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A panel from inside Patrauti church. Look at the detail the painter put into it? Do you happen to know who they are? The Spectacular Painted Churches of Moldavia

The spectacular painted churches of Moldavia

Last week I posted about the fortified churches in Transylvania, eight of which make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another collection of churches in Romania, this time in the northeastern part of the country, Moldavia, are also UNESCO sites, just listed as “Churches of Moldavia.” The Painted Churches of Moldavia What makes these churches…

Viscri fortified church

Fortified Churches of Transylvania

Once upon a time, the King of Hungary, called Geza II (1141-1162), had a problem. His kingdom needed defending, especially in the south and east, in what is now Romania. It was the Middle Ages, and everybody was fighting over territory. So he sent ethnic Germans to settle in Transylvania, and they continued to move…

Bran Castle: Should you visit Dracula's castle?

Should you visit Dracula’s castle?

As the crowds shuffled through the castle, some tourists tried to stake out spots where they could take pictures of each room without people in the photo. Others posed for selfies, their backs to the beautifully restored spaces. One man, reaching high in an attempt to snap a picture above our heads, leaned casually on…

a careful arrangement of skulls inside the ossuary: Macabre sightseeing in Brno

Macabre sightseeing in Brno: 3 places to visit

An ossuary, a crypt full of mummies, and a nuclear bomb shelter. Somehow the one day I spent sightseeing with my husband in Brno, Czechia, turned out distinctly macabre. Site #1: The Ossuary underneath the Church of St. James The Church of St. James The Church of St. James (Kostel sv. Jakuba) is a typical…

a bookcase full of chotchkes at the Communist Consumers Museum in Timişoara, Romania

The Communist Consumers Museum

A Communist Consumers Museum? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? I mean, in the Cold War, we in the West were the consumer society. We still are. They were, well, communist. So what could a Communist Consumers Museum even show? When we passed through Timişoara, Romania, this summer, we didn’t really have any plans. Picking…