AROUND US

Conacul Bunicilor**** is located in a region of seductive beauty, which should be visited at least once by lovers of art and tradition, history, and nature. This area of Oltenia under the mountain will delight you not only with wild landscapes and care for traditions, but also with a series of unique constructions: churches, ancient monasteries, and special old houses called Cule. We invite you to discover with us all these wonders that fill your soul and spirit!

TRANSALPINA (3 km)

It is the highest road in Romania, having the highest point in the Urdele Pass (at 2,145 m). The road connects the towns of Novaci, in Gorj County, and Sebes, in Alba County. Being an alpine road, it is closed during the winter.

 

Transalpina crosses the Parang Mountains from south to north, the highest altitude being on a “ridge road” of about 20 km, in Vâlcea county.

 

The beginnings of this road are unclear. Some sources claim that it was first built by the Roman legions during the Dacians wars which is why on the history maps it is listed as the “Strategic Roman Corridor IV. The fact is that the road, known as the “Trail of Hell”, was originally a mountain path, used by the pastors of Mărginimea Sibiului to cross the mountains with sheep herds in the Romanian Country.

 

In view of the lessons of the First World War, King Charles II wanted to have at his disposal a strategic road, for the mountain artillery, drawn by horses, which could be traveled by the troops moving between Wallachia and Transylvania

THE WOMEN'S CAVE - PEȘTERA MUIERILOR (6 km)

Located under 6 km from the guest house, Pestera Muierilor has a total length of 7000 m, on four levels, of which the upper one, with a length of almost 1 km, is intended for tourists.

 

The cave was carved into the mesozoic limestones on the southern edge of the Parâng Massif by the Yellow River. With a very rich history, the cave in ancient times sheltered many children and women during the wars, when men went to battle, from which its name is derived. It is the first electrified cave in Romania.

Via Ferrata ”White Wolf” (6 km)

The routes of Via Ferrata are mountain trails equipped with metal structures – cables, iron steps, etc. – that allow people less experienced in mountaineering to safely travel routes similar to those of mountaineering.

 

The via ferrata routes from Cheile Galbenului, Baia de Fier, Gorj county, are a project of the White Wolf Mountain Club. There are 13 routes, with degrees of difficulty from B (easy) to E (very difficult)

 

The access is free, the entrance to the routes is around the Women’s Cave. The optimal period is from May to October, with the avoidance of rainy periods, when the rock becomes slippery.

 

The via ferrata routes can only be traveled with special equipment. It is forbidden to use improvised equipment, as you risk a fatal accident.

 

The mandatory Via Ferrata equipment consists of a climbing harness, a climbing helmet, a special set for the Via Ferrata, carabiners with wide opening, energy absorption system in case of a fall, possibly gloves.

OLTEȚULUI GORGE AND THE POLOVRAGI CAVE (12 km)

Starting from the Polovragi Monastery on the forest road at the right of the monastery, we soon enter the Gorge of Olteț. Although the road is also accessible by car, our recommendation would be to leave it in the monastery parking lot and walk.

 

From the entrance you are overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape. The steeped walls of rock, next to which the road meanders, are riddled with dozens of inaccessible caves. On the left side, at more than 20 m deep, flows crystalline and yet noisy the Oltet river, in which, in the morning hours, you can have the chance of an unprecedented spectacular view: trout swim upstream, jumping over the small waterfalls formed by river stones.

 

At 300-400 meters of soft climb we welcome, on the right side, the majestic entrance of the Polovragi Cave.

 

It is said that here lived the spiritual leader of the Geto-Dacians, Zamolxis. And here, too, the medicine men were processing a rare plant, polovraga, as a cure for disease. From more than 10 km mapped by speleologists, 800 meters of the cave are visitable.

We learn from the guides that the impressive entrance was artificially made , the original entrance being a narrow lane, still visible today.

THE POLOVRAGI MONASTERY (10 km)

It is located in the vicinity of the Oltet Gorge, in an orchard with different fruit trees and edible chestnut trees, reminiscent of the mild climate of the Tismana and Bistrita monasteries.

Built around 1505 by Radul and Patru, the sons of Danciul Zamona, the church of Polovragi Monastery has a Byzantine style, with three lobes, made in a proportional symmetry.

Noteworthy is the Catapeteasma made of lime wood, a true masterpiece of the old Romanian sculpture, having a rich ornamentation with floral braids.

During the reign of Constantin Brancoveanu, in 1693, the interior was painted, the porch was added in the Brancoveni style, some cells and the bell tower were built, as well as the fortress walls.

THE PARÂNG MASSIVE (18 km)

Mountain hikers will enjoy the paths of Parâng, which will lead them to mighty peaks, such as Parangul Mare (2519 m) – in the image –, Cârja (2405 m), Mandra, Stoinita (2421 m), Setea Mare (2365), Mohor (2337 m) or to the the glacial lakes with clean waters like tears: Rosiile, Câlcescu, Mija, The Green Lake – Lacul verde.

 

On the blessed domain of the Parâng Mountain are formed the rich and clear waters of Lotru, Gilort and Eastern Jiu.

 

Ski enthusiasts will find a lot of snow, till late in spring, and 6 slopes, in the ski resort of Rânca.

THE CITY OF HOREZU (30 km)

Located just 30 km away from the guest house, on the road to Rm Vâlcea, the town of Horezu, a place of culture and civilization, is one of the important tourist points in our country.

 

The place was mentioned for the first time in the document given to Ramnic on September 5, 1487 by the voivode Vlad the Monk. The village was then donated by Constantin Brancoveanu  to Hurezi Monastery. The settlement developed more after 1780.

 

The city of Horezu is known as an ethnographic center and as an old center of popular ceramics. If you want to see potters at work and you want to buy authentic ceramics, I recommend you to visit “Pietraru Ceramics”, the clay pot shaped house located on the main road.

CULELE MĂLDĂREȘTI (31 km)

In Oltenia under the mountain, the attacks of the Turks who came from across the Danube or of  the outlaws descended from the forests were stopped by the enduring walls of the fortified local lords houses. There were times of restraint at once, when the little lords defended themselves from the crenels, defending their home by their enemies. Those long pipes of the flints disappeared from the white walls, the heavy bolts aged, and the courtyards filled with geraniums; today’s visitor, looking at the white towers of the meadows of the Maldăresti, dreams of their beautiful stories, told patiently by those who passionately care for a historical heritage.

 

In Turkish, when it comes to a tower, the word “kúla” is used. Through the Balkans, this name also reached north of the Danube, where it was given to tall, rectangular-based nobiliar houses, built as defence towers, but with the appearance and comfort of a small provincial castle. These fortresses were scattered not only west of Olt, but also through western Muntenia.

HUREZI MONASTERY (35 km)

A visit to Horezu cannot be complete without visiting the Hurezi, or Horezu, Monastery. It is the second authentic Romanian brand in the area included in the UNESCO heritage, along with Horezu ceramics.

 

Hurezi Monastery, the most important of the martyr ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu, is also one of the largest monastic settlements in Romania. It is built on the valley of the Romani de Jos River, in the village that at the time was called Hurezi (now the Romanii de Jos), a name that was later taken by the hill top fair, the present town of Horezu, in a picturesque corner under the mountains of Capătâni, where solitude and tranquility is disturbed only by the cry of the Huhurez (Owl), the bird that also gave the name of the place.

 

Coming from the village, you feel like you’re headed for a medieval fortress, because in front of you are erected massive stone walls, but once you’ve penetrated the interior, you’re surprised by a place full of tranquility and lots of flowers.

BISTRIȚA MONASTERY (45 km)

Located near the village of Bistrița in the commune of Costești – Vâlcea, on the picturesque valley of the river with the same name, Bistrita Monastery has been, for more than five centuries, a place for the relics of the Saint Grigorie Decapolit.

 

Built by the Craiovesti nonles, Bistrița Monastery dates back to around 1490. The first documentary attestation of the monastery is kept in the “Hrisov of Danie” dated March 16, 1494 belonging to Vlad the Monk.

 

In 1497 the great ban Barbu Craiovescu brought from Constantinople the relics of Saint Gregory the Decapolitan (780-842).

ARNOTA MONASTERY (48 km)

Arnota Monastery is built by Matei Basarab in 1633-1634, with the “Holy Archangels Michael and Gavriil”, on the foundation of an older church, close to Bistrița Monastery.

 

According to legend, Matei Basarab built the monastery here because, before he was a ruler, he had found escape in these places, hiding in some bushland, being pursued by the Turks. The door of the church, carved in chestnut wood, has an inscription in Slavonic language, which reads: “These doors were made by Constantin Brâncoveanu vel-logophate”. They keep the original painting made under the pious ruler, when the porch, which he had also added, was painted, painting that did not last until today. The original painting has great artistic-documentary value, very valuable being also the portrait of Matei Basarab, made in 1644 by the painter Stroe from Targoviste.

 

After 1999 Arnota became a nunnery.

TÎRGU JIU SCULPTING ENSEMBLE (50 km)

140 years after the birth of the famed Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, a visit to Tg Jiu (located 50 km from the guest house) to see some of his works, is mandatory!

 

The Constantin Brâncuși sculptural ensemble from Târgu Jiu, also known as “The Path of Heroes” is a tribute to the fallen heroes during the First World War.

The four sculptural components — The Table of Silence, the Seat Alley, the Kiss Gate, and the Endless Column — are arranged on the same axis, facing from sunset to sunrise, with a length of 1275 m.

 

The construction of the ensemble “The Path of Heroes” is due in part to the wife of Prime Minister Gheorghe Tătărescu, Arethia Tătărescu.

TISMANA MONASTERY (80 km)

Tismana Monastery is the oldest monastic monastery in Wallachia (Oltenia), located in the territory of Tismana in Gorj County, 36 km from Targu-Jiu.

 

The master of the monastery is Nicodemus the Holy of Tismana (1310-1406) – he brought him an architectural choice and decorations. The construction of the walls was carried out with the material support of the Basarabi rulers: Radu I (1377–1383) and his sons Dan I (1383–1386) and Mircea the Elder (1386–1418).

 

Nicodemus founded here the first school in the country of calligraphers and copyists of church books in various languages. It was also here established the first school of scholar monks from which the  future bishops, dieci for the royal and boyar chancellery were recruited. Here were preserved the oldest documents since the 14th century that laid the foundations of Romanian historiography. The precious objects were taken to Moscow, during the First World War, to be protected.

THE SOHODOL GORGE (65 km)

If you have decided to see Tismana, on the way you must necessarily stray to the Sohodol Gorge. They form a protected area of national interest dug in Cretaceous limestone by the waters of the Jaleş River (Sohodol), with diverse forms of relief (dolines, canyons, avenes, caves, rocky slopes), with florand specific flora and fauna of the Meridional Carpathians.

 

The protected natural area attracts thousands of tourists from the country and abroad every year. The Nostrils, the Skirt, the Ring, the Cave of the Priest, the Cave of the Cow are some impressive landmarks of this area, the most visited of which is the Cave of the Priest due to the paintings with anthropomorphic silhouettes of black color. On the Sohodol Gorge, mountaineering enthusiasts can climb on the 120 specially designed trails.

 

In summer the temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius, due to the shade of the cliffs and the water of the Sohodol River. There are more than 300 species of plants specific to these sites, including centuries-old chestnuts planted before 1859.

 

Filming of the famous Romanian film “Margelatu”, played by Florin Peach, took place in this area.