May 6, 2015

Astra Traditional Folk Civilization Museum, Romania

I love to travel. But I haven't been able to travel too much.  

It's either been my health or the means to pay for it have kept me close to home. But when I do travel I make sure that I visit historical sites. 

The reason being that most industrial cities and countries have very similar experiences. They all have their best hotels, restaurants and museums. But how we differ as a society is not just by language and the currency, but what our past looks like. 

Astra Traditional Folk Civilization Museum in Sibiu, Romania is like walking into the past, and into the mountains. This Open Air Museum, one of the largest in the world boasting 0.96 square kilometers, is the Romanian version of Pioneer Villages in the United States and Canada. 
I haven't been to the museum myself, however when I was researching a piece for this blog, the images caught my attention. I put on hold the other piece I was working on to flip through the vivid pictures. 

The intricate thatched roofs on the cozy houses (some were even two story with gardens surrounding the sides of the house), the wooden windmills that vary in shape and size all brought in from various sites around the country and all the painted frescoes in the small church are breathtaking. 

Upon reading they also have stalls set up so you can enjoy traditional Romanian food.   

They have the same types of uses for buildings that the pioneers did (homesteads, food production, animal husbandry and the production of raw materials) however the shape and materials are varied from the ones you would see here. Where some of our historical houses boast wooden shingles and stone walls the buildings in Astra feel older. Their wooden walls and more wood itself used in the construction gives off the feeling of different resources and tools of their time periods.  

I took the journey through the Museum through pictures from many websites.  

Some pictures were from travelers that have taken the tours. Posting the recounts of their experience or what was sadly closed while they were there. 

All their feedback was positive and comments were that of excitement. I must have read thirty different entries and all of them were giving the experience a high rating. If I would have to average it out (and take into account that all sites rated differently) I would have to conclude a 4 out of 5 stars for the experience. 

A great rating that a few bumps of closures of buildings in a few ratings. 

I also went on some tourism sites for Romania which gave me a little in detail but more what time it was open, where it was located and how much money that it took to take the tour. Only 3.5 Euros. A great deal considering some of the prices I have paid to get into historical places. 
The site itself was opened in 1963. the building were brought in from all over Romania and reassembled to create this village.  

All interiors of the buildings were preserved to display the values of the life of the time. Also on display are over 400 monuments of traditional folk architecture. Each one reminding me of the totem poles that grace our historical Native sites. 

Festivals are hosted for the tourists to join in with food and crafts. 

With long paths, wooded areas and two man make lakes this open air museum is very family friendly. 

Geographically, the museum is located in the center of the city Sibiu in the heart of Romania and not a great distance from the airport. 

It's location makes it easy for the local community to get to the site, one couple that reviewed it rented bikes for the day and were able to bike there, as well as easy for tourists, who may not rented transportation, to walk. 

I do have a bucket list, I have had once since I was 17 years old, I know that I have already filled up my 101 things that I wanted to do but I have added one to accommodate this.  

I think this charming historical village with all it's activities will be an easy sell to my husband, now convincing my three kids to go there instead of Walt Disney World might be asking too much.

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