Eustaţiu Stoenescu (1884, Craiova - 1957, New York) was a famous Romanian painter.
Stoenescu had contact with the painting at 15 yo, when the French painter Leopold Durangel (1828-1898) comes into his parents' house to do a portrait of his mother. After visiting the retrospective exhibition Nicolae Grigorescu, opened in 1897 in Bucharest at the Romanian Athenaeum, he decided irreversibly to follow the same path.
Piazza San Marco
He studied at the Julian Academy and at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris with Jean-Paul Laurens, with whom he collaborated in the execution of the tapestry cartoons and some wall decorations. If the beginning of his career was influenced by Grigorescu, Stoenescu gradually broke away from any influence, building a highly personalized style.
Stoenescu painted genre scenes, landscapes, still life, notably through subtle gray tones, but was mainly a virtuous portraitist, by the gift of an exceptionally laconic expression and distant vision, solemn, but not without expressiveness. Stoenescu´s portraits compel recognition, in terms of consummate execution, offhanded touch and spontaneous inspiration. Attentive to psychological details, the painter proved capable to transcribe reality faithfully, to select the essential and subordinate coloristic effects to expressiveness.
Painted in a wide range of styles, with an extraordinary verve, his portraits illustrate the talent of a gifted artist, to capture, with no hesitation, and to define clearly the universe of a human face as well as to concentrate, into a single image, the history of a lifetime. In Romania, as well as abroad, he was acknowledged as the artist who made the portraits of different officials, state leaders, members of the aristocracy, of wealthy intellectuals, of fashionable, distinguished ladies. He made them quickly, without endless sessions. He was a virtuoso, a magician of the brush.
Woman in artist's workshop, 1910
Endowed with exceptional qualities and moreover having received a remarkable education, Eustaţiu Stoenescu created an oeuvre, which focused attention on him on three continents: Europe, North America an Asia. Thus, his participation in the great exhibitions of the time or his one-man shows in Paris, Venice, New York, London, Rome, Geneva, Bucharest etc. brought him the unanimous appreciation of experts, critics, the press and the art collectors. Numerous prizes, special honors as well as the purchase of his paintings for great museums and private collections from France, Italy, the USA, Great Britain, Belgium, and Holland etc. established him internationally.
As a constant presence in the fashionable circles of the time, Stoenescu had the image of a cosmopolitan character, refined and somewhat arrogant. Painter of great talent, considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the time, Eustaţiu Stoenescu entered into obscurity after the WWII, after his death being almost forgotten.
Aurel Cojan (March 3, 1914, Beceni, Buzau, - December, 2005, Paris) was a renowned Romanian painter and decorative artist.
Between 1932-1934 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, where he studied under Francisc Sirato and Camil Ressu. Between 1933-1944 he exhibited at the Official Salons, and from 1944 to 1969 at State and Regional Exhibitions. Cojan's first personal exhibition was in 1945, at Hasefer Hall in Bucharest, followed by the exhibitions in 1946 and 1947 at the Romanian Athenaeum and in 1956, 1964 at the Plastic Fund Gallery in Bucharest. He exposed abroad in Prague (1962), Warsaw (1964), in Havana (1966), at the Sao Paolo Biennale (1967).
In 1969 he left the country and never returned to Romania, living in Paris.
Since 1971 he exhibited in France at Comparaisons, Realites Nouvelles, Salons of Villeparisis, Musee de Clermont-Ferrand and various other artistic events, such as Adam Gallery (Paris, 1974), Galleries Chevalier, Raph, Jacques Barbier, Francois Mitaine (Paris, 1978). His most recent solo exhibition were at Alain Margaron Gallery (Paris 1998, 1999), Counterpoint Gallery (Bucharest, 1999), Romanian Cultural Center in Paris (1999), Counterpoint Gallery (Bucharest, 2002). Aurel Cojan has permanent exhibitions at Alain Margaron Gallery in Paris and at Counterpoint Gallery in Bucharest.
In 1966 he was awarded the Prize for painting of the Romanian Artists Union. In 1983 he received the title of Knight of Arts and Letters from the Ministry of Culture of France, recognizing its artistic merits in his adopted homeland. In 1996 he received the prize "Thalens" of the parisian Beaux-Arts Magazine. In 2004, commemorating 90 years of age he was decorated by the President of Romania with the Order of Cultural Merit as Grand Officer and by the Ministry of Culture with the Excellence Award.
Idel Ianchelevici (May 5, 1909, Leova — June 28, 1994, Maison-Laffitte) was a Romanian and Belgian sculptor and draughtsman.
Born to Jewish parents in Leova, Bessarabia, he left Romania for Belgium in 1928 to devote himself entirely to his passion for sculpture and drawing. After completing his military service back home, he returned to Liège and registered at the Académie des Beaux-Arts de la Ville, where he was awarded First Prize for statuary art in 1933.
La Cracheuse, 1943, Brussels
The same year, he married Elisabeth Frenay and moved to Brussels. He took part in the design of the Romanian pavilion for the Exposition Internationale Universelle in Brussels in 1935 and went on to hold a variety of exhibitions of his own in Brussels, Tel-Aviv, Paris, Amsterdam and several other cities.
Le plongeur, Liège
1945 was the watershed year: Ianchelevici obtained Belgian citizenship, and his famous statue L'Appel ("The Call") was officially unveiled in La Louvière. 10 years later, Ianchelevici was awarded a grant to work in the Belgian Congo, where he designed three statues intended to supplement the famous Stanley-monument in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) and produced a number of outstanding drawings. He subsequently exhibited his work in countries throughout the world. In 1950, he settled in France, at Maison-Laffitte, where he remained until his death on at the age of 86. A cultural center in the town now bears his name.
Homme assis aux jambes croisées, pencil, 1945
The works of Ianchelevici literally step out of the medium. There is no void, no gap: the composition is entirely dictated by the mass and form of its volume (Paternel). From 1945 onwards, Ianchelevici began sculpting marble and stone - two notoriously difficult materials which require simplification of form. Limbs grew longer and more supple and the themes moved on, taking inspiration from the unformed, girlish figures of his young subjects. The artist's career underwent a major change at this point, as he embarked upon a ceaseless quest for simpler forms and more schematic faces (Eve, 1980). Alongside his sculpting, Ianchelevici never stopped drawing. His drawings are works of art in their own right, and not always sketches for his sculptures. In both disciplines, however, he draws on the same themes and strives for the same simplicity of form. (From Wikipedia. Visit also Le Musée Ianchelevici)
Nicolae Grigorescu (May 15, 1838—July 21, 1907) was one of the founders of modern Romanian painting.
He was born in Pitaru, (judeţul Dâmboviţa), Romania. In 1843 the family moved to Bucureşti. His three-year apprenticeship, begun at an early age (1848), to Anton Chladek, a Czech painter living in Bucharest, was followed by a time when he created icons for the church of Băicoi and the monastery of Căldăruşani. In 1856 he created the historical composition Michael the Brave dropping the flag, which he presented to the Wallachian Prince Barbu Ştirbei, together with a petition asking for financial aid for his studies. Between 1856 and 1857, he painted the church of the Zamfira Monastery (Prahova County), and in 1861 the church of the Agapia Monastery. With the help of Mihail Kogălniceanu, he received a scholarship to study in France.
His first years in Paris were spent at Sebastian Cornu's studio, where Renoir also made his apprenticeship. He used to go to the Louvre for reproducing children faces in Gericault's, Rubens's and Rembrandt's pictures. Being obsessed with the "plein-air" genre, which paved the way to the irruption of the Impressionistic school, Grigorescu spent each summer, as far as 1869, painting at Barbizon and some other places in the neighborhood of Paris. His paintings were shown at the Paris Salon in 1868, at the Bucharest Exhibitions of Living Artists (since 1870) and at the Art Exhibitions of the "Les Amis des Beaux-Arts" Society (since 1873). During 1873-1874 he would go on a study tour to Italy, Vienna, Greece and Constantinopole.
As frontline painter, he joined the troops in the 1877-1878 Independence War, and realized drawings which were to inspire his later compositions. One year after the Independence War he would paint in France, mostly in Bretagne, at Vitre, and at his Paris studio for twelve years (1879-1890). After his coming back, a succession of personal exhibitions would be organized at the Romanian Athenaeum in 1891, 1895, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1904. In 1889 his work was featured in the Universal Exhibition in Paris. He built a house at Câmpina, later to become the "Nicolae Grigorescu" Museum. He was named honorary member of the Romanian Academy in 1899.
At the dawn of modern Romanian culture, a time originating Eminescu's poetical genius, the pictorial language of Grigorescu became highly innovative. Grigorescu's painting art, diverse as it was, from that of a young mural painter to that of an Impressionistic School cognizer, was always on the acme and reverberated in the 20th century, long after his death. Father of modern Romanian painting, with Andreescu and Luchian as successors, Grigorescu was the great master worshiped by new generations of artists, who, early this century, were striving to reveal the profound wealth of the Romanian soul.
The uniqueness of his style and vision is to be remarked in portraits (D. Grecescu, Carol Davila, Andreescu at Barbizon), in self-portraits, in his compositions on the Independence War (Attack at Smârdan, A mounted rosior, Scenes with Turkish prisoners), in his several "Oxen Carts" pictures, in the country landscapes and the landscapes painted elsewhere (At Posada, The Grainville Fisherwoman, Crossroads at Vitre, The Old Woman in Brolle, A Wood Hut, An Autumn Landscape). His French "plein-air" experience matured into bringing light in his work and into rendering his composition genuinely rigorous and spontaneous.
The reality in his pictures is profoundly unaltered. The "secret geometry" of the picture keeps it unaltered, while, in the forefront, events seem to take place and the colors are bewildering. Grasping reality as the light changes it was one of the painter's great pleasures. In doing so he never got tired with the visible world. He was not prone to looking for picturesque in it, but to finding the valuable depth of a too common reality.
Bánffy Castle (or Bonţida Bánffy Castle) is an architectonic Baroque monument situated in Bonţida (Bonchida / Bruck), a village in the vicinity of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It was owned by the Bánffy family, and sometimes also called "The Versailles of Transylvania". The today owner is Katalin Bánffy.
The Bánffy Castle in 19th Century
Bonţida was a significant place from the 12th century as a royal possession, belonged to the neighboring counties' royal salt mines. It became inhabited again in the 13th century, after the Mongols' invasion. The history of Bonţida links with the Bánffy family from the end of the 14th century, when King Zsigmond donated Bonţida with the localities belonging to it, to the son of Tamás named Dénes in 1387. After on, the Bánffy family possess Bonţida over centuries.
The Bánffy Castle in 1935
The once single nave church was built in the 12th century with a semi-circular sanctuary, which was demolished in the second part of the 13th century, when enlarged, the church got the new nave and the straight ending sanctuary. The walled up southern gate and the two semicircular windows belonged originally to the first, 12th century church.
Reformed church - The nave from the choir
According to a military report, a fortification system already existed, that surrounded the manor house. It is suspected that on this spot a nobiliary residence existed since 14th century, when Baron Bánffy received from King Albert the permission to build a fortress. The construction of the castle started possibly after the Budai Nagy Antal revolt in 1437 by Bánffy Miklós and was finished in 1543. The construction of today’s castle was initiated by Denes Bánffy and lasted between 1638-1674, having as architect the Italian Agostino Serena. His heir, Denes Bánffy II reconstructed the castle beginning with 1745 in baroque style, following the plans of the Viennese architect Joseph Emmanuel Fischer von Erlach. The reconstruction was concentrated on the honor courtyard from the front of the gate building, and was inspired from the Viennese baroque architecture. New buildings have been constructed, such as: the stables and the homes of the servants. He was also the one who gave the castle its new shape, that of two wings in the shape of the letter U. A new wing was built in 1850 by the architect A. Kagerbauer, while Johann Nachtigall sculpted the “Metamorphosis” of Ovidius through imposing stone statues which decorated the gate. Jozsef Bánffy decided the demolition of the gate tower in 1820, uniting the renaissance courtyard with the baroque one, and from the remaining stone the close by water mill was constructed. He also decided the transformation of the baroque park into an English romantic one.
The Bánffy Castle in 1935
In 1944 the castle was evacuated of its owners by the German troups in order to use it as a military hospital. The building was seriously damaged at the end of the WWII, when the German troups that were retreating, attacked, robed and burned the entire ensemble. The entire furniture, the well known portrait gallery and the library were destroyed. The castle was neglected by the communist regime in Romania. The Art Museum from Cluj-Napoca was able to save the statues from the baroque park, keeping them under storage in the donation section, where they are to be found today. In the 60’s the Historic Monuments Direction tried to restore the castle, but the lack of funding could not lead to any concrete action. The castle was still used for the storage of construction materials, the park became a pasture zone and the trees have been cut down as fire wood.
The castle from Southwest
The castle is currently being restored by the Transylvania Trust, with funds from the European Union, Romanian Ministry of Culture, Getty Grant Programme, World Monuments Fund, NKA (Hungary), etc. The Castle of Bonţida is now being restored as a cultural center. An apartment is being prepared for the use of the Count's family. The Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre, opened on the 26th of August 2005, received the main prize for education and awareness raising by the European Union/Europa Nostra in 2008.
The Bánffy Palace is a baroque building of the 18th century in Cluj-Napoca, designed by the German architect Johann Eberhard Blaumann from Sibiu (born in Böblingen), for György Bánffy, governor of Transylvania. Built between 1774 and 1775 it is considered the most representative for the baroque style of Transylvania. The palace has façades richly decorated with pilaster-statues, highly refined cornices; sumptuously done up inner court; aristocratic taste of inner rooms embellished with marble and stucco-works, fine parquetry, mirrors and chandeliers.
The former imposing residence of the Hungarian governors, the Banffy Palace is living two lives, one as the former palace and, after 1951, a cultural life conferred by its destination as an important cultural institution. The architect designed a plan with an enclosed court and one storey building. The storey is now destined to host The National Gallery.
Since 1951, the palace has housed the National Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, which includes, in its Virgil Cioflec collection the works of arts of many important Romanian artists, such as Nicolae Grigorescu, Ştefan Luchian, Dimitrie Paciurea, Theodor Pallady, Camil Ressu and other. The international collection features paintings of major European artists like Luca Giordano, Carlo Dolci, Jean Hippolyte Flandrin, Felix Ziem, Ivan Aivazovsky, Herri met de Bles, Károly Lotz, Mihály Munkácsy, Franz Defregger, László Mednyánszky, József Koszta and István Réti, as well as sculptures of Claude Michel, Antoine-Louis Barye and Ernst Barlach. The graphic's collection includes works of great European printmakers of the 16th-20th centuries. Among those, the museum hosts works of Salvator Rosa, Giovanni Batista Piranesi, Honore Daumier, Theodore Gericault, Edgar Degas and Kaethe Kollwitz. The 22 halls of the Banffy Palace display sculptures, graphics, weapons, furniture, carpets, and paintings.
The Gallery professional restoration performed in 1990 rendered back its original-like aspect, yet perfectly suitable for its new role. Re-opened for public, in January 1996, The National Gallery offers a four-century synthesis of Romanian art with a stress on the artistic phenomenon in Transylvania: The Altar from Jimbor (16th century), art in the style of 1900, avant-guarde, artists related to "Şcoala Superioară de Arte Frumoase" and to the "Art Center Cluj", such as Szolnay Sandor, Pericle Capidan, Catul Bogdan, Aurel Ciupe, Alexandru Popp, Romul Ladea and others.
Lăzarea (Romanian: Lăzarea; Hungarian: Gyergyószárhegy) is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It is one of the oldest settlements in the area, and is now a tourist and cultural centre. It has various local attractions, including the Lăzarea Castle (Romanian: Castelul Lăzarea; Hungarian: Lázár Kastely).
The 100 m long, 75 m wide castle, standing 200 m far from the village centre, appears on the List of Historical Monuments of Harghita County. The Lázár Castle is one of the most beautiful creations of the Transylvanian Renaissance architecture. The Lázár Castle is a battlement Renaissance castle, one of the most attractive 17th century Transylvanian mansions. In its vaulted hall there is an inscription in Gothic letters dating back to 1532 (Cristus Maria 1532). The earliest keep dates from 1450. Three of the bastions are quadrilateral, the fourth (in the northeast) is septangular. In the middle of the southern wall there is a vaulted gate, a so- called storeyed gate-bastion leading into the court of the castle. Ornamental structured battlemented Renaissance wall connects the two sides of the gate to the corner bastions. Traces of former frescoes can still be seen here.
The facade was built by István Lázár (son of András Lázár), friend of Transylvanian prince Gábor Bethlen. Under the coat of arms, on the bastion left to the gate, the number 1632 indicates the year of finishing the construction. In the court, outbuildings in ruins are to be seen against the wall: kitchen, kiln, servants' quarters, soldiers' quarters, well, blacksmith shop and stable. According to the tradition, the small building standing in the middle of the court used to be the prison in which rebels were kept.
Gábor Bethlen spent his childhood in this castle between 1590-1594. The building was burnt as a revenge taken on the Kuruts Ferenc Lázár in 1707 by the Labants soldiers. Ferenc Lázár had the ruined castle renovated. The "great palace" (Knights' Hall) where the meeting of the seats used to be held was probably also built by him. The golden age of Lăzarea ended with his death. Part of the castle burnt down again in 1748, then the whole building fell victim to the fire in 1872. Petru Rareş (between 1527-1538) and Mihnea Vodă (1660), Romanian rulers, were also guests of the castle.
Since 1967, the castle has been renovated gradually. The central part of the main building (the gallery) has been renovated as well as the Knights' Hall (Council Room) at the back and the Storky bastion. The Women's House and the Túrós bastion are still being renovated. Carved furniture, chairs decorated with Transylvanian coat of arms, iron lamps can be seen in the Knights' Hall of which original coffered ceiling has also been restored.
Lăzarea has become the common workshop of the Romanian fine arts. The castle houses today the fine art exhibition of the County Museum. The Friendship Fine Art Gallery (painting exhibition) with 150 paintings occupies the gate bastion, eight large rooms and the Knights' Hall. The gallery presents the cross-section of the Romanian art of the last decades representing three generations. Above the Knights' Hall, a 300 square meter room houses the drawings. There are two creative camps working at Lăzarea: The Friendship Art Creative Camp (since 1974 - painting, drawing, sculpture) and The Folk Art Creative Camp (since 1978).
On 22 December, Romania celebrates the fall of of the Communist regime and Nicolae Ceauşescu's dictatorship. For his 24 years as communist party leader - 21 of them as Romania's president - Nicolae Ceauşescu kept up a reign of fear, suppressing all opposition with the help of the brutal secret police, the Securitate, with the largest network of spies and informers in Eastern Europe. At home he encouraged an extreme kind of personality cult among the population. He skilfully exploited his policy of independence from Moscow within the communist bloc to bolster his position at home and abroad.
Ceauşescu was a master at playing off the world powers against each other during the Cold War. But when Gorbachev's Perestroika reforms took hold, and one by one the countries of the Warsaw Pact claimed their freedom, his world fell apart. His downfall came as a result of his violent overreaction to public unrest over local issues such as food shortages, in December 1989.
Twenty years ago, the idyll of the peaceful revolutions against communism across eastern Europe was rudely broken, as Romania suddenly descended into anarchy and bloodshed. On 22 December 1989, Romania's communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu was overthrown in a violent revolution and fled from the capital, Bucharest. Three days later, he and his wife Elena were executed by firing squad. It was the last of the popular uprisings against communist rule in eastern Europe that year.
After the euphoria of Solidarity's victory in free elections in Poland and the Velvet Revolution in Prague, this was different. The Romanian revolution was the last, and the bloodiest, in the whole region. It came to a head on Christmas Day, when the dictator and his wife were executed. Two days later, video pictures of their summary trial and execution were shown on television in Romania and around the world. Twenty years on, conspiracy theories still abound, suggesting that many of the key events were stage-managed by enemies of democracy or by foreign secret services - that the Romanian Revolution was not a revolution at all, but rather a coup d'etat.
Chernivtsi Oblast (Romanian: Regiunea Cernăuţi) of Ukraine comprises a significant Romanian community. Today's Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine was part of Romania until June 1940, when it was occupied by the Soviet Union, and on 2 August 1940 it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR. Prior to that, the territory had never been part of any Ukrainian entity, although ethnic Ukrainians have lived in parts of the area in increasing numbers since the 19th century. Rather, the region constituted the northern part of the historical region of Bukovina, the northern part of Hotin County of the region of Bessarabia, and the north-western corner of Dorohoi County of the region of Moldavia proper. The Romanian population of Chernivtsi Oblast was persecuted by Soviet authorities on ethnic grounds, especially in the years following the annexation until 1956. In neighboring Bessarabia the same persecution did not have a predominantly ethnic orientation, being based mostly on social, educational, and political grounds.
The historical region of Bukovine. The Northern part belongs now to Ukraine
The bulk or 88% of ethnic Romanian population is concentrated in four of the eleven districts (raions) of the Chernivtsi Oblast situated closer to the border with Romania and Moldova. In the Hertsaivskyi Raion (Romanian: Herţa), Romanians comprise about 95% of population. In Novoselytskyi Raion (Romanian: Nouǎ Suliţi), Moldovans represent about 60% of the population. In Hlybotskyi Raion (Romanian: Adâncata), Romanians and Moldovans sum up to 50%. Storozhynetskyi Raion (Romanian: Storjineţ) has a compact Romanian community in the south, especially around the village of Crasna. Romanians comprise 37% of that district's total population.
There are also other villages with a Romanian majority and important historical heritage, such as for example Boian (home of Ion Neculce) and Cernăuca (home of the Hurmuzachi brothers). Other than the 4 raions have smaller Romanian populations, usually never exceeding several hundred people. Exceptions are the Khotynskyi Raion (Romanian: Hotin) with 5,000 Romanians and Moldovans (7% of the raion's population) and Sokyrianskyi Raion (Romanian: Secureni) with 1,500 Romanians and Moldovans (3% of the total raion population).
The history of Romanians in what is now southwestern Ukraine, roughly between the Dniester River and the Bug River, who traditionally have not belonged to any Romanian statal entity (nor to Transnistria), but have been an integral part of the history of modern Ukraine, and are considered natives to the area. Vlachs and Brodniks are mentioned in the area in the 12th and 13th century. As characterized by contemporary sources, the area between the Bug and Dniester had never been populated by a single ethnicity, or totally controlled by Kievan or other rulers. Since 14th century, the area were intermittently ruled by Lithuanian dukes, Polish kings, Crimean khans, and Moldavian princes (such as Ion Vodă Armeanul). In 1681 Gheorghe Duca's title was "Despot of Moldavia and Ukraine", as he was simultaneously Prince of Moldavia and Hatman of Ukraine. Other Moldavian princes who held control of the territory in 17th and 18th centuries were Ştefan Movilă, Dimitrie Cantacuzino and Mihai Racoviţă.
The end of the 18th century marked Imperial Russia's colonization of the region. The process of Russification and colonization of this territory started to be carried out by representatives of other ethnic groups of the Russian Empire. In Ukraine, the Soviet government continued this policy of assimilation of the native Romanian population. Elite elements of the Romanian population were then deported to Siberia, much like their Bukovinian and Bessarabian counterparts. Russian and Ukrainian settlers were recruited to fill the vacant areas caused by the deportation of Romanians. Romanians who continued to identify themselves as Romanians and not Moldovans were severely punished by the Communist regime.
Historically, the Orthodox Church in today's Transdneister and Ukraine was subordinated at first to the Mitropolity of Proilava (modern Brăila, Romania). Later, it belonged to the Bishopric of Huşi. After the Russian annexation of 1792, the Bishopric of Ochakiv reverted to Ekaterinoslav (modern Dnipropetrovsk). From 1837, it belonged to the Eparchys of Kherson with seat in Odessa, and of Taurida with seat in Simferopol.
According to the 2004 census, in Chernivtsi Oblast live 181,800 Romanian speaking population (19.78% of the region's population) out of which 114,600 (12.5%) declared to be of Romanian ethnical minority and 67,200 Moldavians; in Transcarpathia live 32,152 Romanian ethnics—mainly living in Teaciv rayon with 21,300 (12.4% of the rayon population) and Rahiv with 10,300 (11.6% of the rayon population), and in Odessa 724 declared to be Romanian, 123,751 Moldavian (includes historically Ukrainian and eastern Bessarabian territories). In line with common practice, Ukrainian, the language of the historical ethnic/linguistic majority, is constitutionally the sole state language, and the state system of higher education has been switched to Ukrainian. By the terms of a bilateral agreement, Ukraine guaranteed the rights of Romanians in Ukraine: there are schools teaching Romanian as a primary language, along with newspapers, TV, and radio broadcasting in Romanian.
The Romanian minority in Bulgaria (Români or Rumâni in Romanian; Vlasi or Rumuni in Bulgarian) is concentrated in the northwestern part of the country, in Vidin Province, Vratsa Province and Pleven Province. They speak the Oltenian variety of the Romanian language. The Romanians from the Vidin Province are separated into 2 main groups: the "Dunăreni" (who live around the Danube river) and the "Pădureni" (who lived in the higher placed regions with many woods). In southwestern Bulgaria lives also a very small Aromanian population, such as in the village Peshtera (English: The Cave). The territory where the Romanians from Bulgaria live never belonged to Romania and most of them declare themselves Vlasi (= Vlachs) when asked in Bulgarian (e.g. on the census), though they use the self-designation "Rumân" (= Rumanians) in their language. The Romanians in Bulgaria are not recognized as a national minority, but as en ethnic group and they don't enjoy ethnic rights in schools and churches since the Interwar period. The 2001 census shows 10,566 Vlachs. Most of the Vlachs (Romanians) are Romanian-speakers, but the figure includes some Aromanian-speakers as well.
It has been suggested that south of the Danube the Vlachs were once more numerous and occupied a much greater area than now. The region between the Serbians and Bulgarians has place names with continued Latin origins, whereas those further into Serbia area have no Latin base. This area of modern east Serbia was mostly associated with the Bulgarians until the expansion of Serbia just before the Ottoman times. The Vlachs provided a separation of the southern Slavs which may have lead to the separate Bulgarian and Serbo-Croat languages.
The first record of a Balkan Romanic presence in the Byzantine period can be found in the writings of Procopius, in the 5th century. The writings mention forts with names such as Skeptekasas (Seven Houses), Burgulatu (Broad City), Loupofantana (Wolf's Well) and Gemellomountes (Twin Mountains). A Byzantine chronicle of 586 about an incursion against the Avars in the eastern Balkans may contain one of the earliest references to Vlachs. The account states that when the baggage carried by a mule slipped, the muleteer shouted, "Torna, torna, fratre!" ("Return, return, brother!"). However the account might just be a recording of one of the last appearances of Latin (Vulgar Latin). Blachernae, the suburb of Constantinople, was named after a certain Duke from Scythia named "Blachernos". His name may be linked with the name "Blachs" (Vlachs).
In 1185, two Vlach noble brothers from Tarnovo named Peter and Asen led a Bulgarian revolt against Byzantine Greek rule and declared Tsar Peter II (also known as Theodore Peter) as king of the reborn state. The following year, the Byzantines were forced to recognize Bulgaria's independence and the Second Bulgarian Empire was established. Peter styled himself "Tsar of the Bulgarians, Greeks, and Vlachs", though the reference to Vlachs in the style fell out by the early 13th century.
The first Bulgaria’s census (in 1881) recorded circa 50,000 of those who declared themselves as Vlachs (what was 2,5% of total Bulgaria’s population). Half of them lived in the district of Vidin. According to Bulgaria’s census of 1891 there were 2,300 those who have been of Aromanian identity. However, it is believed by the scholars that at that time have been circa 5000 of them, while in the first decade of the next century Bulgaria had around 7000 Aromanians including and those who came to Bulgaria in summer time. The census of 1910 showed 96,502 native Romanian speakers of whom there were 80,000 Romanians. The number of Aromanians/Vlachs among them is not known. It is estimated that after 1913 there were 16,000 Aromanians in Bulgaria. Census of 1926 recorded only 1,550 Vlachs and 10,648 Aromanians, out of 83,747 Romanian native speakers. According to the census of 1992, there were 5,159 citizens of Vlach minority group, but also 6,715 those whose mother tongue was Vlach/Aromanian out of 8,487,317 Bulgaria’s citizens.
As a result of democratic orientation of Bulgarian minority policy after 1989, two neo-Latin speaking groups (Aromanians and Romanians) who composed one legal minority group in Bulgaria (the Vlachs) became more active in establishing their own cultural (but still not political) organizations. Consequently, today there is no Vlach political party in Bulgaria, but only cultural-educational Association of Vlachs in Bulgaria (registered in 1992) with the main task to slow down Vlach assimilation by promotion of Vlach ethno-cultural characteristics.