Dumitru Daponte and the 3D cinema

Dumitru Daponte (1894-1956) was a Romanian engineer, who invented in 1924 the 3D cinema.

After World War I began the boom of film industry. It was the silent film era, black and white, interrupted every 10 minutes to change the film coil. The dialogues were designed separately, on a black background and some film scenes were interrupted to provide the necessary explanation for the action understanding. However, the theaters were full and it was obvious that the new industry had a golden future.

One of the problems that Dumitru Daponte tried to solve is related to playback images in relief (the classic projection has only width and height, not depth, making the screen to be viewed as a sequence of shots). Techniques used in this way were different: the use of glasses with colored lenses, the projection of images on a curved screen etc.

Before Daponte, another Romanian had made a similar attempt: N. Iliescu Brînceni developed a kind of binoculars, which each spectator had to hold to eyes to see on a screen two distinct sets of images superposed to obtain the sensation of relief.

Dumitru Daponte began to work on his invention in 1916, doing research and experimentation in Italy and England, countries where the film enjoyed a great interest. He then made a device for obtaining a stereoscopic effect, based on the idea that the relief conditions must be created since the time of registration of the film. Daponte built a camera with two objectives (the ones by then had one), at approximately 6 cm distance from each other, trying to get the relief effect by projecting simultaneously each pair of captured images. The engineer based his invention by the fact that man sees with two eyes and the perception of relief is due to this double simultaneous reception of the image. His apparatus also contained a device allowing the adjustment of the distance between the two objectives. The two films thus obtained were then entered into a special recording device, such as the two images to be implemented on a single film. His invention was patented in France (Patent no. 592963) and England (Patent no. 222173).

Daponte's invention, introduced in 1924, enjoyed great interest and represented a step forward in addressing this crucial issue for the future of film industry.

Orban, the 'Dacian' cannon founder

The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire which occurred after a siege laid by an army of 80-100,000 soldiers of Ottoman Empire, under the command of Sultan Mehmed II. The siege lasted from Thursday, 5 April 1453 until Tuesday, 29 May 1453 (according to the Julian Calendar), when the city was conquered by the Ottomans. Constantinople was defended by the army of 7000 defenders of Emperor Constantine XI. The event marked the end of the political independence of the millennium-old Byzantine Empire, which was by then already fragmented into several Greek monarchies.

The fortifications of Constantinople in the 15th century

Prior to the siege of Constantinople it was known that the Ottomans had the ability to cast medium-sized cannons, but the range of some pieces they were able to put to field far surpassed the defenders' expectations. One cannon was 9 m long, and able to fire 750 kg over the distance of 2 km. The Greeks called it the Basilica cannon (the royal gun). Instrumental to this Ottoman advancement in arms production was a somewhat mysterious figure by the name of Orban.

The Dardanelles Gun, cast in 1464 and based on the Orban bombard.

The origins of Orban remains uncertain. According to some scholars he was Hungarian; John Julius Norwich, in A Short History of Byzantium (1997), suggest he was German. Laonicus Chalcondyles (c. 1423–1490), a Byzantine Greek scholar from Athens who lived in the time of siege, in his work Proofs of Histories says that Orban was a 'Dacian' - '[...] but the Emperor had a Dacian cannon founder named Orban, creator of weapons and tools for breking the walls. [...] Orban was a man between two ages, with blond mustache and rosy-cheeked'. Chalcondyles named in his works the Romanians as 'Dacians'. 'Orban' is indeed a Hungarian name, but it is frequent also in Belgium and Holland; spelled 'Urban', it has a Latin ascendancy. Probably, Orban was a Transylvanian-born Hungarian or Romanian, but the hypothesis remains unverified.

Mehmed II by Bellini

The master founder initially tried to sell his services to the Byzantines, who were, however, unable to secure the funds needed to hire him. Orban then left Constantinople and approached Mehmed II. Accordingly, Orban's arrival at Edirne must have seemed providential. The sultan welcomed the master founder and questioned him closely. Mehmed asked if he could cast a cannon to project a stone ball large enough to smash the walls at Constantinople. Orban's reply was emphatic: 'I can cast a cannon of bronze with the capacity of the stone you want. I have examined the walls of the city in great detail. I can shatter to dust not only these walls with the stones from my gun, but the very walls of Babylon itself'. Mehmed ordered him to make the gun. Given abundant funds and materials, the engineer built the gun within three months at Adrianople, from which it was dragged by sixty oxen to Constantinople. In the meantime, Orban also produced other cannons instrumental for the Turkish siege forces.

Constantine XI

Orban's cannon had several drawbacks, however: it could only be fired seven times a day; it took three hours to reload; the cannon balls were in very short supply; after each shot, crews soaked the barrel in warm oil to prevent cold air from penetrating and enlarging the fissures; and the cannon is said to have collapsed under its own recoil after six weeks (this fact however is disputed, being only reported in the letter of Archbishop Leonardo di Chio and the later and often unreliable Russian chronicle of Nestor Iskander). Having previously established a large foundry approximately 150 miles away, Mehmed now had to undergo the painstaking process of transporting his massive pieces of artillery. Orban's giant cannon was said to have been accompanied by a crew of 60 oxen and over 400 men (Doukas or Dukas, The Turkish-Byzantine History, (1341-1462)).

The Ottoman army and the Basilica cannon

And when it had caught fire, faster than you can say it, there was first a terrifying roar and a violent shaking of the ground beneath and for a great distance around, and a din such as has never been heard. Then, with a monstrous thundering and an awful explosion and a flame that illuminated everything round about and scorched it, the wooden wad was forced out by the hot blast of dry air and propelled the stone ball powerfully out. Projected with incredible force and power, the stone struck the wall, which it immediately shook and demolished, and it was itself shattered into many fragments, and the pieces were hurled everywhere, dealing death to those standing nearby.

The bombard technology from which Orban drew had been established between 1400 and 1450 in Western European siege warfare, with some pieces like the Dulle Griet, Mons Meg and the Pumhart von Steyr still extant from the period. He, along with an entire crew, is assumed to have been killed during the siege by one of his superguns exploding, then not an unusual occurrence (Volker Schmidtchen, 1977). One of a growing band of technical mercenaries who plied their trade across the Balkans, he offered to the two Emperors one of the most highly prized skills of the age: the ability to cast large bronze guns. The Orban's cannon symbolized the end of outmoded medieval techniques of castle construction and siege warfare and opened a terrible new chapter in military history. The use of massed artillery bombardment would prevail.


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Cantacuzino Palace

Built in 1899–1902 by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino (known as “The Nabob”, former mayor of Bucharest, leader of the Conservative Party, and one of the richest men in Romania ever), the architectural ensemble was designed by architect Ioan D. Berindei.

The Cantacuzino Palace can be found at 141, Calea Victoriei (Victoria Road), Bucharest. After G. G. Cantacuzino died in 1913, the palace was inherited by his son, Mihail G. Cantacuzino and his wife, Maria (also known as Princess Maruca, born Rosetti-Tescanu); after the premature death of her first husband, Maruca re-married in 1939, becoming the wife of George Enescu, Romania's greatest composer. In the 40’s, the palace hosted the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and since 1947 the Institute for Romanian-Soviet Studies.

After the death of George Enescu, in 1955, his wife donated the domain to the Museum and to the Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union of Romania, to be dedicated to the memory of the musician. Thus, on the 19th of June 1956, George Enescu Museum was opened. The museum gathers documents and pictures referring to the composer’s life and work. Among other exhibits, there also is the violin the composer received as a present when he turned 4 year old. There are regular classical music concerts hosted by the palace (many of them being organized by the Polish Cultural Institute), and this is a good time to visit the building (for otherwise, the main hall of the palace is not included in the regular museum visit).

The palace was set in French Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements. The façade’s richness in sculptural decoration is notable. On the top of the entrance, the circular fronton bears the princely coat of arms of the Cantacuzino family. The facade is dominated by the main entrance; above it there is a giant shell-shaped porte-cochére and two stone lions guard the stairs and the door that mingle harmoniously with the statues and other ornaments in the Baroque style, and wrought iron balconies surround the home's tall windows.

For the decoration of the building, the architect collaborated with several recognized artists of the time. The mural paintings were made by George Demetrescu Mirea, Nicolae Vermont, Costin Petrescu and Arthur Verona, the sculptures and the ornamentation are made by Emil Wilhelm Becker, while the artfulness of Krieger House in Paris can be admired in the interior decoration (tapestry, chandeliers, lamps, stained-glasses).

Floriile (The Palm Sunday)

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday. The feast commemorates an event mentioned by all four Canonical Gospels Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19: the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion. It is also called Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion.

Floriile or Duminica Floriilor (the Palm Sunday) open to all Romanian the Easter cycle, which ends once the Ascension of Jesus (40 days after Easter). Evoking the entering of Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, welcomed with a lot of flowers and cheers, Palm Sunday is both a celebration in which the pre-Christian and Christian elements combine happily, resulting in extremely beautiful customs and traditions. It is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year, and is the beginning of Holy Week.

The day before is known as Lazarus Saturday, and commemorates the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. On this day, is known the Lăzărelul tradition, a practice that recalls the ancient god of vegetation that died and reborn at the beginning of each spring.

The name of the feast in Romanian (Florii) comes from the Roman goddess Flora. The green branches used this day, employed both in domestic and church rituals, embodies the symbol of chastity and the annual rebirth of vegetation, a fitomorphe substitute of the goddess. The day before people gather willow branches, tie them in bundles and go to church to be sanctified by a priest. After sanctification, the branches called 'mâţişori' (approx. 'kitties') are taken home by the faithful to adorn with the icons, windows, doors, entrances to sheds or to put in wells and the eaves of houses. The women stick them on newly seeded layers, put them into animal feed or on the graves. The beekeepers go around the beehives with those willow branches, and the villagers do the same with their cattle - rituals of fertility.

Another belief said that how weather is like on Palm Sunday, so will be on Easter Day. On this day celebrate the name-day those who bear a flower name (around 1.5 million Romanians).

Cornetu Monastery

Cornetu Monastery is located on Olt River Valley, Călineşti village (now part of Brezoi town), Vâlcea County, Wallachia, Romania. Initially a skeet for monks, it was transformed in a convent for nuns. The dedication day of the monastery is The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, 29 of August. In Romanian, Cornetu signifies a forest of European Cornel (Cornus mas) trees.

The monastery has a characteristic, probably unique in the world: the railway passes under it! When the railway was built through the Olt Gorges in the late 19th century, because of the narrow space it was decided to construct the embankments under the church.

The hermitage was built by marele vornic Mareş Băjescu and his wife Maria, great feudal close to the Cantacuzino (or Cantacuzène) family. He choose the place carefully, on one hand near his domains, on other hand near Transylvania, thus providing an ideal refuge for the founder and his family in harsh times to come. According to the original dedication inscription (Romanian: pisanie) carved in stone, the works were finished on August 29, 1666, during the reign of Radu Leon (1664-1669). Mareş Băjescu transferred to the hermitage the possession of Copăceni village, Saşa and Cornetu mountains, as well as some terrains in Pripoare, Titeşti, Ostrov villages.

In 1761, during the reign of Constantin Mavrocordat, a certain Alecse căpitan za Lovişte ordered to recover the altar painting, work done by painters Mihai, Iordache and Radu - as is said in another inscription located in the southeast corner of the nave. Another important moment in the history of the worship place is the 1808 fire, which almost completely destroyed the church and the cells, for a period the monastic life being interrupted. Only in 1835 the new abbot Irimah recovered the buildings and murals. During 1864-1949, the church was administered by Eforia Spitalelor Civile of Bucharest, which in 1885 financed the construction of the oak iconostasis, and a year later the painting of the wooden icons. Between 1923-1925, in cooperation with the Department of Monuments, were restored the dome of the tower and the shrine destroyed by shells during WWI (the fights of 1916).

In 1898, when it was dug the tunnel under the walls of the monastery site, the Department of Railways demolished a part of the old wall and the annex cells, building later the present ones. Were preserved the watchtower, the tower and the walls on north and east sides. The last major renovation was in 1960, under the patronage of Directorate of Historic Monuments, when was restored the mural painting.

The complex is surrounded by a square stone; on three corners of the enclosure rises polygonal towers and on the southeast corner is a pavilion. In the middle of the enclosure is the church, the only that kept its original form. Built on a three-lobed plan, it has a bell tower with eight sides over the narthex and the 'Pantocrator' tower with ten sides and narrow windows over the nave. The wall is from horizontal rows of visible bricks between plaster panels, divided by a double belt of rounded brick, that surrounds the niche of the icon of dedication on the western facade. The cornice is made of brick arranged in the shape of saw teeth, with a row of buttons below it and a frieze of glazed tiles framed by bricks set on edge. The pedestal is made of boulders in brick boxes.

Important architectural monument of 17th century, the monastery is considered by scholar N. Ghika-Budeşti as "one of the most interesting and the most picturesque of the time, as architecture".

Râmeţ Monastery

Râmeț Monastery is one of the oldest and most renowned worship places in Romania. It is located in Alba County, Transylvania, in Trascău Mountains (Western Carpathians).

Râmeţ Monastery

It seems that the monastery was founded by two monks, father Ghenadie and father Romulus, in 1214. The great scholar Nicolae Iorga showed that the name "Râmeț" is derived from "eremite" (lonely monk). The painting of the old church is a real chronicle of it's history: the first layer is from 1300, and the second layer from 1310. The third layer, on which a text that dates back to 1377 can be deciphered, was laid on the surface of the arch that is situated between the nave and the pronaos; the fourth layer dates from 1450, the fifth layer from 1600, the sixth layer from 1741, and the seventh layer from 1809. The church was painted again by Grigore Popescu between 1987 and 1988.

The old church

Since 1506, the monastery was protected by ruling prince of Wallachia, Radu the Great. During the reign of Michael the Brave, it was restored by princely craftsmen an painters, as Petre the Armenian, Mina and Nicolae from Crete. The holy establishment was abandoned for one hundred years. On 20th August 1762, the monastery was destroyed by cannons on the orders of General Bukow, because it was one of the most celebrated Orthodox places of worship, as well as one of the most powerful centers of Orthodox spirituality in Transylvania. The monastery ran a school which was also devasted in 1762. During the following years, Râmeţ Monastery underwent extensive repairs and restoration works. Nevertheless, it was again destroyed by the Austrian imperial army on December 23, 1785.

The new church

In 1826, the monastery was transformed into a parish church and in 1932 it became a monastery all over again. The newly acquired monastic status was owed to the persevering efforts of a monk, father Evloghie Ota. In 1955, it was transformed into a female monastic community, but in 1960, it was closed down and turned into a touring chalet. In 1982, the monastery received once again official approval from the local state authorities to resume the religious activities that are regularly carried out in a monastic establishment; yet, the outbuildings designed for monastic domestic uses were still occupied by lay lodgers. In order to regain possession of these outbuildings, father confessor Dometie Manolache, Mother Superior Ierusalima Ghibu and the dedicated monastic residents set about constructing a touring chalet outside the monastery grounds. In 1969 the monastery set up a museum to exhibit icons on wood, icons on glass, old books, and an important numismatic collection. The personalities relating to the existence of the museum include: Nicolae Iorga, Vasile Drăguț and Virgil Vătășianu.

Saint Ghelasie

The need of the believers required the building of a new and larger church. The architecture of this church represents a synthesis of the Moldavian and Wallachian architectural styles. Its construction began in 1982 and was finished ten years later, when the church was consecrated on June 29, 1992, and dedicated to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Saint Ghelasie of Râmeţ was father superior of the monastery and the archbishop of Transylvania in the second half of the 14th century, and was canonized the same day. The monastery houses some 95 nuns and sisters who pray and work according to the holy canons of the Orthodox monasteries.

Râmeţ Gorges

The Râmeţ Gorges (Romanian: Cheile Râmeţului) are located in the proximity of Râmeţ commune, Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. Developed at the east of the Trascău Mountains, on the middle flow of the Râmeţ Rivulet, the Râmeţ Gorges are among the most important touristic points from the Apuseni Mountains (Western Carpathians). In its upper part, Râmeţ Rivulet is named by the locals Monastery Valley, and in its lower part, Mogoşului Valley; the rivulet is also named Geoagiului Valley.

At the exit of Trascău Mountains, between Trascău, Urmezu and Vulturilor peaks, it formed a gorges zone of 1 km in length. On the entire length of the gorges, there are traces of an old tunnel-shaped cave. The gradual collapse of the cave ceiling eased the further evolution of the gorges. This can be argued by the fact that the keys have a transverse V-profile, wider at the top. The Râmeţ Gorges are extremely narrow, with steep walls. At the basis of the walls there can be found many caves’ entrances.

Eaves presents a large distribution, both in water and suspended, which reflects the stages of deepening of the river stages in the limestone ridge. The most impressive are found in the area called La Cuptoare, where the gorges are very narrow (3-4 m) and the slopes are eave-shaped. In the central part of the gorges, there is a tunnel with a length of about 15 m and a height of 4-5 m.

After leaving the gorges, 3 km downstream, Râmeţ Rivulet form new gorges, near the Râmeţ Monastery. Though having a length of about 100 m, these gorges are spectacular, having the appearance of a huge gate. Slopes have a V-shaped transverse profile, wide open at the top, presenting numerous towers, poles, and grottoes.

Due to the spectacular landscape and to the special karstic elements that it presents, the Râmeţ Gorges have been declared Geological, Paleontological and Speological Reservation since 1969. The reserve consists of limestone massifs since late Jurassic. In the western part prevails conglomerates, sandstones, marls and marno-calcars, and Cretaceous and Mesozoic basalts in the eastern area.

The vegetation of the area is remarkable, with endemic species as Dianthus spiculifolius, Silene dubia, Aconitum moldavicum, Hepatica transsilvanica, Cardamine glanduligera, Viola jooi, Sorbus dacica, Cephalaria radiata, Campanula rotundifolia ssp. kladniana, Centaurea pinnatifoida, Cirsium furiensis and some rare species as Taxus baccata, Geranium macrorrhizum, Cypripendium calceolus, Aquilegia nigricans ssp. subscaposa, Viola biflora, Daphne cnerorum, Geranium macrorrhizum, Sparganium neglectum, Typha shuttleworthii, Herminium monorchis etc.

Because of the abrupt relief, the gorges can be browsed only along the water during the summer, with a good knowledge of the area and a good training!

Anghel Saligny

Anghel Saligny (April 19, 1854, Şerbăneşti – June 17, 1925, Bucharest) was a great Romanian engineer, forerunner of metal and concrete construction science.

His father, Alfred Saligny, an educator, was a French immigrant to Romania. He started his studies at the boarding school founded by his father in Focşani, then went on to high school, initially also in Focşani and then in Potsdam, Germany. He pursued astronomy at the University in Berlin - as a student of Hermann von Helmholtz, and engineering studies at the Polytechnic Institute in Charlottenburg (1870-1874), and then contributed to the construction of railways in Saxony (Cottbus-Frankfurt). He was a founding member of the Bucharest Polytechnic Society (the precursor to today's Bucharest Polytechnic Institute) - and its president between 1895-1897 and 1910-1911 - and was even appointed a Minister of Public Works. In 1892, he was elected a member of the Romanian Academy, and he served as its president between 1907 and 1910. Anghel Saligny's brother Alfons Oscar Saligny (1853–1903) was a chemist and educator who was also elected a member of the Romanian Academy.

He drew the plans for the Adjud–Târgu Ocna, which included the first mixed-use (railway and highway) bridges in Romania (1881–1882). He was also involved in the construction of numerous other metallic bridges, such as the one at Cosmeşti over the Siret River, which measured 430 m in length. Between 1884 and 1889, Saligny planned and built the first silos in the world made of reinforced concrete, which are preserved today in Constanţa, Brăila and Galaţi. In the port of Constanţa, he created a special pool to allow oil export and two silos for grain export.

Anghel Saligny's most important work was the King Carol I Bridge over the Danube at Cernavodă. Although a public offer had been held by the Romanian government for the erection of a bridge in that location, all projects were found to be subpar and then rejected. Based on his previous experience, Saligny was then selected and given the daunting (at the time) task to draw up the plans for the new structure. Construction work for the bridge started November 26, 1895, in the presence of King Carol I of Romania. The bridge has five openings, with four being 140 m wide, and the central one spanning 190 m. To allow ships to pass under the bridge, it was raised 30 m above the water. The endurance test was performed on the official opening day, when a convoy of locomotives drove on it at 85 km/h. The bridge at Cernavodă measures 4.088 m in length, with 1,662 m over the Danube, and 920 m over the Borcea arm of Danube. At the time, it was the longest bridge in Europe, and the third longest bridge in the world. The structure was famous for its era, competing with Gustave Eiffel's engineering works in France — the Garabit viaduct and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was later renamed Anghel Saligny Bridge, and was not used since 1987, after the construction of a new bridge.

After Wikipedia.

Plumbuita Monastery

Plumbuita Monastery is an Orthodox monastery for monks, dedicated to the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, located in Colentina district of Bucharest, on a small hill on the right bank of the Colentina River.

The church of the monastery

First consecration took place in 1560, when ruler Peter the Younger (1559-1568), son of Mircea the Shepherd and Lady Chiajna, started construction of the monastery, which will be completed by ruler Mihnea Turcitul. In 1585, he worships the church to Xiropotamou Monastery from Mount Athos. The church suffered great destruction in 1595, and 1614 was severely affected by fire.

Its current form was reached after the second consecration since 1647, when the church was rebuilt from the ground by ruler Matei Basarab, after the model of Dealu Monastery (built by ruler Radu the Great), to commemorate his victory in 1632 against the Turks. Then was added the Princely House and the monastery was reinforced with high walls. The bell tower was built between 1802-1806, by abbot Dionysius of Ioannina, after the older bell tower of the monastery was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1802.

The bell tower

The name Plumbuita (approx. The Leaded) was given by locals, because for a long time the church has been covered with lead sheets. A legend says that the name comes from the fact that Matei Basarab, in need of cannon balls during a battle, ordered to melt the lead on the roof of the monastery.

Votive painting of Matei Basarab and his wife Elena

The church rebuilt by Matei Basarab has triconch plan, with the tower on the nave, with typical Wallachian architectural character, but has also Gothic window frames - highlighting the influence of Moldavian architecture. It has very thick walls, almost one meter. The votive painting depicts the church-builder, ruling prince Matei Basarab.

The hermitages

Princely House has massive masonry arches on the ground floor and numerous arches, supported on cylindrical columns, on the first floor, being one of rare specimens of civil architecture before the 19th century that is preserved in Bucharest. The bell tower is embedded in the wall of the enclosure in half its southern side. The lower level is pierced by the tunnel entry, and the room above is the bells' chamber.

The monastery is a monument of reference for the cultural history of Bucharest, from the late 16th century. In 1573, the first printing press in Bucharest (and the third in Wallachia) was established here, by ruling prince Alexandru II Mircea and his wife, Catherine Salvarezzo. The patterns, executed under the direction of monk Lavrentie and his apprentice Iovan, present specific features, unique in the history of Romanian printing, which can not be confused with other characters printed in Romanian Countries. In 1582, appear here the first books printed in Bucharest: two Tetra-evangelism and a Psalter (from which is kept only a fragment, in the National Library in Sofia).

The main gate

Since the nineteenth century, the monastery went through a prolonged period of decline. The earthquake of 1802 severely damaged the monastery and the bell tower, repaired later by Abbot Dionysius of Ioannina. After the secularization of monasteries assets during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, all possessions of the monastery were taken by the state. The monastery was abandoned, being converted into a parish church.


Plumbuita declined for a long time, the church was damaged severely by the earthquake of 1940. In 1940, Marshal Ion Antonescu began a restoration action, wanting to transform Plumbuita in a National Pantheon for the heroes of war for reunification of the nation, and his final resting place to be in this church. In the years 1954-1955, the monastery church was restored by Patriarch Justinian, and it was consecrated on June 24, 1958.

The Princely House

In the Princely House is arranged a museum that includes: religious art objects, 130 busts of the Romanian ruling princes (carved in stone by Abbot Simeon Tatu) and original murals. The library of the monastery is a museum of old books, some 500 years old. Inside the church are the relics of St. Nicholas and of Holy Martyrs Gheorghe, Panteleimon and Ion cel Nou of Suceava.

Holy Relics

In the monastery workshops operate the sections of Painting, Restoration and Heritage of the Faculty of Theology in Bucharest. Until recently, the monastery had sculpture workshops for carpenters and a section for casting bells (the largest bell cast in Plumbuita Monastery has 1,200 kg and is in operation at Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest). Now, the monastery is subject to extensive renovations.

Photos from Wikipedia and Creştin-Ortodox.

Bethlen Gábor College in Aiud

Gabriel Bethlen de Iktár (Hungarian: Bethlen Gábor, German: Gabriel Bethlen von Iktár; November 15, 1580-November 15, 1629) was a prince of Transylvania (1613-1629), duke of Opole (1622-1625) and leader of an anti-Habsburg insurrection in the Habsburg Royal Hungary. His last armed intervention in 1626 was part of the Thirty Years' War. He led an active Protestant-oriented foreign policy.

In May 1622, the Transylvanian Diet (the deliberative assembly) met in Cluj and approved the plan of Prince Gabriel Bethlen to establish a high education institution. The nobility wanted its establishment in Cluj, but the will of the prince was decisive, as the institution which was named Academicum Collegium seu Gymnasium Illustre was founded in Alba-Iulia. The aim of the Prince was to transform Alba-Iulia into the "Heidelberg of the East". Wanting to ensure a high quality education, the prince invited professors from universities in Western Europe.


In 1658 the College was destroyed during the Turkish-Tatar invasion, then was moved in Cluj. In 1662, Prince Apafi Mihály I of Transylvania (1661-1690) relocated the College in Aiud, on the domains donated by Gabriel Bethlen.


In 1704, the College was devastated by Austrian armies. In 1711 the rector of the College, Pápai Pariz Ferenc, obtained - with the agreement of King of England - a material support from Christians in Britain consisting of 11,000 sterling pounds for rebuilding the school. Of these funds and interest were built most of the buildings that currently compose the Bethlen Gábor College.


In January 8, 1849, Aiud - considered a cultural and scientific center due to its college - was sacked and destroyed by the Imperial Armies, during the 1848 Revolution. It was the most terrible destruction in the history of Aiud and of the College.


Since its establishment until 1859, the College was considered an Academic institution with three faculties: philology, law, theology. After the moving of the faculties in Cluj in 1869, respectively 1895, Bethlen Gábor College became a High School, with a pedagogic section (since 1858).

Following the nationalization in 1948, the College lose its properties and the Reformed confessional character was suspended. In 1976, it became a technical high school. Since 1990, it was transformed again in a theoretical high school, in November 1993 was called 'College', with kindergarten, primary, secondary and high school classes (with sciences, theological, educational profiles).

On the 1st floor of the main building is the Museum of Natural Sciences, the oldest of its kind in Romania. His first record is in 1720.

Images from Aiud Online.