With special thanks to my friend, Victoria Zamorano an exceptional photographer from the USA, for all the wonderful photographs that she contributed to this site.
The Great Synagogue & The Holocaust Museum, founded in 1850 by a congregation of Polish Jews; the synagogue was first repaired in 1865 and adapted to electric lighting in 1915.In 1980 it was turned into the Romanian Jewish history Museum.
Properly called the Dr. Moses Rosen Museum of the History of the Jewish Community in Romania – Holocaust Museum, and housed in the magnificently preserved Great Synagogue (1850), this museum traces the history of Romania’s Jewish population.
Inside is a collection of books written, published, illustrated or translated by Romanian Jews; a small collection of paintings of and by Romanian Jews (many of the same artists’ works hang in the National Museum of Art); and memorabilia from Jewish theaters, including the State Jewish Theater. The museum also contained a large collection of Jewish ritual objects from Romania, collected by Rabbi Moses Rosen (1912–1994), the late Chief Rabbi of Romanian Jewry.
Ten Commandments covering the aron ha-kodesh (the holy ark), Great Synagogue, Bucharest.
Bible in The Great Synagogue, Bucharest, Romania.
Visit the Jewish Theatre
The Jewish Theatre in Romania has a tradition dating back 130 years. Documents show that it was created in 1876, as the first professional Jewish theatre in the world, in a public park in the Romanian town of Iasi, Romania. A few months later, it moved to Bucharest.
Lunch in the ritual restaurant of the Jewish Community.
Visit in the afternoon The Yesua Tova Synagogue, located downtown and built in 1827, totally renovated.
Visit the Romanian Holocaust Memorial was unveiled on Thursday, October 8, 2009, in Bucharest.
The monument is a five-sculpture ensemble – “The Column,” “Via Dolorosa,” “The Roma”s Wheel,” “The Star of David,” and “Epitaph” arranged around a central memorial precinct.
The programme for the creation of a Romanian Holocaust Memorial was initiated in 2006 upon the recommendation of the International Commission for Romanian Holocaust Studies, known as the Wiesel Commission, after talks with public luminaries, officials for the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, men of culture and artists as well as Holocaust survivors.
Accomodation Bucharest , Hotel 4 ****
We shall visit the Ploiesti Beth Synagogue, built in 1901 and restaured in 2007, very nice restaured.
Departure to Sinaia.
We go through a chain of villages in the plain around Bucharest; then the landscape changes as we reach the Prahova Valley, one of the most picturesque places of this region, with mountain resorts spread across it.
Arrive Sinaia, Visit the Royal Castle Peleș.
Foto: JORDAN BROMBERG
After seeing these precious and unique places we shall stop in Azuga, where we invite you to taste sparkling wine and wines and indulge in a welcome lunch at a special place – the Halewood Wine Cellars. Foaming wine has been produced in Azuga since 1892, when a German merchant set up the Rhein & Cie company.
Foto: Jordan Bromberg
Departure to Brasov – Accomodation Hotel Bella Muzica 3 ***
Short walking tour in the Council Square.
Visit the Brașov Synagogue, built in 1899.
Foto: Jordan Bromberg
Visit the Jewish Community office and the ritual restaurant.
Visit medieval Brașov which, according to documents dates from 1234. The old center contains Piata Sfatului, the imposing Black Church, The Council House, Merchants’ House, Brasov’s Fortres, Schei Gate, Ecaterina Gate of 1540, and Rope Street, the most narrow street in Europe – these are only a few of the attractions of this town which is always full of life.
The Szekely Land, the land of the Hungarian minority, called Szekely, is a place with beautiful mountains and valleys, with beautiful landscapes.
Arrival in Piatra Neamț, overnight in Grand Hotel Ceahlau ****
Piatra Neamț – a big jewish community, with approximately 200 jewish people.
The Great Temple, known as Leipziger Bet ha-Midrash Temple, is a big, newer, synagogue, dating from 1839.
The Piatra Neamt Cathedral synagogue, a historic monument, is the oldest wooden synagogue still standing in Romania.
The present wooden building was founded in 1766. Some specialists believe that the old building made from stone was founded in the 15th century. The golden altar is 250 years old, with the original ritual objects in fine condition.
Departure to Iasi.
Visit the Tailor’s Synagogue in Roman.
Tailor’s Synagogue, Roman
The Tailor’s Synagogue is a medium type edifice erected in 1898. The Jewish Community in Roman is at least four centuries old, as is demonstrated by the tombstones and documents. There were 16 synagogues in Roman at 1887 and a total of 15 synagogues and prayer houses in the 1930’s.
Departure to Iasi, via Tirgu – Frumos – Podu Iloaiei.
Stop at Tirgu-Frumos Cemetery.
Tirgu-Frumos and the death trains:
“The train finally departed from Iasi in the early morning hours of June 30.
For the next 17 hours the it traveled a circuitous route to Tirgu Frumos, Pascani, Lespezi, back to Pascani, then on to Roman, and finally, back to Tirgu Frumos, where it halted temporarily.
By this time hundreds had died … more than 650 bodies were piled onto trucks and carts and taken to the local Jewish cemetery, where large trenches were dug to serve as mass graves.
The second death train also departed Iasi early on June 30. This transport carried 1,902 Jews who were packed into 18 railcars, along with 80 corpses of those who had been killed earlier. The train took eight hours to reach its final destination at Podul Iloaei, only 20 km from Iasi. As with the first train, hundreds died along the way. Only 708 of the captives reached Podul Iloaei”
The Jewish Cemetery in Tirgu-Frumos.
The Jewish Cemetery was initially located in the south area of the city, but after the construction of Iasi-Pascani railway (started on 1 June 1870), the place was expropriated and the cemetery was moved in the west side, where it still lies. In the 1930s, the Hassidic Rabbi from Pascani descended from the train in Tirgu-Frumos and continued his way in car, in order not to cross over the cemetery.
The cemetery now belongs to the Jewish Community. There are about 5,000 tombstones. The oldest one is from 1818 and the last funerals we are aware of took place on 18 July 1977. The tombs are made of different materials, such as marble, granite, freestone, brownstone. Some of them have careful polishes, graphic elements, portraits and/or metal fences around. The inscriptions are made in Hebrew, Yiddish and Romanian.
About three quarters of the tombstones are dislocated, fallen or broken. The cemetery has never been vandalized. There is no permanent caretaker.
In the Jewish cemetery of Targu Frumos are buried about 20 local personalities.
The first known mentions of the Jews in Targu Frumos are from the middle of the XVIIIth century.
The Mass Grave in Tirgu-Frumos
In the cemetery there is a huge common grave, made after the pogrom of Iasi and the unloading of bodies from the first “death train”, the one going to Calarasi. Near the common grave there is a commemorative monument, built in the communist period, with an inscription in Hebrew and Romanian:
“To the 640 Jews buried here, victims of the fascist barbarism, killed in the ‘death train’ on 29-30 June and 1 July 1941. Let us not forget the Fascism’s crimes!”
There is no consensus between the historians concerning the numbers of victims. The historian Radu Ioanid concluded that they were 650, while historian Jean Ancel thinks that the number of Jews in the first “death train” was much bigger than initially thought and, consequently, the number of victims buried at Tirgu-Frumos is greater than the one usually acknowledged.
Visit to the Podu Iloaiei Cemetery.
The Jewish community in the village of Podu Iloaiei appeared in the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th.
Only the Jewish cemetery emains, with tombstones dating from 1829 and 1830.
Arrival in Iasi, overnight Hotel International 4 ****
Visit Iasi, the largest and most sophisticated Jewish community in Romania, headquarters of Hacham Bashim in the 17th century, one of the great European Centers of Jewish learning during the 19th century and the birth place of Yiddish Theater.
Visit the Jewish Community and meet its president.
Visit the Synagogue. The Great Synagogue is the oldest Jewish Temple in Romania, built in 1671. It also serves as a museum. If in exterior it is very simple, without any decorations, the interior is as sophisticated as possible, decorated and gifted with valuable objects: chandeliers, candlesticks.
This visit is followed by a visit to the Jewish Cemetery, in Pacurari district , The Iasi Jewish Cemetery, in the back of the Pacurari, has more than 150,000 tombs.
In the cemetery we can find the Memorial of the Jewish soldiers which fighted in the First World War for the restauration of Romania.
Arrive in the village of Cotnari
Tasting wine in the Cotnari wineyards
“In the land of the sunny East, where the hills are majestically shaped, the most precious fruit the Earth has to offer is like a promise of divine inspiration, the promise to be turned into wine. Not just any wine, but one of noble kin and therefore one you shouldn’t drink from. The Cotnari Wine is to be peacefully enjoyed, for you to be able to listen each grape telling its story.”
Arrive Botosani, overnight at the Hotel Rapsodia 4 ****
Visit the beautiful, traditional village of Ciocanesti
Visit the Great Synagogue “Hoihe Sil” is the only remaining synagogue in the city. One of the oldest and richly decorated, the Great Synagogue of Botosani was built in 1834. The interior features naïve scenes of Jerusalem, biblical animals, and symbols representing the tribes of Israel. Intricate chandeliers adorn the ceiling/ A lavishly carved and brightly painted Aron Kodesh overhangs the sanctuary.
A Jewish community of historical importance, Botosani is now home to 80 Jews and an exceptional synagogue that dates back to 1834.
Visit the Radauti Great temple
At the beginning of the 19th century, in Radauti area, it was attested the presence of a Jewish community which, in 1830, had inaugurated the cult activity in the first synagogue.
In 1880, on the occasion of the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph I in Radauti, a Jewish delegation asked him to help them purchase a plot for the construction of a great synagogue. It should be mentioned that in the same year, in Radauti, about 3,500 members of the Jewish community were registered, namely 31% of the entire population.
On 18 August 1883, on Emperor Franz Joseph I birthday, the Great Temple was inaugurated in the centre of the town, the first service being held by the one who would be, between 1883 and 1909, the new Chief Rabbi of the town, Yitzhak Kunstadt.
Visit the Radauti Jewish Cemetery and Monument to the Jews of Radauti who perished in the Holocaust in Transnistria, erected just inside the main gate of the Jewish Cemetery.
Arrive Suceava , overnight at the Sonnenhof Hotel 4 ****
Suceava Synagogue – The Gah Synagogue was founded by the Gemilut Hasidim mutual aid society in 1870 when there were 8,000 jewish residents in Suceava. Re-modeleld in 1910, restored in 1929, 1975 and 1983.
Arrive late in the afternoon in Bistrita, overnight at the Hotel Golden Crown 4 ****
Visit the beautiful city of Transylvania, Bistrița and its Synagogue, very nice restored.
Depart Maramures , we shall stop in Viseul de Sus and we will visit the Elephant House – Museum House
The Last Jewish Lodging in Viseul de Sus – Maramures County
The Last Jewish Lodging in Viseul de Sus – Maramures County – was inaugurated June 13th 2011 under the name of The Jewish Museum “Elefant” in the house located near the train station Viseul de Sus.(Upper Viseu). The name of the museum commemorates the last Jew in the region, Alexander Elephant, who was in charge of woodworking until his exile, in 1940. He ran an important timber factory, which operated on steam.
The museum house was first converted to a railway station and is now reconditioned as a true Jewish museum.
The museum was a library of old books in the Jewish tradition.In addition, tourists can admire a series of objects that were once owned by the Jews of Viseu.
Arrive Sighet, overnightr at the Gradina Morii 3 *** Hotel
Visit the Sighet highlights:
Sighet Synagogue Vizhnitzer Klaus and a meeting with the President of the local Jewish Community.
The Cemetery with the Monument of the Soap.
Sighetul Marmatiei with the Ellie Wiesel House.
“I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone-terribly alone in a world without God and without man.”
Elie Wiesel, “Night” (1958)
Eliezer Wiesel (commonly known as Elie) is a world-renowned Romanian Jewish, philosopher, humanitarian, political activist, and Holocaust survivor.
We shall visit the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance from Sighet. A place for prayer and meditation, which combines the antique style with a modern construction, this was built in one of the prison courtyards in 1977.
Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance from Sighet
The names of almost 8000 people that died in the prisons, concentration camps and deportation camps from Romania were engraved in smoked Andesite on the wall of a ramp that descends in the underground.
By these honors the most important project dedicated by the civil society to the reconstruction and analysis of the Communist past is acknowledged – a unique project in the Eastern-European countries, according to its visitors.
Lunch in Sapinta village in one traditional farm, visit the farm.
Arrive Satu Mare and visit the Great temple
Late in the afternoon arrive Oradea, one of the most beautiful cities in Western Romania
Overnight at the Astoria Grand Hotel 4 ****
Visit the Oradea Synagogues and a meeting with the President of Oradea Jewish Community.
“To remind us ! never to repeat that again !”
The Hevra Sas Orthodox Oradea Synagogue
A very strong Jewish community and Jewish life, before the First World War the number of the Oradea Jewish Population was approximately 24%
The Neologue Sion Synagogue, the third biggest Synagogue in Europe
In 1878 the Jewish community built up on the riverside of Crisul, a monumental synagogue with 1000 seats dominated by a huge cupola.
The Holocaust Monument, located near the Orthodox Synagogue.
“To remind us ! never to repeat that again !”
Admire some of the most beautiful Jewish buildings in Oradea as The Black Eagle Palace
The Ulmann Palace
Departure to Simleul Silvaniei.
Visit the Holocaust Museum from North Transylvania, located in Simleul Silvaniei.
Arrive Cluj, capital Of Transylvania , overnight at the Beyfin Hotel 4 ****
Visit Cluj the most beautiful city in Transylvania, On the site of the city was a pre-Roman settlement named Napoca. After the AD 106 Roman conquest of the area, the place was known as Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca. The first written mention of the city’s’current name – as a Royal Borough – was in 1213 under the Medieval Latin name Castrum Clus
Cluj at the time of the Grand Duchy of Transylvania maps, 1769–1773.
Visit the neologue Synagogue
The Neolog Synagogue is the city’s’only working synagogue, serving the local Jewish community. It was originally built for the local Neolog congregation.
It was built between 1886 and 1887.
In the period following the Second Vienna Award, when Northern Transylvania was taken by Hungary, it witnessed the Jews’ ’eportation to Nazi extermination camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and was damaged by the bombardments of the neighbouring railway station, on June 2, 1944.
In 1951 it was again restored.
It is currently dedicated to the memory of those deported who were victims of The Holocaust.
Arrive Turda and visit one of the most impressive Salt Mines in Romania
Salina Turda was ranked by Business Insider as the most beautiful underground place in the world. Likewise, Salina Turda is ranked 22 among the most spectacular tourist destinations in the world.
The first document that speaks explicitly about the existence of a salt mine in Turda dates from 1 May 1271, being issued by the Hungarian chancellery.
Visit Alba Iulia with its fantastic Alba Carolina Fortress
Apulum was the largest city in Roman Dacia and was the seat of the XIII Gemina Legion. Apulum is the largest castrum located in Romania, occupying 37.5 hectares (93 acres) (750 x 500 m2).
An Episcopal citadel and an important political, military and cultural center, Alba Iulia reached its peak between 1542-1690, serving as the capital of the independent Principality of Transylvania and the residence of the Transylvanian princes.
The Fortress of Alba Iulia (Alba Carolina Fortress)
The Alba Carolina fortress was built between 1714 and 1738 and it is considered to be the most representative of Vauban type in Europe.
The fortress was designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti, between the 18th and 19th centuries the fortress served as the military headquarters of Transylvania and also as a general armament repository.
The perimeter of the outside walls is about 12 km. The fortification has seven bastions (Eugene of Savoia, St. Stefan, The Trinity, St. Michael, St. Carol, St. Capistrano and St. Elisabeth) that make it into a star-shaped, Vauban-style fortress. The largest bastion is the Trinity. On the whole, the fortress stands out as the most important baroque architectural ensemble in Romania and Europe.
Arrive late in the afternoon in Sibiu – a Saxon beautiful city in Transylvania , overnight at the Ramada Hotel 4 ****
Visit Sibiu in the morning
Sibiu is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved historical cities in Romania and Europe, with an architectural patrimony stretching over 80 hectares.
The first mention for this city w, s in a written document goes back to 1191.
Visit the Sibiu synagogue
Afternoon visit the Romanian Villages around Sibiu and admire the traditions at the countryside of Sibiu.
Traditional lunch in Sibiel village to one family
Overnight Sibiu, Hotel Ramada 4 ****
We say good bye to Sibiu and passing the gorgeous Oltului Valley, we arrive Bucharest.
Overnight Bucharest, Hotel 4 ****
Bucharest afternoon Cultural tour
The Romanian Atheneum – visit inside the building – a magnificent Neoclassical structure, built in 1888, hosting concerts all year round.
The Civic Center and the Palace of Parliament
In 1971 Ceausescu visited North Korea and returned full of admiration for the grandiose avenues of Kim Il Sung’s capital city.
Thirteen years later, inspired by what he had seen in Pyongyang, Ceausescu set out to re-model Bucharest as “the first socialist capital for the new socialist man” and to create a new administrative center which was to be a “symbolic representation of the two decades of enlightenment we have just lived through.”
Visit the Old Center
Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia.
Visit the Manuc’s Inn and enjoy a coffee or a refreshment in this historical building .
The inn was built in 1808, and originally owned by a wealthy and flamboyant Armenian entrepreur. By the middle of the 19th century, it was Bucharest’s most important commercial complex, with 15 wholesalers, 23 retail stores, 107 rooms for offices or living, two receiving rooms and a pub.
The Revolution Square: with the former Communist Party Headquarters, a Stalinist monolith, featuring the famous balcony where Ceausescu delivered his last speech.
Farewell dinner at the Beer Cart
PRICE: AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.
The price includes:
Transfer from / to the airport
15 nights accomodation in double room occupancy, breakfast included, in four star and five star hotels and rural guesthouses, 3***, 4**** according to the schedule.
Price does not include:
Lunch and dinner, except where mentioned
Fees for video camera in all museums and locations
* Upon request, this tour may be considered for more than two persons
* Individual tour may be chosen upon request