The National Oil Museum

Much like Houston in Texas, Ploieşti is a town of hidden treasures which lift the cultural, architectural and natural profile of the town well beyond that of "just an oil town". Ploieşti benefits from being on major trade routes, and has developed as a strong cultural, scientific and educational center.

Remember that Romania had the world's first oil well, first oil refinery and provided oil to light the streets of Bucharest, the first European capital to have street lighting! You should also remember that Ploieşti suffered greatly from razing by the retreating Germans in both world wars, and low-level precision bombing by the Americans, which although designed to minimize collateral damage (meaning avoiding the deaths of civilians), it nonetheless destroyed a lot of the refinery areas.

On October 8, 1961 the National Oil Museum, the only one of its kind in the country and among the few in the world was officially opened. The decision to build Muzeul Naţional al Petrolului (The National Oil Museum) happened during the Communist years, coinciding with the 1957 centenary of the founding of the Romanian oil industry. The building itself is listed as a historic monument, with the collection growing from 800 artifacts in 1961 to over 8,000 by 1994 and 11,000 today. The museum preserves documents, photography and items from the early days of oil discovery and refinery in Romania, including geological displays on ore deposits, the petrochemical refining process, and how the oil came to light the streets of Bucharest, world's first petrol-lit city (1859). The visiting public can see everything from drilling hoists, dredges, hydraulic preventers, some of which are 100 years old, geologic maps and rare photographs. The oldest exhibit , the only one of its kind in Romania, is a bailing drum dating back to 1870. "Petroleum", a book written by Cucu Starostescu in 1881 is the first specialized book on oil to have been published in the world. The first mechanical drill dates back to 1861.

The museum's well-written panels underscore the accomplishments of Romanians such as the development of solvents by Lazăr Edeleanu, as well as Romania's early contributions to the manufacture of paraffin, oils, and petrol. Geological maps and mineralogical samples round out the collections, with a artworks, ceramics and a fair few busts of famous petrochemical denizens of years past.

Muzeul Naţional al Petrolului, 8 Bagdasar Street, 09am - 05pm, closed on Mondays.


I had to change the template I used, due some errors it had. 'Till I find a template that suits our necessities, I'll use one I picked from ThemeLib

The Clock Museum

The Clock Museum in Ploieşti is unique in the museum network of Romania and is one of the few of its kind in Europe.

It was inaugurated in 1963, in a hall belonging to the Culture Palace, by the care of professor Nicolae Simache, manager of History Museum between 1954-1971. Subsequently, the collection of clocks was brought into a building that had been constructed at the end of the 19th century; it belonged to Luca Elefterescu, a well-known conservative politician during the early decades of the 20th century, with several mandates of prefect of Prahova County.

Those who visit the museum have the occasion to follow the way in which the means of measuring the time had developed, from the first "clocks"- the sun dial, the burning clocks, the clocks with water (the outline of the clock with water being taken over from d'Horologerie Ancienne) or the clocks with sand - up to the ancient mechanical clocks and modern ones. These wonderful works of horology are, often, not only the products of well-known horologists, but of men of art as well, who contributed in the way that they made the clocks as attractive as they could, creating even styles in this domain. Among the oldest pieces of the collection we name the and type pendulums, made of golden bronze, engraved or cut, sometimes with enameled dials. The oldest of the clocks, dated 1562, additionally asserts the inter crossing of preoccupations for calculating time and for astronomy, as it has astronomical dials.

Among the most valuable works of the museum's collection are the pendulums, with long cabinets and rich chiseled bronze decorations, gold pieces, exotic veneer or inlaid work. The symbols are present: the sun, the time, the child with the hourglass in his hand. The metal dial is ornate in its turn, with little enamel plates on which the ciphers are engraved. The rococo style is underlined by a few works: one of them had been created in Paris at Brulfer, in the 18th century having a wooden painted case, another work, of small dimensions, molded in brass thin paper, is decorated with a polychrome enamel painting, showing a gallant scene.

The hearth pendulum Louis XVI is another type of clock that can be identified in the museum's halls. It brings the note of refined feeling that appeared in the artistic taste during the second half of the 18th century. The urn like clock, made of Sèvres porcelain, the pendulum with venata marble columns or the small table lock suspended between colonnades, covered with an encaille enamel are some of the most beautiful exemplars of the collection. Most of the time, elements belonging to this style are found along other ornaments that belong to various artistic styles, producing that composite order, so characteristic for the 19th century.

The hall pendulums created in the Empire style, distinguish through the plasticity of feminine figures, the refined work done with the chisel and the grandeur of the artistic composition. The exhibition would not be complete without "the paintings with clocks", an attribute of the Biedermeier style. The German horologists became famous at the beginning of the 18th century by making the wall pendulums, with hand made mechanisms, kept in artistically sculpted cases, with flora and fauna motives, and birds announcing the hours. The folk influence inspired the creation of the wall clocks in straight cases, made by lathering. Some of them were created in Romania, having German or Austrian mechanisms.

The pocket watches belonging to the museum's collection are the expression of the way in which science, technique and art have contributed to the creation of one of the finest and most minute machinery. In the history of the pocket watch, invented around 1500 by Peter Henlein from Nuremberg, other names of celebrated horologists will be inscribed: Ralf Gout, Th. With, George and Edward Prior, Benjiamin Balber and others, as well as firms producing clocks/watches, which appear in impressive number beginning with the half of the 20th century.

Among the most valuable works are the hand-made clocks, created by great English, French and Dutch horologists. They reveal mechanisms of functioning, winding ringing and they were carefully created in the 17th and the 18th centuries. The chain spindle mechanism would frequently appear, being continuously improved. The gong or bell ringing belongs, also, to the beginning of the mechanical horology. Another characteristic of these clocks is the metal dial. The protection case, most of the times made of silver or baga, deep shaped (of Byzantine type), is composed of three lids. Since the first pocket watches had been made up to the moment when prestigious firms, such as Schaffhausen, Omega, Zenith, Patek Philippe and other began to create clocks, there is a span of time of two centuries. All this time the clocks reached to a high level of technical and artistic expression.

The jewel clocks, artfully created, are made of gold or silver, decorated with exquisite engravings and precious stones or with enamels of different nuances. The clocks are painted or decorated with floral, geometrical motives etc. Distinguished by their beauty, are the clocks that belonged to the Romanian kings Carol I and Carol II, those of Tzar Alexander II, the clock of the poet Vasile Alecsandri and the pendant clock of Mihail Kogalniceanu's daughter, as well as the pieces that came from the firms Genevieve Sandoz, Oudin and others. A special lace is occupied by the clocks of great personalities of the Romanian culture and political life: Constantin Brâncoveanu, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Cezar Bolliac, Bogdan Petriceicu-Haşdeu, Ion Luca Caragiale, Duiliu Zamfirescu, Ioan Al. Bassarabescu, Alexandru Moruzzi, Mihail Kogalniceanu, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Iorga, Păstorel Teodoreanu and others.

The collection also contains some curious clocks, such as: "the invisible clock", with transparent dial and a hidden-in-frame mechanism; the "steam factory" (in miniature) made in Paris in 1800; the miller's clock, the barber's clock, the umbrella-clock, created in England; the painting-clock with mobile figurines or the stamp-clock. A last surprise for the visitors of Clock Museum, the musical boxes, which function with the help of a mechanism similar to that of a clock. The invention is dated at the end of the 19th century, when in Europe and America the devices for musical recordings began to get known.

Anton Pann Memorial House

Anton Pann (born Antonie Pantoleon-Petroveanu, and also mentioned as Anton Pantoleon or Petrovici; 1794, Sliven, Bulgaria — November 2, 1854, Bucharest), was a Wallachian composer, musicologist, and Romanian-language poet, also noted for his activities as a printer, translator, and schoolteacher. Pann was an influential folklorist and collector of proverbs, as well as a lexicographer and textbook author. Anton Pann came to Romania in 1812, settling at first in Chişinău, Bessarabia, then in Bucharest; in 1827 he started teaching church music in Rîmnicu Vîlcea. He later moved to Braşov, where he married, and changed his name to Anton Pann, the name that would later make him famous. The writer and teacher returned to Bucharest in 1828 and worked as a music teacher and printer, with his own printing shop, a rather large investment that proved to be successful.

The Anton Pann Memorial House can be found in Rîmnicu Vîlcea, on Ştirbei Vodă Street and it is still one of the most important and popular touristic attractions and cultural landmarks of the city. The house has three rooms, with a porch and a cellar.

The building itself is a wonderful example of traditional urban architecture, built by the middle of the 18th century, perfect for hosting the exhibition dedicated to the life, work and times of Anton Pann. The exhibition was intended to reveal the travels on Vîlcea land, between 1826-1828, 1836-1840, of the man who rose to public awareness as "witty as a proverb" and who taught music at the school organized by Rîmnic Bishopric.

The memorial house was actually moved 37 meters away from its original site, when that part of the city was changed and reorganized. Luckily, due to the importance of the writer and the good condition of the building - not to mention it's traditional style and architecture - the original building was wonderfully preserved.

The exhibition dedicated to Anton Pann is presented in such as manner as to offer visitors the chance to see the real atmosphere of a simple house from the middle of the 18th century, with most of it's original furniture, personal objects, decorative arts, together with an impressive collection of books, portraits, documents, letters and so on. In the last room of the memorial house is the real treasure of the collection: a rich selection of music sheets, folklore volumes and studies, manuscripts of Anton Pann and several of his first editions.

Michael Cretu

Mihai Creţu, also known as Michael Cretu or Curly M.C. (born May 18, 1957, in Bucharest, Romania), is a Romanian musician best known as the creator of the Enigma project.

Cretu was born to a Romanian father and a mother of Austrian ancestry. His uncle, Ion Voicu, a famous Romanian violinist and the director of the Bucharest Philharmonic, told Michael's parents that he had talent in music and as such, he studied classical music at Liceul Nr. 2 in Bucharest in 1965 and in Paris, France, in 1968. He later attended the Academy of Music in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1975 to 1978, attaining a degree in music. Cretu was taken on as a keyboard player and producer for Frank Farian, the German mastermind behind successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s such as Boney M and Milli Vanilli.

In the 1980s, Cretu took over production for the pop quartet Hubert Kah and started writing songs with the band leader Hubert Kemmler, achieving a number of hits. Among his other work, Cretu was also one of the producers of Mike Oldfield's 1987 album "Islands", and the producer of Peter Schilling's 1989 album "The Different Story (World of Lust and Crime)". In 1998, Cretu teamed up with Jens Gad (they previously worked together on "Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!") and created the album "The Energy of Sound" under the name Trance Atlantic Airwaves. Cretu and Gad also worked with Jamaican singer Andru Donalds, achieving some success in Europe with a cover version of the song "All Out of Love" (1999).

Cretu met his future wife, Sandra Lauer, when he was playing keyboards on the band Arabesque’s live touring show. In collaboration with several Hubert Kah band members, he co-wrote and produced several successful albums and singles for her, beginning with the song "Maria Magdalena" which topped the charts in 21 countries. The band was simply called Sandra, although Sandra's full name is now often used for filing and identification purposes. Cretu married her on 7 January 1988. They have twins named Nikita and Sebastian, who were born in July 1995. Michael and Sandra divorced in November 2007, citing "personal and professional differences". Another band of Cretu's was called Moti Special ("Cold Days, Hot Nights"), which Cretu produced and performed with in the mid-1980s. He owned the first A.R.T. Studios in Ibiza.

Sandra - Loreen

He has worked with many producers, musicians, and artists in his long career. These include Sandra Cretu, Frank Farian, Boney M, Goombay Dance Band, Peter Cornelius, Manfred "Tissy" Thiers and Mike Oldfield in his pre-Enigma days, and Jens Gad, Frank Peterson, David Fairstein, ATB, Jam & Spoon, Peter Ries, Ruth-Ann Boyle and Andru Donalds during the course of the project.

After Cretu's marriage to Sandra in 1988, he had an idea, following suggestions made by David Fairstein, for a musical new-age dance project under the name, presented by Fairstein, of Enigma. Cretu worked with Frank Peterson and David Fairstein to create their ground-breaking first single "Sadeness," which became a surprise hit. MCMXC a.D., the album, which was released in 1990, was hugely successful. It is believed to have sold about 20 million copies worldwide. One of the aims of Enigma was to present music that has never been heard before and is not being produced anywhere, which also forced Cretu to continually move in new musical directions and to stay ahead of imitators.

Enigma - Sadeness

MCMXC a.D. stayed on the charts for 282 weeks on the Billboard charts and dropped off two years after its second album, "The Cross of Changes", was released in 1993. Prior to this, Frank Peterson had some disagreements with Cretu and he left the project in 1991. Cretu changed Enigma's direction from Gregorian chants to tribal chants for its second album, and this led to "Return to Innocence", which became a worldwide hit. Cretu was approached by Paramount Pictures to write the soundtrack of the movie Sliver and he came up with another 1993 single, "Carly's Song", the title of the track based on the character of the leading actress in the movie.

Enigma - Return to Innocence

In 1996, Enigma's third album, "Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!" was released. Stylistically, it sounded like a combination of the first and second albums, but it failed to achieve the same level of success. For the fourth album, Cretu steered the project in another direction by using samples of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" for the album "The Screen Behind the Mirror". Andru Donalds and Ruth-Ann Boyle first appeared on this release. Although Jens Gad had been working with Cretu on the earlier albums, this was the first time that he had been given actual credits.

Enigma - Mea Culpa

Deciding that the first chapter for Enigma was closed, Cretu released two sets of compilation albums: "Love Sensuality Devotion: The Greatest Hits" and "Love Sensuality Devotion: The Remix Collection". By then Cretu was undecided if he should continue with the project, but eventually he came up with "Voyageur" in 2003. Familiar sounds of the Shakuhachi flute, tribal, or Gregorian chants were replaced with more pop-oriented tunes and beats. In March 2006, a new single called "Hello & Welcome" was released in anticipation of another album. "A Posteriori" was the sixth Enigma studio album. It was released 22 September 2006. "Seven Lives Many Faces" became the seventh Enigma studio album. It was released 19 September 2008.

In 2001, Crocodile-Music, Cretu`s management stated that a total of 100 million Cretu-produced records had been sold. By the year 2007, Michael Cretu`s Enigma project had sold over 40 million studio albums.

Oradea Fortress

The first documentary mentioning of the name of the town (Varadinum) shows up in 1113 though it seems that its foundation has been set on the bank of the Crişul Repede River, a long time before that year.

In 11th century, King Ladislas the First (1077 – 1095) built a fortified monastery with Virgin Saint Mary as patron. Later, he lays the foundations of the Roman-Catholic Bishopric of Oradea within the fortress. In June 27, 1192, Pope Celestinus III sanctified King Ladislas I. This act and the very occasion made the fortress a continuously prestigious pilgrimage place. Between 11th – 12th centuries, the fortress was a fortification (castrum), made from earthen walls and stockade, some stone walls and several wooden watch towers at the gates and the corners of the inner fortress.

In 1241, Master Ruggero di Puglia describes in the famous poem Carmen miserabile the conquest and setting on fire of Oradea Fortress, during the Tartar-Mongolian invasion. In February 1245 was the sequel to the Lyon Council – where the draft of a coherent policy of Catholic states against the Tartar threat is put forward – a wide reconstruction process starts in Oradea as well, thanks to a series of facilities given to the city. Around 1290, Roland, son of Toma - from the ruling family known as Borşa of Transylvania – has a family conflict with the royalty, to which the bishops of Bihor were loyal. As a result, he attacks the fortress under reconstruction and causes great damages.

The new medieval fortress, in heptagonal shape, was erected in 14th century; the precinct was irregularly towered and embattled. The gate was protected with two solid towers; to the south, a Gothic Bishopric Palace was erected, whose outer wall is also a siding. On the south-western side of the wall is found the second entrance to the Fortress. An impressive Gothic cathedral was erected between 1342 – 1370, with three aisles and an octagonal altar, a facade with two towers and massive abutments; ample decoration work is done inside and various altars are built.

Between 1360 – 1370, brothers Martin and George from Cluj build the statues of the three Canonized Hungarian kings: Stephen I, Ladislas I and Emerick. They will remain inside the Fortress. In May 20, 1390, the same sculptors uncover the equestrian statue of King Ladislas I, in natural size and entirely gilded, erected at the order of King Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387 – 1437). In August 25, 1401, Pope Bonifacius IX confers a privilege to the fortress cathedral, bringing it to the same rank as San Marco Church of Venice and Santa Maria Portiuncula of Assisi. Thus, the cathedral becomes a pilgrimage place for Christians from all over Europe.

In 1427, the Oradea fortress Bishopric had its own corps of troops (banderia), which consisted of 500 riders and as much infantry, recruited especially from among Romanian kings of Bihor County. The bishops Giovanni de Dominis da Arbe, leader of Varna Crusade (1444) and Perenyi Ferenc (Mohacs Battle, 1526) fell on the battlefield leading this corps. For two weeks, around Easter (March 1412), King Vladislav Jagello of Poland, accompanied by King Sigismund of Luxembourg, arrive to the fortress. Their close relationship was also facilitated by Mircea cel Bătrân, King of the Romanian Country.

Between 12th – 15th centuries, 7 royalties are buried inside the cathedral or in its churchyard: King Ladislas I, Andrew II, Stephen III, Ladislas IV the Cuman, Queen Beatrix, Queen Mary, and Sigismund of Luxembourg - Hungarian King and German Emperor. In 1367 follows Elisabeth, wife of Duke Ladislas of Opulia, the Paladin of Hungary, daughter of Nicolae Alexandru Basarab.

In 14th–15th centuries, the bishops of Oradea fulfill diplomatic assignments for Hungarian Kings at various European courts, such as: Andrew Bathori (1329 – 1245) for King Charles Robert of Anjou in Italy, at the Naples court (1333); Demetrius (1345 – 1372) for King Louis the Great at the Romanian Country kingly court - Nicolae Alexandru Basarab and in Italy at the Naples court; John Filipecz Pruis for King Matia Corvin in Italy, at Naples (1476), Urbino and Rome (1482), Milan (1487).

In 15th century was the „Golden Age” of the fortress, as it becomes an important center of Humanism and Renaissance in Central and Eastern Europe. The most important bishops of the time were Andrea Scolari, also known as „The Florentine” (1409–1426), John Vitez of Zredna (1444–1465) and Sigismund Thurzo (1506–1512). The illustrious physicist of Vienna university, Georg Peuerbach (1423-1461), builds an astronomic observatory in Oradea and, establishing the zero meridian here, calculated the sun and moon eclipses in his work, “Tabulas Varadienses”. The Canonical lecturer Vepi Peter reorganized the Capitular School of Oradea (1439–1440) and created a foundation for its students.

In February 7, 1474, the Pasha of Simendria, Ali Oglu Malcovici, perform a rapid attack on Oradea Fortress in the winter, robbing it without notice.

Gheorghe Doja's rebels armies attacked the citadel (1514) but failed to occupy it, thanks to the incoming support of the captain of the city of Făgăraş, Tomori Pál.

After the fall of the feudal Hungarian Kingdom and its division between Turks and Hapsburg, Oradea fortress was disputed (1526-1538) between Ferdinand of Hapsburg, self-declared King of Hungary, and King John Zapolya. The peace of Oradea (February 24, 1538), was the first international treaty that consecrated total separation of Transylvania from Hungary. In April 10, 1557, the fortress of Oradea was retaken from the Hapsburg by the army of Principality of Transylvania, led by Tamás Varkocs, with a mission to defend the western border of the Principality.

The political and military climate in Central Europe have imposed the building of a new fortification, adapted to the military needs. The Transylvanian princes employed Italian military architects, who produced the new pentagonal fortress, with towers on corners and defensive ditch water, in later Renaissance style.

During the Ottoman siege (September 25 to November 3 1598), Michael the Brave sent a detachment of 1500 horsemen led by Aga Lecca in support of Oradea Fortress. The Hapsburg sent also a detachment of about 2000 infantry man and 500 cavalry under General Melchior von Rodern. The Vienna Imperial Court recognized Bocskai István as Prince of Transylvania and yield it the Oradea Fortress (June 23, 1606).

After a difficult siege, which lasted 46 days (August 27, 1660), with a report of 45,000 Turkish forces against 850 defenders, due to a betrayal, the Ottomans take Fortress of Oradea and installed here the headquarters of a Pasha, that will last for 32 years. Count Ladislaus Rakoczi attacked by surprise the citadel in May 1664, in the market day, with 200 soldiers disguised as peasants, but the attempt failed when Rakoczi was shot on city walls. The Imperial army encircle the fortress and begins a long siege (July 1691-28 May 1692), completed by the surrender of the Ottoman garrison to General Donath Heissler. Between 1692-1695, the fortress was rebuilt after the plans of military engineer Baron Ernst von Borgsdorf. In the Autumn of 1693, an auxiliary group of Tatars of the Ottoman army led by grand vizier Mustafa Bozuklu tried unsuccessfully to capture the garrison of Oradea in a surprise raid.

Between 1703-1710, the Oradea fortress was unsuccessfully besieged during the conflict between rebels led by Francis Rakoczi II and Hapsburg. In 18th century, although the citadel was only a military garrison, the Austrians will continue to pay attention and to undertake major repairs and refurbishments campaigns in 1725, 1754-1755 and 1775-1777, the last finalizing all the architecture that can be visited today.

In 1793, in the fortress were imprisoned 450 French prisoners. In 1836, a great fire destroyed much of it. During the Revolution of 1848-1849, the fortress was an important headquarter of the revolutionaries. In May 16, 1857, Emperor Franz Josef I canceled by decree the military status of the fortress, but will continue to be used as auxiliary military objective and will receive compensation in the years 1883-1887.

Between WWI and WWII, it was the seat of a police school. In 1947-1952, was used as a transit (the northern wing). Between 1945-1989, the fortress was still a military objective, used both by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense. Unfortunately, the process of degradation continues now and the authorities need substantial funds for restoration.

The Museum of Ethnography and Folk Art Câmpulung-Muscel

The Museum of Ethnography and Folk Art in Câmpulung-Muscel is hosted by one of the oldest civil houses in town, built in 1735, monument of Romanian old architecture. The appearance is typical for a Muscel area house, with two floors, a wooden pavilion which ends in corrugated masonry arches, extended with a room in console, with columns and balusters of wood, simple plaster profiles to windows, gaps under the arches of the pavilion, and covered with wood tiles.

The building was raised in 1735 by the chancellor Ştefănescu, as the last owner was the lawyer Gheorghe Ştefănescu, hence the name of Gică Ştefănescu Villa. In 1928, it was restored by the Câmpulung architect Dumitru Ionescu Berechet, who got his doctorate in architecture with this paper, which won the Official Salon award. In 1948 the building was donated to the Romanian Academy with a view to becoming a museum, and in 1952 the Câmpulung County Museum was reorganized here. In 1977 it became the Department of Ethnography and Folk Art of the Câmpulung County Museum. The building is very old, very well maintained and used also for organizing special events, temporary exhibitions, contacts with other institutions in the country.

The museum houses exhibitions of folk art and ethnographic objects from Muscel area. The building houses valuable collections of pottery, folk costumes, and fabrics. On the ground floor we can find a homestead kitchen looking like a canvas by Nicolae Grigorescu and Ştefan Luchian; the “small house” or drawing room endowed with spinning and weaving artifacts, and next to it the “large house” or guest house. On the upper floor the exhibits include pottery artifacts reminding of the Câmpulung potter’s art of yore, a gorgeous pyrographed furniture, and an enchanting Muscel costume parade.

Centaurea pugioniformis

Centaurea pugioniformis is a plant that can be found only in Romania, is endemic in several areas of the country. Centaurea is a genus of at least some 500 to 600 species of herbaceous thistle-like flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Common names for this genus are starthistles, knapweeds, centaureas and the more ambiguous "bluets". "Cornflowers" is used for a few species, including Centaurea pugioniformis.

Images from My Nature

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Class: Dicotyledones
Division: Magnoliophyta Magnoliophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Centaurea
Species: pugioniformis
Scientific name: Centaurea pugioniformis E.I.Nyarady

Isophya dobrogensis

Another unique, protected species specific to Romania is a sort of locust, grig. Isophya dobrogensis is endemic and can be found only on Popina Island, Razelm-Sinoe Lagoon Complex, Dobruja, Southeastern Romania. The island spans 98 hectares and it is a protected reserve.

Image from My Nature

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Arthropoda - Arthropods
Class: Insecta - Insects
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Tettigonioidea
Genus: Isophya
Specific name: dobrogensis - Kis 1994
Scientific name: - Isophya dobrogensis Kis 1994

The species was described in 1960 by Kis Béla (1924-2003).

Ineu Castle

Ineu (Hungarian: Borosjenő, Turkish: Yanova) is a town in Arad County, western Transylvania, Romania. It is situated at a distance of 57 km from the county capital Arad, and it is the main entrance gate in Zărand Land. Ineu was first attested in documents in the year 1214 under the name villa Ieneu. It was a sanjak in Timişoara and Varad eyalets as "Yanova" during Ottoman rule.

The traces of habitation of this area are lost in the darkness of time. Archeologists have excavated finds belonging to the Neolithic (axes with hole, silex, ceramics), to the Dacian civilization, to the Roman occupation (fortress lines, ornaments, arms, millstones) and sources that attest the continuation of inhabitancy on these areas. Ineu has been the residence of a Romanian principality (cnezat), it is also well-known as a strong reinforced center.

The Ineu Castle is mentioned also as a fortress even from 1295. Having a strategic position in the defense of Transylvania, the castle had a life full of vicissitudes. It belonged to the fortresses of Ioan (or Iancu) de Hunedoara (Hungarian: Hunyadi János), it was occupied by the Turks for several times (1566, 1658), it was the residence of an Ottoman territorial unit, it was transferred in the possession of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) in 1599, it was conquered by the Hapsburgs (end of 17th century), it was a garrison of a frontier guard regiment (1700–1745). These periods and events have left their marks upon the town's development.

The developing of military technology, especially of the artillery, required the reconstruction of the citadel for the new conditions of struggle. Therefore, since 1645, the works were executed under the leadership of Gabriel Haller, who studied architecture in Italy and adopted original military solutions to suit late Renaissance style. The citadel consisted actually of two parts. First, the inner fortress with two levels, existing until today, has the form of square, with circular leveled bastions at the corners. The towers allowed effective action of artillery, the traces of openings adapted to the canons still existing. The second defense element was located outside, at a distance of several hundred meters, and was a squared stone walls belt with bastions at the corners. The walls were surrounded on three sides by ditches with water, on the fourth side flowing Crişul Alb River.

After the year 1870 it was rebuilt from its ruins in neoclassic style with late Renaissance and Baroque elements. In the period of the Revolution in 1848-1849, Ineu was an important center of the national movements, and it kept this status even in the period between the two world wars.

Dezna Fortress

Dezna (Hungarian: Dézna) is a commune located in the Dezna River Valley (about 7 km from Sebiş) in Arad County, Romania. The first documentary record of Dezna dates back to 1318. According to a legend, László Nagy Peretseny (1817) says that the village name derives from the name of Dacian king Decebal.

The most important historical monument of Dezna is the citadel situated on the Ozoiu Hill (390 m). Dominating the region and the access road to the heart of Codru-Moma Mountains, the fortress was built probably at the end of the 13th century in the center of a Romanian principality (cnezat). First attested in 1317, it was for a long time an important Royal citadel. In 1318, the domain was donated to the Losonczi family.

The fortress had a most important role in 16-17th centuries, in 1552 being part of the defense system of western Transylvania as a boundary fortress, especially after the fall of Ineu, conquered by the Turks (1566). Since 1565 belonged to Ioan Sigismund. The citadel was strengthened with new reinforcements, among which the north-eastern bastion; the architecture in Renaissance style is somewhat similar to the Şoimuş Fortress. Probably in this period in the more vulnerable sectors of the citadel were added rows of parallel stone walls, then filled with river stones, bricks and high-strength mortar.

Conquered by the Turks in 1574 and recaptured by 1596, the fortress was between 1599 and 1601 in possession of the captain of Michael the Brave, Gáspar Kornis, who facilitated the passage of the ruler by his way to Prague. Between 1601 and 1658 know had more owners, and in 1619 was donated by Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen to Marcu-Cercel Vodă. In 1658 it was conquered again by the Turks, together with Ineu fortress, and in coming decades Dezna disappeared as fortification.

The Dezna Fortress is part of a simpler family of fortifications. The remaining walls suggest a simple construction with one tower. The polygon shaped precincts have a single tower, still standing, seemingly the only outstanding feature of this fortress. Over the years have survived three major walls of the main bastion. Equally, can be distinguished the footsteps of the other walls, the contour of the inner court and fragments of the city ditches. In spite of the modest construction type it was owned by royal and important noble families.

One story says that the Turks had gathered in the citadel a large number of girls, for the harem of a military leader. Unable to escape, one of the girls to avoid the sad fate waiting them, managed to blow up the deposit of gunpowder. Recent research does not exclude an essence of truth of this legend, because some signs shows that the destruction of the citadel by explosion is very probable.

Şiria Fortress

Şiria (Hungarian: Világos, German: Hellburg) is a commune in Arad County, Western Romania, near Zărand Mountains. Documentary certified for the first time in 1169, the village of Şiria was the residence of local landlord (mid 14th century). In the next century belonged to a vast area held between 1444-1445 by Ioan (or Iancu) de Hunedoara (aka Ioan Corvin or Corvinus, English: John Hunyadi, Hungarian: Hunyadi János).

The ruin of Şiria's fortress is one of the most important touristic sights of the commune. Located on the Fortress Hill (496 m high), the citadel dates from the 13th century and was enlarged in the 15th century. The citadel is built in Romanesque style, with a massive dungeon, provided with 2-3 floors and to the top has battlements. It was considerated to be an important strategic and economic point of the region, with 110 villages subordinated.

The central body is built on a rock of irregular ovoid shape with different levels. The western wall is 24 m long, very tall and with holes. To the north are seen the remains of a dungeon, that had a basement room and communicate in the outer court through a door. The outer court is 36-38 m long and has walls almost intact, 1.3 m thick and 3.5 m high. At north is an opening that was one of the citadel's gates. Over the ditch of the fortress there was a drawbridge. The tower and the surrounding wall are the oldest parts of the fortress. The dungeon was 109 m long and 18 meters wide, and before the central body is a protective wall at a distance of 2.5 m, closing a barbicane. The surrounding wall has a length of 28 m, with only an entry from the west. The ditch surrounding the fortress had in some portions a depth of 10 m and a width of 14 m, but some parts were less steep. Underground tunnels have a height of 1.9 m and 1.8 m wide at the base. The main gate on the northeast side, have 2.9 m and two adjacent openings - a large one for the vehicles and a small one for the pedestrians. The gate in the protective was for the access over the ditch more than 12 m wide and 6 meters deep; there are another two gates, one on the western side wall of the outer court and one in the central body. Construction materials used were quarry stone and Roman bricks with the stamp of the Legion XIII Gemina. The stages of implementation of construction works were:

- The tower, with annexes, the wall surrounding the central body part (after the Tatar invasion in 1241, the second half of the 13th century);
- The central body and the thickening of the walls with buttresses (during the reign of Ioan de Hunedoara).
- Fitting the central body, the outer court and the protective wall in front of the central body (during Báthory family rule - second half of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century). Under Ottoman rule the walls were strengthened increasing safety.

A particularly important role in its life had the Romanian voivodes and cneaz (princes, rulers of a large area). For example, a document of 1440 speaks of a certain prince Ştefan of Şiria. Corvinus's possession at the start of the second half of the fifteenth century, passed in the years 1461-1464 under the rule of the Báthory family. During the revolt of Gheorghe Doja (Hungarian: Dózsa György), the city is temporarily occupied by its peasant bands. Under Ottoman rule (17th century), the fortress was conquered and was Mihai Viteazu's (Michael the Brave) military garrison between 1599 to 1600. Subsequently, the city was occupied again by the Ottomans in 1607 and held by them until 1693. For strategic reasons, Hapsburg troops destroyed the citadel in 1784.

Another important event in the history of this locality was in 1849, when the library of the Bohuş Castle was used as a place for the negotiations between General Görgey Arthur, the commander of the Hungarian revolutionary army, and the Russian general Frolov, completed by the surrender of the first.

Şoimoş Fortress

The Şoimoş Fortress is situated in the village of Şoimoş, now part of the city of Lipova, Arad County, Western Romania. It was raised on the right bank of Mureş River, on Cioaca Tăutului Hill.

The fortress was built by the end of the 13th century by a noble family. It is assumed that the first owner was Paul, Ban (marquis) of Severin, between 1272-1275, which yields it first to his brother Nicolae, and then to his grandson, Posa, son of his brother Ioan, in 1278. The role of the fortress was already manifested in the situation of the centrifugal movement of Transylvania and Western Hungary, under the authority of Prince Ladislaus Kán II. The prince ruled the fortress by two of his vassals, counts of Arad: Alexandru (in 1310), and Dominic (1311). After 1315, in the time of King Carol Robert of Anjou, it become a royal citadel, associated with the dignities of count or viscount of Arad.

Towards the middle of the 15th century, the fortress was donated successively. In a document drafted in Buda in 1442, it is said that the citadel was initially mortgaged for the sum of 19,000 florins to Ladislau Hagymasi of Bereczko and his family, by King Albert (1439). The faithful of the new king, Vladislav I, took it over (1440), then the king donated it to the Ország family. The two sides agreed on the common rule in 1442. Under unclear circumstances, the Şoimoş Fortress became property of Corvin family (1446). Ion (or Iancu) de Hunedoara had dismissed his opponents giving them other compensations. Some clues have led to the assumption that the time of John Hunyadi the city was rebuilt. The truth is that only since 1453, his rule was formalized by the young King Ladislaus V. Historian Gerö László believes that Italian craftsmen were involved, and Entz Géza has made an association between the frames of gates from Şoimoş, with Deva fortress and the Hippolit tower in Eger (Hungary). Window frames still kept in the city are not belonging to the middle of the 15th century, but are almost 50 years newest.

In the time of King Matthias it was mortgaged again, to Jan Giskra, former commander of the Bohemian Hussites (1462), during which city maintenance was estimated at 1,000 florins a year. Since 1471 it was ruled by Nicolae and Iacob Bánffy, the first being count of Arad. In 1487 it was confiscated by force from Bánffy family, unfaithful to the King. The citadel belonged then to Ioan Corvin, natural son of the King, then came to Gheorghe Hohenzollern de Brandenburg by his marriage with the widow of Ioan, Beatrix of Frangepan. In peacetime, the number of soldiers was only 12. In the citadel lived Hungarians, Germans and Romanians, all in the service of George of Brandenburg; around the fortress were about 95 settlements.

In June 1515, after the conquer of Lipova, the city was besieged by the rebels of Gheorghe Doja. Details of the siege are well known because of the investigation carried out subsequently, after suppressing the peasants' uprising. After defeating the rebels under the walls of Timişoara, the prince of Transylvania, Ioan Zápolya, held the fortifications of the Mureş Valley, and give the citadel into possession to palatine Perenyi. Around the middle of the 16th century, it became the princely residence of the widow of Ioan Zapolya, Izabella. In 1551, the fortress was given to Andrei Báthory, who represented the King Ferdinand of Hapsburg. It was occupied by the Turks in 1552, then released in 1595 by Borbély György, a captain in Ştefan Bathori's army. It was finally gave to the Turks by Prince Gabriel Bethlen, and remained under Turkish occupation by March 26, 1688.

The fortress had a military role in the early 18th century, without being involved in any major military event. It was officially abandoned in 1788 and subject to demolition, but the difficult access and the relative remoteness were the reasons for the stopped destruction. In the 19th century the monument was protected by law and the last repair occurred in the early seventh decade of next century.