Focșani (România)

Focşani (German: Fokschan; Hungarian: Foksány) is the capital city of Vrancea County in Romania on the shores the Milcov river, in the historical region of Moldavia. It has a population (as of 2002) of 101,854.

Focşani lies at a point of convergence for tectonic geologic faults, which raises the risk of earthquakes in the vicinity. It is one of the most popular wine-producing regions in Romania, Odobeşti being just to the northwest. Weisse von Fokshan is a famous local wine, and the vicinity is rich in minerals such as iron, copper, coal, and petroleum.

As a town on the MoldavianWallachian border, Focşani developed into an important trade center halfway between the Russian Empireand the Balkans. A congress between Imperial Russian and Ottoman diplomats took place near the city in 1772. Nearby the town, the Ottomans suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the allied forces of the Habsburg Monarchy under Prince Frederick Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Imperial Russia under Alexander Suvorov in 1789 (see Battle of Focşani).

In the 1850s (after the Crimean War), Focşani grew in importance as the center of activities in favor of the union between Wallachia and Moldavia (the Danubian Principalities), leading to the double election of Alexander John Cuza in Iaşi and Bucharest. Following this, it housed a Central Commission regulating the common legislation of the two countries, as well as the High Court of Justice. Both institutions were disestablished in 1864, when the Romanian Principality was founded as a unified state. Focşani’s role in the forming of the modern Romanian state is immortalized in the Union Square Obelisk.

On 30-31 December 1881, following the impact of Zionism on the Romanian Jewish community, the First Congress of all Zionist Unions in Romania for the promotion of the colonization of Eretz Israel was held at Focşani. It was attended by 51 delegates, representing 32 organizations, two press editors, three newspaper reporters and important guests. This 1881 Congress, the first ever held, 16 years before the World Zionist Organization‘s First Zionist (held in Basel), had a major influence on the Romanian Jews, and its proceedings also became known outside the borders of Romania.

In 1917, during the Romanian Campaign of World War I, Focşani and Galaţi were part of a line of fortifications known as the Siret Line. An armistice was signed in the city on 9 December 1917, between the Kingdom of Romania and the Central Powers.

In 1944, during World War II, Focşani was supposed to be part of the fortified Focşani-Nămoloasa-Galaţi line, where 9 elite divisions were preparing to resist the Soviet Red Army‘s advance after the Battle of Târgul Frumos. However, due to the turn of events on 23 August 1944 (see Romania during World War II), this never materialized.

Focşani’s location on the Milcov river which divided Wallachia and Moldavia is depicted on its coat of arms, which represents the heraldic emblems of both principalities and a handshake.

Natives

Source: Wikipedia

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Buzău (România)

The city of Buzău is the county seat of Buzău CountyRomania, in the historical region of Wallachia. It lies near the right bank of the Buzău River, between the south-eastern curvature of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowlands ofBărăgan Plain.

The city’s name dates back to 376 AD when the name appeared on a letter that spoke about the martyrdom of Sabbas the Goth. During the Middle Ages, Buzău was as an important Wallachian market town and Eastern Orthodox episcopal see. It faced a period of repeated destruction during the 17th and 18th century, nowadays symbolized on the city seal by the Phoenix bird. Those destructions are the main reason for which no building older than the 18th century exists in the city. After that, Buzău slowly recovered to become nowadays an important modern city in south-eastern Romania.

The city’s landmark building is the Communal Palace, located in the central Dacia Square. The Nicolae Bălcescu Boulevard links it to the Crâng park, Buzău’s main recreational area.

Buzău is a railway hub in south-estern Romania, where railways that link Bucharest to Moldavia and Transylvania to the Black Sea coast meet. DN2, a segment of European route E85 crosses the city. Buzău’s proximity to trade routes helped it develop its role as a commerce hub in older days, and as an industrial center during the 20th century. Most of the city’s industry was developed during Romania’s communist period, and was refactored through the 1990s to a capitalist economical framework.

The city’s most important landmark is the Communal Palace, built between 1899 and 1903, now serving as City Hall. Along with the Courthouse, the Communal Palace was designed by architects commissioned by mayor Nicu Constantinescu, at the end of the 19th century.

From the Communal Palace, Cuza Vodă Street leads to the Bazaar. The Cuza Vodă Street features late 19th century buildings

Crâng Park, carved in the corner of a larger forest, lies in the western outskirts of the town and is a remnant of the old Codrii VlăsieiCrâng was designed in the late 19th century. It has an obelisk, erected in 1976 to celebrate 1600 years since the town’s first recorded historical attestation.

The oldest building in Buzău is the Vergu-Mănăilă house, erected in the 17th or 18th century as a boyarsmansion. Renovated between 1971–1974, it now hosts the local Museum of ethnography and folk art.

The church of Banului, erected in the 16th century as a monastery, underwent renovation several times. In 1884, it was repainted by a team of painters including Gheorghe Tattarescu and his uncle Nicolae Teodorescu.

An old tradition of the city is the Drăgaica fair, a midsummer fair traced back to traditional shepherd’s fairs in the Buzău mountains, that moved to Buzău sometimes before the 18th century.

Source: Wikipedia