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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization aka UNESCO,  is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through the international cooperation in education, the arts, the sciences, and culture (Wikipedia). This organization counts 193 member states in all over the world. In this article, we will make a record of the UNESCO sites that are located in Romania. As usually, some Romanian key words with their translation of course, will be provided to you in order to keep you fresh for your Romanian language lessons. In case you want to learn Romanian online (or not) this article will be a good help!

The first site that we will examine is the Danube Delta that was declared as UNESCO site on 1991. It is between Dobrogea in Romania and Odeska Oblast in Ukraine. It covers an area of 3.446 sq. meters. Near the city of Tulcea, the river is divided in three tributaries before pouring its waters into the Black Sea, which are called Chilia, Sulina and Sfăntu Gheorghe (Saint George). In the surrounding areas there are 1.200 different types of plants and 300 types of birds. Finally, these areas are inhabited by 15.000 inhabitants.

declare = a declara

examine = a examina

meter = metru

river = râu

tributary = afluent

before = înainte de

area = zonă

plant = plantă

bird = pasăre

The second site is the Monastery of Horezu. This one was declared as UNESCO site on 1993. As its name shows, it is located in the city of Horezu. This monastery was built on 1690 by the Prince Constantin Brăncoveanu, the ruler of Wallachia from 1688 until 1714. The church of this monastery is 32 m long and 14 m height and it’s dedicated to Saint Constantin and Santa Helen. It is known for its architectural purity and balance, its rich sculptural decoration, its exquisite murals, its tribute portraits and the realistic depiction of faces. It’s name, according to tradition comes from the word “huhurezi” which means owls.

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monastery = mănăstire

name = nume

build = a construi

ruler = domnitor

church = biserică

length = lungime

height = înălţime

balance = echilibru

decoration = decor

owl = bufniţă

Moving on with the third monument, we have here a whole city, actually a big part of it. And we are referring to the city of Sighișoara. It is located in the historical region of Transylvania with its population to be estimated to around 30.000 people. The picturesque old city of Sighișoara with the famous watch tower and the citadel is a popular touristic attraction.

city = oraș

history = istorie

region = regiune

tower = turn

touristic attraction = atractie turistica

Then, there are the  seven Saxon villages with the fortified churches with the characterizing pattern which are located as well in Transylvania and were declared as UNESCO sites on 1993 and 1999. In the same year (1993) the Moldavian churches in Suceava county were declared as UNESCO monuments. They were built between 1487 and 1583 and their unique fresco paintings represent the complete cycles of religious themes.

village = sat

seven = șapte

year = an

county = judet

paintings = tablouri

religion = religie

On 1999, another one Romanian historic sighseeing was declared an UNESCO monument, the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains. These six fortresses were built in the first centuries BC and AD  for protection against Roman conquest. Their remains are very well maintained and indicate signs of an innovative ancient civilization. In the same year and going back to churches, another declaration was announced by UNESCO for the Wooden churches of Maramureș. It’s about almost 100 Orthodox churches and some Greek-Catholic ones between them. These churches are high timber constructions with their trademark to be the tall and slim bell tower. They started to be constructed from 17th century and finished on the 19th century. They are decorated with Biblical scenes, mostly by local painters.

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A special reference is necessary to make here for the Merry Cemetery which is also located in the same county of Maramureș and specifically in the village of Săpânța. In this cemetery, which lies also under UNESCO umbrella, the death is presented like something nice and pleasant. The founder was Stan Ioan Pătraș and he was probably affected by an old common balcanic perception and by an ancient thracian mythology that the death was something that the people should celebrate with joy and happiness. In this ‚’weird’’ cemetery, dominated by colors all over, funny lyrics for the life of the person who lies in the tomb are the ones which attract our attention. Definitely this monument is one of a kind!

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fortress = fortăreață

century = secol

protect = a proteja

innovation = inovaţie              

civilization = civilizaţie

construction = constructive

bell tower = clopotniță

cemetery = cimitir

perception = percepţie

death = moarte

color = culoare

life = viaţă.

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