Friday’s Findings: Statue of Decebalus

Photo source: Wikipedia

The Statue of Decebalus (Romanian: Statuia lui Decebal) is the largest rock sculpture in Europe and is located on the Danube River near the city of Orşova, Romania. It took twelve sculptors ten years to complete the statue, which is a whopping 131 feet tall!

This massive sculpture was made in honor of a man named Decebalus, who ruled as the King of Dacia from 87-106 A.D. He is considered a legendary hero in Romanian history.

The largest rock sculpture I’ve ever seen like this one is South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, which is only 60 feet tall. I would love to see the Statue of Decebalus!

Have you ever seen a famous rock sculpture?

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Friday’s Findings: Elie Wiesel

Quote

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Talk about motivational!

This quote was made by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor. He was born in 1928 in Romania and was held prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps during WWII. Wiesel moved to the United States in 1955 and wrote over 40 books, many of which focused on the Holocaust. He also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking out against repression and racism among people groups, as well as acts of violence towards them.

The first step to putting a stop to anything is to choose a side and raise awareness. Elie Wiesel certainly understood that and lived it out!

Do you agree with his quote?

Friday’s Findings: Sarmizegetusa Regia

I’m not a huge history fan, but this Friday’s Findings was a pretty cool one!

Sarmizegetusa Regia (that’s a mouthful!) was the capital city of the kingdom of Dacia (1st century B.C. to 2nd century A.D.). The Dacians were an Indo-European people group, and their kingdom was located between modern-day Romania’s Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea.

Now, here’s the good part:

Despite the fact that Dacia was conquered by the Roman Empire in 106 A.D., the ruins of the kingdom can still be seen today. Sarmizegetusa Regia has become a popular tourist attraction, even though it is in the middle of nowhere and lacks facilities for visitors.

Check out the pictures below! Looks like a pretty awesome place, doesn’t it?

Sarmizegetusa Regia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Also, here’s a quick reconstruction video of what the place might’ve looked like:

Friday’s Findings: Five Things You May or May Not Have Known About Romania

Here are five fun facts I found about Romania that I thought you all would enjoy!

#1 – The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, is the heaviest building in the world! (World Record Academy)

Photo source: Daniel Korzeniewski Photography

The building is made of a combination of steel, bronze, marble, crystal glass, and wood, weighing over 700,000 tons. The Palace is also the world’s largest administrative building that is open for civilian use.
Be sure to check out Daniel Korzeniewski‘s page for some great detailed shots of the building!

#2 – The fountain pen was invented by a Romanian!

Photo source: Romania Tourism

Petrache Poenaru was a Romanian professor whose fountain pen creation was patented in 1827.

#3 – A Romanian was the first person to ever score a perfect 10.00 in the gymnast division of the Olympics.

Nadia Comăneci was only 14 at the time of her big win at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Because the scoreboard was not designed to be able to display a 10.00, her score was displayed as a 1.00. The audience was confused at first, until Nadia was announced as being the first person to score a perfect 10.00 in gymnastics. You can see her winning performance in the video above.

#4 – One of the narrowest streets in Europe can be found in Brasov, Romania!

Photo source: Wikipedia

Although it doesn’t hold the title for the narrowest street in Europe, Strada Sforii (“Rope Street”) certainly cuts it close. This alley was initially made for firemen to use in the 15th century. You can see more pictures of this street and Europe’s other narrowest streets in this article.

#5Dracula’s castle is in Romania!

Bran Castle is located near Braşov, Romania. Although there’s no evidence that Bram Stoker, the Irish author of Dracula, drew his inspiration from here, Bran Castle is widely marketed as being associated with the story of Dracula.
Check out more awesome pictures in the castle website’s photo gallery.

Do you know any other cool/interesting/funny facts about Romania?

Friday’s Findings: Carpathian Mountains

Photo source: wakpaper.com

Any mountain lovers out there? 😉

I prefer mountains to the beach any day, so the Carpathian mountain range is one of my favorite things about Romania. It’s the second longest mountain range in Europe after the Scandinavian Mountains, covering parts of Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia.

The highest peak is 8,709 feet tall and is in Slovakia, but the Romania’s tallest peak, Moldoveanu, is not far behind at 8,346 feet.

I’ve never done any hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, but I would love to someday. People who have been to these mountains would probably say that pictures don’t do them justice, but for those of us who haven’t gone, they sure are breathtaking!

I found a documentary about the Carpathians that I’ve posted below. Check it out if you’ve got time and want to enjoy some amazing scenery!

Friday’s Findings: Cleopatra Stratan

Today’s “Friday’s Findings” is about a person rather than a place.

Cleopatra Stratan was born in Moldova but was raised in Romania when her parents decided to move there. Cleopatra is a famous singer who has released four albums since 2006.

The catch: Cleopatra was born in 2002. She hit stardom when she was only three years old!

She has been labeled as the youngest person to ever score commercial success. After all, being the youngest artist to receive an MTW award as well as score a No. 1 hit in a country is a pretty big deal!

Below are three of her most popular songs. Even if this isn’t your style of music, let alone your native language, you have to admit that she’s really cute and really talented! 😉

Friday’s Findings: Sinaia

Many of you really seemed to enjoy my first “Friday’s Findings” post about Bigăr Cascade Falls, so I thought I’d do another post about a popular Romanian tourist attraction.

Today’s find: Sinaia!

Photo source: Wikipedia

Sinaia is a mountain resort town in Prahova County, which is practically in the center of Romania. The town is best known for its Peleş Castle (featured above), a summer home built in the late 1800s for King Carol I of Romania.

While his own summer home was being built, King Carol I had the Pelişor Castle (below) built for his nephew and heir, King Ferdinand.

Photo source: Wikipedia

The Sinaia Monastery (pictured below) is another popular attraction in Sinaia, as well as a unique piece of Romanian history. The earliest Romanian translation of the Bible is held within the monastery’s library.

Photo source: Wikipedia

The  climate of Sinaia makes it an ideal destination for taking place in winter sports and hiking adventures. The average temperature in the winter is 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius) and a mere 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) in the summer.

I think Sinaia would be an interesting place to visit, but I personally would have to go in the summertime. Even though I consider 59 degrees to be cold, it’s still warmer than Sinaia’s wintertime temperatures!

How about you? Would you like to visit this quaint Romanian town?