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

Slatina (România)

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Slatina is the capital city of Olt county, Romania, on the river Olt.

Population (2002): 79,171

The town of Slatina was first mentioned on January 20, 1368 in an official document issued by Vladislav I Vlaicu, Prince of Wallachia. The document stated that merchants from the Transylvanian city of Braşov would not pay customs when passing through Slatina. The word Slatina is of Slavic origin, stemming from Slam-tina, „salted land” or „salty water”; a small minority promotes the theory that the term originates in the Latin „Salatina”.

One of the oldest private businesses in Romania is the Slatina-based pastry shop La atletul albanez („The Albanian Athlete”).

Notable natives

Source: Wikipedia

Travel journal

Ok… We must recognize… We can’t stay without traveling somewhere… 😀 It passed a couple of days and again, another location… We are definitely addicted of knowing new places…

As usually before this type of escape we had council, we took into consideration many locations. We have always a list with places to visit. We checked the weather news because it comes the autumn and the time is not appropriate to go, for example, to a mountain zone. So, we decided to choose an urban destination, where it doesn’t matter if it rains or if the weather is capricious. We went to Slatina, Olt’s county capital city.

Maybe you are asking yourself what we are going to visit in a place like this, apparently uninteresting. Find out that in this city it is the oldest confectionary from country, owned by an Albanian family stabilized in Romania for 300 years. It said that they have been making to more tasty ice-cream in our country and we went to check out 😀

Following the Romanian saying “who wake up early in the morning arrives far”, we get up around half past six and at 7:55 we had the personal train that left us in Piteşti. As usually we arrived lately at Basarab station this time, but as we are lucky, we catch the train. The ticket’s price was 12 lei. We arrived in Piteşti after two hours. Here we changed the train. After we bought tickets (from Piteşti to Slatina 10 lei at personal train), we went in the back of the station to have a tea because it was pretty cold. At 11:20 we were in the second train running. After other two hours we were there.

Firstly we decided about the train that would get us back to Bucharest. We bought tickets; this time for the whole distance, in this way was cheaper: 20 lei from Slatina to Bucharest. After solving the return’s details we went to the center part of the city trying to find the famous confectionary. It took us some time to found it, but asking some inhabitants we arrived. There is an old small building having inside some fridges to keep the sweets. At the beginning we bought only bragă (boza) and Romanian halviţă (halva) that were really tasty.

We wanted to try all house’s specialties, so we bought citronade and ice-cream too. In deed the ice-cream was really delicious… The building’s walls was covered with pieces from the newspaper about the confectionary, photos with famous people that visited the place, images with cakes, visitor’s impressions. After finishing eating and drinking we started to visit the old center. Walking down the streets we fortuitously arrived to the regional history museum. Unfortunately we hadn’t enough time to see all the collections because the time runs and we needed to hurry up to the station to catch the train. (At 16:45)

On the road we slept being tired and didn’t have the enthusiasm that we had in the morning. We arrived in Piteşti (18.50), we changed the train and at 21:50 we were back.

Inside the train P9023 from Bucureşti to Piteşti (Romanian car made by Astra)

Inside train P9015 (second floor) from Piteşti to Slatina. Romanian car made by Astra in Arad

The train P9015 in Slatina Railway Station

Railway Station

Slatina, my love 😛

Old t-shirts :)))))

Forbiden for big trucks and carts 😀

Watermill

Small waterfall

A.I.Cuza Boulevard near the Railway Station

OLTtv 🙂

Monument for the glory of soldiers from Slatina who fight in WWII between 1941 and 1945

Intersection on A.I.Cuza Boulevard

Reconditioned blocks

The Headquarter of the Prefecture Olt offices in administration of the County Council Olt

County Library "Ion Minulescu"

The Center

This park on the valley split New Town constructed by communists from the Old Town which is down, near Olt River

"Hope Fountain" in the Center

The old shopwindow from "Atletul Albanez"

The Albanian family Memish has been in Slatina for 300 years and they sell Ottoman products since more than 100 years in the city

Old and nice

Photos and articles from newspapers with famous people who ate and drank here

The price of ice-cream is 2, 3 and 4 LEI...

Cold Boza and Citronade with just 1 LEU per glass (0.23 EURO) 🙂

Bottles with Bragă (Boza, also Bosa) and Citronade. The price for one bottle of 2L was 8 LEI (almost 2 euro)

Dan Puric was one of the customers

The famous confectionery "La atletul albanez" (The Albanian Athlete)

Nice old street

Council of the Olt County

A little shop in left...

Renewed building

Street

Sad blue...

Lipscani Street 🙂

The majority of the buildings from the Old Town are historical monuments

The City Council wants to get funds to remake the Old Town

Street in the Old Town

In this block (before was house) was born Eugen Ionesco (November 26, 1909 – March 28, 1994) was a Romanian playwright and dramatist, and one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd.

Eugen Ionesco Park is near to the Old Town (Eugen Ionescu in Romanian)

Love is with Us 🙂

Gusher fountain

The statue of Eugen Ionescu in the park with the same name

Administrative Palace of Olt County where is the County Museum

Schedule at County Museum

Măneciu (România)

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  • Country: România
  • County: Prahova
  • County status: Commune
  • Population: 11.450
  • Location: Teleajen Valley (50 km north of Ploieşti)
  • Altitude: 600-800 m (Depression)
  • Climate: Subalpine
  • Distance from Bucharest:  123 km (road) 110 km (railway)
  • Acces roads:
  1. DN1 Bucureşti – Ploieşti, DN1A Ploieşti – Cheia – Braşov
  2. DN1A Braşov – Cheia
  3. Railway: Bucureşti – Ploieşti, Ploieşti – Măneciu

Travel journal

What can cheer you up after a period full of exams and stress? Of course a little and welcome journey :). Obviously, it came the big question: „where?”. After we took into consideration many variants he had the answer: Maneciu, Prahova county. Then it was a day searching information about the place, maps, photos and so on.

The big day came. 🙂 Our train leaves at 7.01 from the North station, so we should woke up at almost six o’ clock to be on time. We were a little bit in late because of me 😀 (tehnical sleeping problems) 🙂  and we needed to change the plan and to take another train that leaves at half past seven. It was a very confortable accelerat train that in 45 minutes was in West Ploiesti station.

The full ticket price was 10 lei. In 10 minutes we must catch the other train from the station South Ploiesti. We took a taxi and with 5 lei, in 5 minutes, we were there. We bought tickets – 5.7 lei it was the full price – and in other two minutes we was in the personal train running to Maneciu. In almost 2 hours we entered the little station called „Maneciu Ungureni”.

After taking some photos at the station we went inside the township. We stopped in the back of the station to have a fresh beer at the comunal inn: a simple place, with simple people, with a great cheap beer called „Ciucas”, only 2 lei. The beer was finished, the „one-piece” cigarette was smoked and we took the road to the dam. We ask some people how to arrive, they was kind and explained us with details the way that we should follow.

In almost 30 minutes we were riding the dam, having in the right part a beautiful landscape with the lake sourounded by the mountains. We had a walk around the lake on mountain roads, taking photos and enjoying that fresh air and wonderful outlook. It was a trailer near the lake arranged as a small house, it must be quite nice to life in a place like that.

We were staying on the bank of the lake dreaming how beautiful would be to move there after years. But the time flies fastly and when we consulted the clock it was around 15.30. In almost an hour we had the train to Ploiesti. Walking to the station we asked people about a place to stay during the night, because we want to go back to stay some days to explore better the zone.

Again in the train. Half of time we slept. We arrived in South Ploiesti and find a train to went back to Bucharest cheaper then it was in the morning, a personal train with 5.7 lei ticket. After one hour and a half we was back in the capital taking the subway. The single thing we wanted was a warm bed. 🙂


National flag on Teleajen Valley

Inside the old Personal (P) train from Ploieşti to Mâneciu - second class

Vălenii de Munte railway station

Viaduct on Teleajen Valley

Măneciu railway station (end of the railway-km 51 from Ploieşti)

The timetable panel in Măneciu

Old well

Near the railway station

The center

Nice apartment house in the center (Down it is the Post Office)

Traditional house

Other nice house (down there is a supermarket)

Town Hall

On the way to Mâneciu Dam

Other nice house

Old traditional house

Old boyar manor

Lions

Well

House

Belfry

Orthodox Church (1859)

Flags

Teleajen River (downstream - exit from the dam)

Photo from up

Photo from up (Downstream - Teleajen Valley)

Swimmer

The lake

Protection zone (Forbiden to swimm, to navigate on the lake, to feed animals and to throw any garbage there)

Forest

Road marker

Accumulation lake (Volume: 60,00 km3 - Surface: 1,92 km2 - Lenght: 4,00 km - Area of catchment: 247,00 km2)

Here you can catch some good trouts 🙂

Road

Barbed wire

Down the road

Private area

Vegetation

Firewood

Sweet Violet

House

Type: Earth dam - Lenght of dam: 750 m - Height of dam: 75 m - Foundation: Rock - Type of watertight: Core

Rocks and vegetation

The exit of the Teleajen River from the dam

Traffic light in the center of Măneciu

In train, second class (return)

Full ticket price at Personal train (P), second class is 5.7 Romanian LEI - 1.34 EURO. Duration: almost 2 hours

Tree of life

Between forest and the lake

Mogoșoaia (România)

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Mogoşoaia is a commune in the west of Ilfov County, Romania, composed of a single village, Mogoşoaia.

Population (2002)[1] 5,232

Mogoşoaia Palace is situated about 10 kilometres from Bucharest, Romania. It was built between 1698-1702 by Constantin Brâncoveanu in what is called the Romanian Renaissance style or Brâncovenesc style, a combination of Venetian and Ottoman elements. The palace bears the name of the widow of the Romanian boyar Mogoş, who owned the land it was built on. The Palace was to a large extent rebuilt in the 1920s by Marthe Bibesco.

The Palace had been given to Marthe by her husband, George Bibesco, who later also deeded the land to her. She spent all her wealth from the many books she wrote in its reconstruction and it became the meeting place for politicians and international high society, a quiet retreat during the growing turmoil of the 1930s. Prince George died in 1941 and was buried in the small, white 1688 church on the grounds of the Palace.

The Palace is now a popular tourist destination, but although the grounds and gardens are beautiful, the interior of the palace itself is under reconstruction and presently houses a museum and art gallery. (Muzeul de Artă Brâncovenească)

During the second world war, Prince Antoine Bibesco (a cousin of George Bibesco) and his wife Elizabeth Bibesco, refused to flee the country despite their outspoken anti-fascist opinions. Elizabeth spent considerable time during these years visiting Marthe Bibesco at Mogosoaia and when Elizabeth died of pneumonia on April 7, 1945 she was buried in the Bibesco family vault on the grounds of Mogoşoaia. It may surprise visitors to see her grave here with its poignant epitaph in English – „My soul has gained the freedom of the night.” Neither Elizabeth Bibesco’s husband, Antoine, nor George Bibesco’s wife, Marthe, could be buried beside them, as they both died during the Communist regime.

In 2008 the Romanian gothic rock band Inopia produced a video of their song „Epitaph”, filmed entirely at Mogosoaia. The long medievalist composition is based on Elizabeth Bibesco’s epitaph.

In 2010 the Balkan Go Championship took place at Mogosoaia, being broadcasted by EuroGoTV to hundreds of fans watching the stream and following the games on the KGS Go Server.

Source: Wikipedia

Travel journal

It was this type of spontan short trip. 🙂 We were planning to go home and we arrived at  almost 10 km of Bucharest. We went at the north station and firstlly I said to take any train in any direction, but after „family council” 🙂 we stand the verdict: destination Mogosoaia. The train ticket was pretty cheap, around 1.5 lei, 14 kilometres, time: almost half an our.

With smiles on our faces we went in the train. It was an old dirty personal train, we were hanged on the window making photos and films. It came the porter, a strange man that was kidding with everyone, I thought he was drunk :D. He told us that it’s not so easy to arrive by train at Brancoveanu’s castle, because it’s pretty far. And now the adventure it’s starting 🙂

At last we saw the writing on the table : MOGOSOAIA. It was almost free field beside the train station. We asked about the castle and we found out that we have to go by foot something like two kilometres. It was a dusted country road and, as a bonus, a hot autumn day. It was a little bit difficil to arrive because we didn’t know exactly the road and nobody was there. We found a house with a man that was drinking at the enter 🙂 He and his wife told us how to arrive and we recharged our water reserve. 🙂 After almost an hour of walk and ask people about the road, we finally arrived, of course being exhausted.

We enter the park, we passed after the fortificated walls, and here we are, in the front of the castle. It wasn’t as I was expecting… It’s a small and coquettish building with 18th century perfume :). The complex includes also a church and Martha Bibescu’s hot houses plus other buildings for guest.

After we explored carefully every corner, after we made a hundred photos, we went back searching a easier way to Bucharest. This time we choose a mini-bus. It was full of all types of people, but we had the big advantage to arrive fast, without dusted roads, hot sun and foot-walk. It was more expensive then the train was, we paid for one ticket 3.5 lei. It doesn’t matter, it matter that we were back exhausted and everything we wanted was a good sleep 🙂

You can find this building outside the Palace, just near to the entrance

The guide panel with the complex

The main alley

A small part from the garden yard in the front of the watch-tower

An old icon on the entrance wall of the St.George's Church

The painting from the upper part of the front verandah

Saint George depicted as the patron of the church

The main entrance through the watch-tower (Gate House)

The watch-tower, raised before 1702, when the palace was finish. The watch-tower was restored in 1930 and in 1980

Saint George Church, erected by Constantine Brâncoveanu in 1688 which was decorated with frescoes in 1705

Inscription

Cross with two-headed eagle symbol of the Cantacuzinos

The outside garden

The wall and the Brancovan kitchen (cuhnia)

The lake behind Palace

The Room of the Princely Council

The Conference Center (a former d'Elchingen villa) - (17th century, rebuilt 1927 - 1936), it currently hosts 2 conference rooms (having a capacity of 50 places, respectively 75 places) a restaurant - 120 places and 16 residence rooms - 25 places.

Cuhnia and the Gate House from the watch-tower

In the watch-tower

Watch-tower from The Court of Honor

The Conference Center again

Cuhnia - the former princely kitchen is now a place for exhibitions. It was built between 1681 and 1702. Its ventilation furnaces were restored in 1965

The N. Bibescu Hot Houses - a French studio - 1890. Currently, they are used for growing flowers and as an art studio for children. Restored in 2002

A Toyota jeep near the The Conference Center 🙂

The Palace - finished in September 1702 by Constantin Brancoveanu for his second son, Ştefan. Currently, the Palace is the host of the Aula Tradition Museum (Founded in 2000), namely the donation made by Liana and Dan Nasta, a compared art collection comprising approximately 300 items, its ground floor rooms and the annexes thus hosting annually approximately 10 temporary, thematic or contemporary art exhibitions.

The Stairs of Honour inside of Palace. The space is dedicated to Voivode Constantin Basarab Brancoveanu /Constantin Bessarab the Brancovan/ (1688-1714), the author of a synthesis, in a Romanian tradition spirit, of Eastern andWestern origin elements. The ruler is depicted in Varini Favorini's engraving, as Prince of the Holy (Western) Roman Empire and of theWallachians, and in that of Pietro Uberti's, made after the voivode and his four sons had been beheaded in Constantinople. The coats of arms of both the Basarabs /Bessarabs/ and Cantacuzinos /Cantacuzenes/, the Persian "shah-in-shah" carpet, decorated with royal symbols, complete the display.

The Room of Kilims. The kilims are hand-woven textiles used as wall hangings and floor or furniture coverings. These flat weaves are made in a very similar technique as the West-European tapestries - that is why they have often adorned Romanian Lands' palaces and manors. As for the kilims decorating small-town and country houses, they are woven by hostesses themselves. Martha Bibescu ordered that the two-room apartment having once belonged to Constantin Brancoveanu's wife be changed into what she called "The Throne Hall." It is here that the Wallachian (Oltenian included) and Moldavian kilims are displayed, each geographic area preserving its design and composition originality. Romanian kilims use for wool colouring vegetal dyes.

The main lobby from which you can exit in the balcony from the lake

The Room of the Princely Chancellery. This place, dedicated to inner and foreign affairs, to recording and keeping important documents, statal transactions and concluded treaties, a seat for envoys and interpreters, houses maps, official papers (deeds) and chancellery insignia. The two gospels, the tryodion and the coats of arms with Christian symbols are placed in the vicinity of engravings showing the main actors of the Ottoman Porte at the beginning of the 18th century. A velvet table covering embroidered with voivode's monogram in Cyrillic letters and, on the right wall, the portrait of Constantin Brancoveanu's family, Nora Steriadi's textile version made after the votive picture at Hurezi Monastery, try to render the atmosphere. In Martha Bibescu's time, this ceremonial space was used as concert hall and housed formal parties and fastuous balls.

The entrance into The Room of the Princely Chancellery

The inside stairs

Voivode's throne is replaced by an 1860 princely armchair taken from the church of Potlogi. Del Chiaro speaks about the three steps of the throne in his History of Wallachia. The back of the armchair, which is gilt-thread embroidered, shows the princely eagle framed by two laurel branches. Chair sovereignty is underlined by the scarlet hangings bearing country's Arms in a golded border.

Târgovişte (România)

CLick on the map for bigger size

Click on the photo for bigger size

Târgovişte (old spelling: Tîrgovişte) is a city in the Dâmboviţa county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River[update]. As of 2003, it had an estimated population of 89,000. One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.

Târgovişte is a name derived from Slavic, its original meaning being of marketplace, cf. Serbian Трговиште and Bulgarian Търговище, being derived from the slavic word trъgъ, which means market.

First attested in 1396, in the Travel Accounts of Johannes Schiltberger, it became the capital of the Wallachian voivodship, probably during the reign of Mircea cel Bătrân, when the Royal Court („Curtea Domnească”) was built. Vlad III Dracula later added the Chindia Tower, now a symbol of the city.

In 1597 the Hajduks of Mihai Viteazul and Starina Novak fought and won a decisive battle against the Ottoman Empire in Târgovişte.

After Constantin Brâncoveanu moved the capital to Bucharest, Târgovişte lost its importance, decaying economically as its population decreased.

Târgovişte was the site of the trial and execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena in December 1989. Interestingly, there are towns with the same name (albeit with different spellings as they are written in our days in the Cyrillic alphabet) in both Bulgaria and Serbia.

The Romanian and Bulgarian towns are twinned. The name is of Slavic origin, from the root -trg- or -tǎrg- („trade”) and the placename suffix -ište, and means „marketplace”.

Source: Wikipedia

A short history of Chindia Tower

A short history of the Chindia Tower

Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş)

Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş)

The coil-staircase inside of the Chindia Tower

The coil-staircase inside of the Chindia Tower

Woodblock print of Vlad the Impaler dining in the presence of numerous impaled corpses

Woodblock print of Vlad the Impaler dining in the presence of numerous impaled corpses

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A view from the up (down are the ruins of Royal Court)

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Royal Court ("Curtea Domnească") was built in the time of Mircea the Elder (cel Bătrân; 1355 – 1418)

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The church inside of Royal Court

Picture 024

Other view from up

Picture 029

The base of Chindia Tower

Picture 031

Walls in the Royal Court

Picture 033

Footbridge for tourists

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The Chindia Tower was built by Vlad III Dracula, in 15th century

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The main corridor inside of Royal Court

Picture 039

Other corridor

Picture 046

Other chamber

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Other photo with the church inside of Royal Court, which is in reconstruction, together with Royal Court

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The Stelea Church-Targoviste, it was built in 1645 by the Moldavian ruler, Vasile Lupu, on the place of an old monastery belonging to Stelea Spataru. It was erected as a sign of friendship to Matei Basarab that's why it was named the Church of Reconciliation

Consiliul Judeţean Dâmboviţa (Dambovita County Council)

Consiliul Judeţean Dâmboviţa (Dâmboviţa County Council)

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The center of the city

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Hotel Valahia

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Muntenia Shopping Center

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Other photo from the center (it was a raining day :()

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Kaufland supermarket in Târgovişte

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The Metropolitan Church-Targoviste, it was built in the 19th century on the place of an old church belonging to Neagoe Basarab, ruler who moved here the Metropolitan Seat from Curtea de Arges

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Statue of Michael the Brave "Mihai Viteazul" (Reign: 11 October 1593 – 9 August 1601)

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The Dealu Monastery-it was built by Radu the Great between 1495-1508, the monastery represents one of the most valuable monuments of Medieval architecture in Wallachia. In the monastery is the head of Michael the Brave

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Near to Stelea monastery are houses for nuns

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Here is buried the head of Michael the Brave, which was taken by Radu Buzescu and put here

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The church of the monastery is dedicated to Saint Nicholas

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The belfry from Stelea

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Old center of Târgovişte

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Biserica Târgului "Fair church" (1653)

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Town Hall of Târgovişte

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Tony Bulandra theatre