Monuments and unique places in Romania included in UNESCO World Heritage
Medieval towns, fortified churches, painted monasteries, wooden masterpieces and ancient Dacian ruins are just some of the attractions that confirm Romania’s exceptional cultural heritage.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites currently includes seven locations in Romania: Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, mural Churches in Northern Moldavia, Horezu Monastery, Sighisoara historic center, Dacian fortresses in Orastie Mountains, the villages with fortified churches in Transylvania and Maramures wooden churches.
- The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
The Danube Delta is one of the biggest wetlands in the world and its 30 types of ecosystems place it on third position in the world’s biodiversity top after Galapagos and the Great Barrier Reef. This is one of the most beautiful places in Romania and an exquisite destination for bird-watching, fishing amateurs and nature lovers. Included in 1991 in the international network of biosphere reserves it has an impressive area of 580,000 hectares, which means almost 2% of Romania’s surface.
- Painted Churches in Northern Moldavia
With their painted exterior walls, Churches in Northern Moldavia, built approximately between 1487 and 1583, are considered masterpieces of Byzantine art. Eight churches have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Arbor (built in 1503), Humor Monastery (built in 1530), Moldovi?a (built in 1532), P?tr?u?i (built in 1487), Probota (built in 1531), Suceava (built in 1522), Voronet (built in 1487) since 1993 and Sucevi?a (built in1583) since 2010.
- Horezu Monastery
It is the most important monastery of Constantin Brancoveanu built between 1690 and 1693 at the foot of Capatanii Mountains (almost 50 kilometers away from Ramnicu – Valcea). The name of the monastery comes from ‘eagle owl’, a night bird which is common in the area.
- Sighisoara Historic Center
The Historic Centre of Sighisoara is a 12th Century Saxon town center which remains inhabited to this day. The city played an important commercial role due to its guilds of craftsmen and its position on the trade routes between Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Sighi?oara is also notably the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), and there is an annual medieval festival which mixes arts and crafts with a rock festival. Sighisoara Historic Center is on the list of UNESCO since 1999.
- Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains
The Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains that stretch in Hunedoara and Alba County were set up in the 1st century BC and 1st century AD as a shield against Roman conquest, also playing an important role during Roman-Dacian wars. The complex entered UNESCO in 1999 and it is composed of six Dacian fortresses: Sarmizegetusa, Costesti Fortress, Costesti-Blidaru, Luncani – Piatra Rosie, Banita and Capalna.
- Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania
The fortified churches in Transylvania are specific for the Saxon villages located in southeastern Transylvania and they are among the best cultural attractions in Romania due to their medieval aspect and well-preserved traditions. There are seven churches listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993: Biertan (Sibiu), Câlnic (Alba), Dârjiu (Harghita), Prejmer (Brasov), Saschiz (Mures), Valea Viilor (Sibiu) and Viscri (Brasov).
- Maramures wooden churches
Truly architectural masterpieces, the Wooden Churches are the best examples of the wood carving mastery and artistic spirit in Maramures. Almost 100 old wooden churches from Maramures survived over the years reminding us the talent of the local artisans who built them. Eight of the churches were listed by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1999, for their religious architecture and timber construction traditions:Bârsana, Bude?ti, Dese?ti, Ieud, Plopi?, Poienile Izei, Rogoz and Surde?ti. The oldest wooden church in Maramures is the Church on the Hill in Ieud, which dates back in 1364.