Archive for September, 2013

  • Ceausescu: The Young Underground Hero?

    Sep 24, 13 • ExcerptNo Comments
    Ceausescu: The Young Underground Hero?

    Historians of the Golden Age never miss an opportunity to hyperbolize Ceausescu, the activist, as a “young hero,” arrested for the first time at the age of 15, and who, by the age of 26, had spent 7 years in prison. ...

  • My Johann Strauss Golden Medal

    Sep 18, 13 • BlogNo Comments
    My Johann Strauss Golden Medal

    How I've got my Johann Strauss Golden Medal...

  • The Perfect Day in Koh Samui

    Sep 16, 13 • BlogNo Comments
    The Perfect Day in Koh Samui

    Koh Samui is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand – it has 247 square kilometers, 50,000 inhabitants, 500,000 tourists yearly, more than 200 luxury hotels. Most of the island has a dense tropical jungle and mountains of up to 600 meters in altitude. Not to speak about the nearly 3 million coconut trees, many over 100 years old and 35 meters high. ...

  • Trajan’s Column celebration in 2013

    Sep 11, 13 • Blog1 Comment
    Trajan’s Column celebration in 2013

    This year we celebrate nineteen centuries since the inauguration of the world’s most famous ancient bas relief. Admire the original in Rome and see the plaster casts up close – in Bucharest, London, or Saint-Germain. *** Above: A reconstruction of Trajan’s funeral at the Column in 117 made by illustrator Radu Oltean...

  • Belladonna’s Cult

    Sep 11, 13 • BlogNo Comments
    Belladonna’s Cult

    In the dead of full-moon nights, young girls dance naked in frighteningly dark forests around the herb “of life and death”. This is how historian of religions Mircea Eliade named the nightshade (Atropa belladonna). In the folk tradition it is called the „empress”, „ the forest’s grass”, „the wolf’s cherry” or the „grand dame”...

  • You Are Here Thanks to an Irish Writer

    Sep 6, 13 • ExcerptNo Comments
    You Are Here Thanks to an Irish Writer

    A distinguished and slightly bored gentleman, with short white hair and heavy rimmed glasses stood in the crowd waiting in the arrivals terminal at Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni. Speaking perfect English with a Bela Lugosi twang, Nicolae Paduraru, former chair of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula (TSD), smiled when he caught sight of his American guests who had paid for a Dracula tour in Romania: “Welcome to Bucharest! There’s no need to worry right now; however, tomorrow we’re going up into Transylvania”...

  • Romanian … escu

    Sep 5, 13 • BlogNo Comments
    Romanian … escu

    The three-step process in the formation of “…escu” names, the the most frequent family names in Romania...

  • Sibiu, Grand Square, no. 8

    Sep 4, 13 • ExcerptNo Comments
    Sibiu, Grand Square, no. 8

    The Hecht House was the home of a great medieval merchant. It is neither the most beautiful, nor the largest and oldest one in Sibiu. But its metamorphoses and the line of former owners shape the story of the rise of the Transylvanian Saxons. * What was Sibiu like in the 17th century? Artist Radu Oltean’s drawing shows the complete restoration of the stronghold and the surrounding lakes. ...

  • Searching for Dracula in Romania

    Sep 2, 13 • My Books, News and EventsNo Comments
    Searching for Dracula in Romania

    Romania’s problem is that Dracula lived for real. He was neither a vampire, nor a count and never reigned in Transylvania. The stories about Vlad III Dracula, a 15th century warlord prince of Wallachia, a small Romanian principality, were horror best sellers long before Bram Stoker’s famous novel...