarian, political activist, and Holocaust survivor.

He is the author of over 40 books, with the most famous being Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Nazi Holocaust and his imprisonment in a concentration camp.

Visit the Merry Cemetery in Sapinta…another point of view ….

Arrival in Baia –Mare , accomodation in the Hotel Rivulus 3 *

DAY 8
BAIA MARE-BISTRITA- REGHIN- TIRGU-MURES

Visit the Bistrita Synagogue

Visit the Gothic Cathedral with its 75-meters tall steeple overlooking the city. The construction started in 1470 and was finalized almost 100 years later .

Visit the Sugalete Galleries, dating from the 15th century

This complex of Gothic and Renaissance architecture is made up of a row of buildings connected through 20 archways .

The Silversmith’s House is the former lodging of a renowned jeweller, which was built in the 15th century and restored twice in the 16th century and after the great fire of 1758.

DAY 9
TIRGU-MURES- SIGHISOARA- BRASOV

Visit the Tirgu-Mures Synagogue, a large type edifice . built in 1899 , a monumental building very good conserved .

Visit the Teleki-Bolyai library , located in a building which dates from 1799

Visit the Palace of Culture

Arrival in Sighisoara

Sighisoara: the birthplace od Vlad Tepes – The Impaler , better known as Dracula. The town is on UNESCO Heritage List ;

Sighisoara is the most beautiful and well kept fortified town in Transylvania , dating from the 13th century, and known as the City of Schassburg . It is the only medieval citadel whose old buildings are still in a functional state and well kept.

Arrival in the afternoon in Brasov and accommodation in the Hotel Bella Muzica 3 *

DAY 10
BRASOV – HARMAN- PREJMER – RASNOV- BRAN – SINAIA

visit Brasov, one of the most prosperous Saxon cities of it’s time and see all its wonders: with the largely Baroque “ old town” ( the Black Church , the Council Square, the Hirsher House, the old Saxon houses from the old town – and these are only a few points of attraction of the old town)

A tour of the Jewish Synagogue Poarta Schei built in 1898 by the Austrian architect Baumhorn, the cost being 1,200,000 gold crowns in 1898-1901, a large amount for those times. The 1977 earthquake damaged the Synagogue and it was repaired with the help of the Romanian Jewish Federation. It is a large Synagogue, in the Gothic Romanesque style.

Prejmer was mentioned in 1240 and was the strongest village fortress in Southern Transylvania during the 15th-16th centuries. It was built around an evangelic church in the early Gothic style (1241-1250), then transformed into late Gothic style (the 16th century) and renovated several times.

Rasnov Peasant Citadel , , dominates the hill in Rasnov small town, with a fantastic panorama to all the Birsei land (the Barsei land means the land of Brasov Region). The Citadel dates from 1225 and was founded by Teutonic Knights .

Bran Castle , built in 1377 – 1382 , to safeguard the vital artery from Transylvania to Walachia . According to the stories of that time, Vlad Tepes ( called Dracul or Dracula ) laid siege to it in 1460 when he attacked this land.
Centuries later, one of the famous residents was Queen Maria of Romania, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of Prince Ferdinand .

Arrerival in Sinaia, accommodation in the Hotel Bastion 3 *

DAY 11
SINAIA – PRAHOVA VALLEY – BUCHAREST AIRPORT

Sinaia , is known for its famous Royal Peles Castle as well as for the Pelisor Palace and for the Sinaia Monastery

THE ROYAL PELES CASTLE( closed on Mondays and Tuesdays): Situated in a large park, landscaped in the English fashion, the castle resembles a Bavarian Schloss. It was built between 1875 and 1883 for Carol I , and decorated by his wife , the Queen Elisabeth. The castle contains 160 rooms, richly decorated in ebony, mother of pearl, walnut and leather.

The PELISOR PALACE ( The Little Peles) , was built between 1899 and 1903 in German Rennaisance style ( the exterior) and in the Art Nouveau style ( the interior), with Viennese furniture and with Tiffany and Lalique vases

Azuga, another resort, where we will have a wine tasting session ( compliment and welcome lunch from Medieval Tours) in the Royal Cellar Azuga “Hallewood “ )


PRICE: 2,900 EURO
This is a private tour, for one family
1,450 euro /1 person / in double occupancy
Price for single room occupancy: supplied on request

The price includes:
Transfer from / to the airport
11 nights accommodation in double room occupancy , breakfast included, in 3***, 4**** hotels and rural guest houses, according to the scheduled
All vehicle expenses included (transport, driver, fuel)


Guide-driver’s accommodation and meals included
Guide and translation services included
All entrance fees included, where applicable
Welcome dinner in Bucharest
Good bye lunch and testing sparkling wine in Azuga Cellars
Price does not include:
Lunch and dinner, except mentioned
Fees for video camera in all museums and locations
Flight tickets
Other services
* Upon request, this tour may be considered for more than two persons
* Individual tour may be chosen upon request