After the fall of the European communist era, most countries in Central and Eastern parts of the continent began trying to redefine their cultural and national identity. As for Romania, it was a particularly tough journey since it was one of the most oppressed countries. Even though Romania has a very rich cultural heritage, the communist ideology has almost managed to destroy it. But despite the oppression, today’s Romania is a popular destination point for tourists all around the globe.The history of Romania and how tourism is on the rise.Take a look at this article to learn all about tourism in Romania.
Nowadays, this country attracts visitors with its cultural diversity and vibrant nightlife. Tourists can find the prominent nightclub scene in Bucharest, go Dracula hunting in Transylvania, and enjoy Black Sea’s natural charms. In this article, we are going to retrace our steps to how Romania endured its tyrannical government in order to become a bustling hotspot. Let’s take it from the top with…
The final days of the communist reign
In the last years of communism, the government increased social control to the point where one out of three Romanians was an informant for the communist party. There was a strong surveillance system established. The Securitate has installed a phone-bugging system and extended the censorship. The government kept records on almost every Romanian citizen, making them hate and fear the leader of the country – Nicolae Ceausescu – even more. Trying to build a personality cult, Ceausescu began flooding the country with his portrait. They were everywhere – on the streets, in every public building, and even schools.
Such dictatorship resulted in a significant descent of tourism – by 1987 the number of tourists dropped by 75%. Along with that, the Securitate began isolating the population from everything that was happening outside of the country even more. That was the point when Romanians simply couldn’t bear it anymore.
On November 15th in 1987, an anti-communist riot happened in Brasov. It became an important event that has catalyzed the forthcoming fall of communist reign. The riot began with a night strike on November 14th at the enterprise of Trucks Brasov. On the next morning, members of the strike performed a march in front of the Council of the Romanian Communist Party located downtown.
The turbulent event gained popularity thanks to the Radio Free Europe. There is no surprise that all strikers were arrested, and their families were exposed to the true terror of Ceausescu’s iron rule. But the population, inspired by the courage of workers, continued their quest for the revolution. The regime wanted to hide the fact that the nation was in a state of severe malcontent. So the government simply ignored all claims and quietly arrested as many people as possible.
Things escalated quickly. Protests spread around the country and the population became braver and gained a distinctive voice. During December, a lot of protesters lost their lives fighting against the brutal communist regime. Still, the nation continued with the revolution head-on. Finally, Ceausescu and his wife were caught by the army, sentenced to death on December 25th and executed – signalizing the end of his decades-long cruel dictatorship.
The rise of tourism
Since the fall of communism, tourism in Romania slowly started developing again. Some tourists were even attracted by the nation’s totalitarian past, some were fascinated by the idea of real-life Dracula, and some were completely oblivious to everything this country has to offer. Despite the gradual revival, Romanians still had debates about what “true Romania” is. They tried to meet the expectations of tourists without selling their national identity short. The amusing struggle between old and new, reality and myth – these are the things reshaped the nation’s integrity.
There are a lot of places in the country that are worthy to see. One of the most popular is Sighisoara – the city in Transylvania that used to be a town of merchants and craftsmen in the 12th century. This place has a rich history and charming prospects. Another interesting city in Transylvania is Sibiu. Here travelers can enjoy the Grand Square built in the 15th century and pristine Baroque architecture. Also, you would want to visit Brasov, where the revolution spread like wildfire.
Romania offers plenty of fascinating landscapes, beautiful architecture, and both mountain and sea resorts. But the most visited city is, of course, Bucharest. Here you will find a captivating combination of old buildings and modern architecture. In Bucharest, you can enjoy medieval churches and cobblestone streets during the day and have some unforgettable time in bustling clubs in the nighttime. The nightlife scene of Bucharest is extremely active and vivid, plus you will definitely get your money’s worth.
This country went a hard and long way from the dictatorship and oppression to the popular destination point for tourists. Romania has become a hot spot for travelers particularly in Eastern Europe but the West is also starting to gravitate toward its “exotic” amenities and stories. So if you haven’t visited this amazing place yet, definitely mark Romania on your travel map and experience a true diversity of one-of-a-kind experiences.