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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Campulung - one of many of Romania's small jewels

We drove yesterday over the spectacular passes from Fundata to Campulung and through the various fascinating settlements which line the road.
Campulung is a town of 40,000 people nestling in the Carpathian foothills and has a long and turbulent history, having been occupied (and frequently set alight) by Turks (in 1738 or so), Austrians, Germans (in The First World War) and even Russians (1828-32). The quieter times after Independence gave the town a chance to exploit its location, culture and climate and superb examples of classic Romanian houses are to be seen there – giving a sense of how the nouveaux riches besported themselves in its baths and streets in the years before the First World and in the 25 years before communism took hold.  
 Campulung was first documented in 1212, in a document by the Hungarian king to the Teutonic Knights. A Saxon community was living there, whose leader was Lawrence of Longocampo. 
Basarab I the Founder (1310-1352) established the capital in Campulung - the first of the Romanian Country. It was also deemed by some to be the cradle of the Romanian language - a letter written in 1521 by one of the stewards of the town to Hans Benkner of Brasov is apparently the first document written in Romanian and the country’s first printing presses started in 1635 here - after the mid-seventeenth century ruler Matei Basarab founded in Campulung the first paper mill in the country. 
One of the oldest schools in the Romanian Country was established in 1552 by Mrs. Chiajna, wife of Prince Mircea Ciobanu. The Roman conquerors have left traces in the area, the camp of Jidava (Jidova) located at the exit of Campulung towards Pitesti is a testimony to this.Heavy fighting took place in the cliffs around Ruc─âr-Bran in the autumn of 1916. 
You get a sense of the present-day town in this video. Sadly, it being Monday, the town's small private art gallery was closed - it not only has interesting exhibitions but stocks an excellent supply of booklets on the town's history.

Another great post from Tourist in my Country - this time about one of he many derelict palaces one can find tragically scattered around the countryside

Two years ago today, I was blogging about Bulgarian Realist painting

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