Romania’s emergence as a frontier of the West, as it is today, makes it part of the western history. That is why a visitor walking through Bucharest centre will give you the chance to discover a cultural, political and historical puzzle originating in the influence of the Ottoman empire, followed by the successive advances and retreats of Eastern and Western allegiances and finally ending in half century of communism.
You will be surprised by the stories of the Romanian kings, dictators and aristocratic families originating in the darkness of history. They are at the creators of modern Romania, a country at the crossroads of history and civilizations.
Not long ago, people, culture, knowledge, money and goods were moving very differently from today’s strict patterns. Orthodox Christianity has its own fascinating blueprint in the region. You will discover that society can evolve along unexpected paradigms.
The stories about Romania’s recent rulers will give you a glimpse about how was real life as history was rolling over. And because the clash of civilizations was particularly strong in the region, it will also be an opportunity to better understand yourselves.
This tour is an incredible way to get under the skin of a country, with less emphasis on ordinary tourism, you’ll go off the beaten track and have a former journalist or academic accompanying you out along the way. You don’t need to be an expert in politics or foreign affairs to join. Everyone has an enquiring mind. You get to ask your own questions and make up your own mind with an expert alongside you. It really is more like experiencing a kind of documentary than going on a typical group tour.
- offer a different kind of travel
- introduce Romania historically, culturally, politically, anthropologically
- provide insight in the political and economic environment in present day Romania and and future trends
- explain the fabric of the political and economic system, and the peculiar way of its functioning
Day by day
We gather in the comfort of a sofa for an introductory talk at your hotel or at Winestone bistro on Calea Victoriei.
Bucharest is the right place to discover exciting stories beyond the well-known legends around Romania’s past.
You will take a glimpse at how society was finding its oases of happiness under megalomaniac communist rule, how different it was compared to the flamboyant aristocracy lifestyle under the constitutional monarchy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how Romania leapfrogged from a marginal region at the crossroads of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires into a dynamic state connected to the European trends.
Not the least, you will explore the origins of the city, deeply connected to historical characters of the fifteenth century like Vlad the Impaler, the real man behind well-known Dracula fiction.
Sights en route:
Starting point – The Royal Palace
Recent history was marked by events unfolding in front of the Royal Palace in Bucharest. That is the place where communism collapsed in Romania, where the Royal Family enjoyed the last demonstration of support before being expelled by the new soviet-backed rulers and where Romania left the Axis and joined the Allied forces in the fight against Nazism.
Calea Victoriei Boulevard
You will explore the early history of the city by walking on its main avenue, linking the southern official residence of the early rulers to the other northern extreme of the historical city, currently Piata Victoriei.
Vlad the Impaler’s residence
The Old City around the Old Court established by Vlad the Impaler nearby Dambovita river is an exotic mosaic of buildings with different styles and stories accumulated between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries. They reflect the turbulent history of a place attempting to distance itself from the influence of the Ottomans and trying to gradually become part of Europe. It is a great experience to understand how the West expanded and stabilized the borders of its model of civilization.
For the connoisseurs we can arrange a quick trip to the beautiful “Carol Park” hosting the “Mausoleum”, a soviet-style monument initially built as a necropolis for the godless communist rulers.
Until after World War 1 it was the northern limit of the city. Then, all the area beyond became the new preferred ground for interwar new buildings, airshows, automobile races and…parties. Romanian royalty, with its complicated life was part of the story.Then, when communists took over the new elite accommodated itself in the luxurious buildings confiscated from the rich. They enjoyed their own social events and shared their life in an almost exclusive district, conceived mainly for the use of the leaders of the working class.
Because Romania is placed at the limit between several geopolitical areas its gradual integration into the West is also part of the recent history of today’s euro-atlantic setup.
What si included
- English and French speaking expert guide
- Welcome coffee &other drinks
- Photos along the route
- small surprise
- Tickets to museums or other sights
- Gratuities for your local expert guide
Meeting and departure:
The meeting point of the tour is at your hotel or at Winestone bistro on Calea Victoriei, usually at around 10.00 am in the morning.
Dates & Prices
Our tour runs all year long but we recommend you book at least a few days in advance.
Usually a minimum of 2 persons is required to run the tour. In case of a single traveller, an additional fee applies.
|from 11/17/2021 to 11/30/2022 - 3 h||Book now|
|Price EUR/person/net price||Bike rental not included||Bike rental included||Single room supplement|
|2-4||€ 75||€ not applicable||€ not applicable|
|6-8||€ 40||€ not applicable||€ not applicable|