Jewish Heritage of Romania

Depart:
Private Tour-Land Only

11 Days/ 10 Nights

Daily April 1-October 31, 2013

Six centuries of existence and a very rich cultural heritage. The 14,000 Romanian Jews live all over Romania in 78 tiny communities. Sephardi Jews from Constantinople and Thessaloniki, Ashkenazi Jews from Bohemia and Russia had immigrated to these lands and their contribution to art, crafts, culture and trade can be traced everywhere.


Price per Person:
In a double room $2599

Tour operates with a minimum of 2 passengers

Package Includes:
10 nights superior tourist class or first class accommodation all with private facilities
Round trip airport transfers
Breakfast each morning
10 dinners-mineral water-1 coffee/tea included
English speaking tour escort
Transportation by air conditioned car
Sightseeing as per itinerary including entrance fees
Hotel taxes and service charges

Itinerary

Day 1 Bucharest
Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your centrally located hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure to begin your exploration of the Romanian capital known as the "Paris of the East." Overnight Hotel Victoria Tower or similar.

Day 2 Bucharest Sinaia-Bran-Brasov
After breakfast depart for Sinaia, a beautiful mountain resort, also called "The Pearl of Carpathians." Visit Sinaia's treasures including the Peles Castle, the fine former summer residence of King Carl I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and the Sinaia Monastery, which is a beautiful example of the Valahian-Byzantine style and reputed to be the first building in Sinaia. In the afternoon you move on to Bran and visit the castle built in the 14th century to protect the borders between Transylvania and Valahia, of course it is better known as the residence of the gruesome vampire Dracula. Finish your day in Brasov with a walking city tour. The highlight of the city tour is surely a visit to the First Romanian School Museum with an impressive collection of rare books, many of them printed or copied by handwriting right here. You will also see the Gothic Black Church, the largest Gothic style church in South-Eastern Europe and St. Nicholas Church. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Curtea Brasoveana or similar.

Day 3 Brasov-Sighisoara-Brasov
In the morning depart for Sighisoara, the best preserved medieval fortified town in Romania, birthplace of Prince Dracula. Start your tour with a visit to the local synagogue built in traditional local style in 1903 and completely refurbished in 2007. Continue with a visit to the Clock Tower – which now doubles as the local history museum, and to the Church on the Hill. You will have some time to explore the citadel on your own. Sighisoara is a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage designation. Return to Brasov and explore the city yourself. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at the Hotel Curtea Brasoveana or similar.

Day 4 Brasov- Prejmer-Piatra Neamt
Depart for Prejmer to visit the Fortified Church. It is the biggest of this kind in the Southeastern Europe being built in the 13th century by Germans settled in Transylvania. Continue to Piatra Neamt, located at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, the historic town of Piatra Neamt boasts one of the most legendary synagogues in Romania, the Wooden Synagogue. Thousands of Jews settled here in the 17th century, fleeting Poland following the Chmielnicki Uprising in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Several tombstones dating from 1677 discovered here provide strong evidence of an old Jewish community in the area. Before World War II, the local community numbered close to 8,000, though most left for Israel at the onset of war. Today you will see the Wooden Synagogue, built of wood in 1766 on the site of an earlier masonry synagogue, the Cathedral Synagogue is surrounded by the legend of Baal Shem Tov and the Great Synagogue built in 1839 and reconstructed after a damaging fire in 1904. Dinner at hotel Dinner and overnight in Hotel Ceahlau or similar.

Day 5 Piatra Neamt-Gura Humorului
Your first stop today will be in Agapia where you will visit Agapia Monastery, built in 1647, which is the largest nun monastery in Eastern Europe, with over 500 nuns living there. Continue your day to Vanatori village where you will see Neamt Monastery, built by prince Stephen the Great as a place of his commemoration. It is one of the largest churches ever built in the Moldavian Region and is one of the most representative architectural buildings in Romania. In the afternoon you will arrive in Gura Humorului. Dinner at hotel. Overnight Hotel Club de Munte or similar.

Day 6 Gura Humorului-Painted Monasteries
Today you will enjoy a monastery tour and will visit 4 of the world famous painted monasteries: Sucevita, Monastery, which dates back from the XVth century. The Monastery was founded by the rich Movila Family and is encircled by high walls fortified with massive corner towers. This monastery impresses through its thousands of images and portraits. It is the church with the greatest number of frescoes in Moldova, frescoes painted on a predominant green background. Voronet Monastery was built in 1488 by the greatest ruling prince of Moldavia, Stefan the Great, in a record time-three months and three weeks- and painted on the outside walls during the time of his son, the prince Petru Rares. The most important of the frescoes is 'The Judgement Day', painted on the whole western facade, that determined the monument to be called 'The Sistine Chapel of the East'. Humor Monastery, founded in 1530, is rather small physically, but looms large among Bucovina's treasures with a variety of frescoes dating from 1535, including one illustrating the Return of the Prodigal Son and one with a humorous depiction of the devil as a woman. Moldovita Monastery, which was erected in the year 1532 by the illegitimate son of Stephan the Great, Petru Rares. Among much furniture dating back from the Middle Ages here you will also see the throne of the former Moldavian ruler. Dinner and overnight Club de Munte Hotel or similar.

Day 7 Gura Humorului-Radauti-Suceava-Iasi
After breakfast, depart for Radauti to see the twin-towered synagogue, currently closed down, and a cemetery with hundreds of elaborately decorated old tombstones evoke a former vibrant Jewish presence in this northern Romanian market town located near the Ukrainian border. Continue to Suceava, the former capital of Moldova. Visit the Mirauti Church, the oldest religious monument in Suceava and the fortress dating from 1388. You will also see the Gah Synagogue, richly decorated on the interior with symbolic representations of the Tribes of Israel and views of Jerusalem, this is the only remaining active synagogue and the impressive tombs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the newer Jewish Cemetery. In the afternoon, depart for Iasi. Dinner and overnight in Iasi Hotel Moldova or similar.

Day 8 Iasi
Visit Iasi, the largest and most sophisticated Jewish community in Romania. Headquarters of Hacham Bashim in the 17th century, one of the great European Centers of Jewish learning during the 19th century and the birthplace of Yiddish Theater. Visit the Synagogue. The Great Synagogue is the oldest Jewish Temple in Romania, built in 1671. It also serves as a museum. If in exterior it is very simple, without any decorations, the interior is as sophisticated as possible, decorated and gifted with valuable objects: chandeliers, candlesticks. This visit is followed by a visit to the Jewish Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum and the holy tomb of the Rabbi of Stefanesti, famous for his cures, miracles and teachings. The Iasi Jewish Cemetery, in the back of the Pacurari, has more than 140,000 tombs, with a monument symbolizing a train in memorial to the transports. Visit also the Palace of Culture, acknowledged as effigy of the city of Iasi, was built in the neo-gothic style and as such was one of the last expressions of Romanticism in the official architecture, built between 1906 - 1925. Dinner at the hotel. Hotel Moldova or similar.

Day 9 Iasi-Bucharest
After breakfast continue to Bucharest. On route you will stop in Berca to visit the muddy volcanoes, also called "The gates of hell". Dinner in Bucharest, at a local restaurant. Overnight at the Hotel Victoria Tower or similar.

Day 10 Bucharest
After breakfast you will visit the Choral Temple & the Holocaust Memorial. The Choral Temple is, for sure, the most important of Bucharest's synagogues. It dates back to 1856. The Temple as it appears today is the result of an interior and exterior reconstruction in 1932 - 1933. The Choral Temple is one of the precious few Romanian synagogues whose architects are known. The Great Synagogue & The Holocaust Museum founded in 1850 by a congregation of Polish Jews; the synagogue was first repaired in 1865 and adapted to electric lighting in 1915. In 1980 it was turned into the Romanian Jewish history Museum. Visit the Jewish Theater in Romania. The Jewish Theater in Romania has a tradition dating back 130 years. Documents show that it was created in 1876, as the first professional Jewish theater in the world, in a public park in the Romanian town of Iasi, Romania. A few months later, it moved to Bucharest. Today you will also get acquainted with the Romanian capital, once nicknamed "Little Paris". During the tour you will visit the Parliament Palace, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Listen to how the Romanian people finally succeeded to topple the last communist dictator in eastern Europe in the Revolution Square. Your tour will bring you also to the Romanian Athenaeum, the Opera House, the National Military Club, the Military Academy and the Triumphal Arch. In the evening, enjoy a dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at the Hotel Victoria Tower or similar.

Day 11 Bucharest-End of Tour
After breakfast transfer to the airport. You can extend your stay in Bucharest or continue with a tour of Bulgaria or Hungary.

Additional nights available

Reserve This Package

      CST# 2064693-40      Continental Journeys    800-601-4343 | Fax: 818-995-8673   E-mail:info@continentaljourneys.com