Today's destination of choice is a small mountain town, which offers many opportunities to spend your time as a tourist
You can find here an impressive mansion, built in 1880 by Albert Galleron, who is known for designing the Romanian Atheneum and the National Bank building of Romania. At the same time, the railway station in Comanesti, designed by the Italian architect and art critic Giulio Magni, is on the list of historic monuments. Also here you can visit the only international cemetery of war heroes in Romania, built after WWI, where fallen heroes are buried, irrespective of the side they fought on. Last but not least, in Comanesti we have the starting point of many a mountain trail.
The Ghica mansion in Comanesti has two levels, and is a good place to visit for tourists seeking beauty and art. It is the home of a museum of ethnography and art. The Neo-Classical style of the building is impressing and grandiose. Here is Viorel Miron, mayor of the city:
“The Ghica Mansion is one of the foremost tourist objectives in our city. We managed to buy it back through decades of litigation. We, the local authority, have purchased this historic monument from the local budget. In terms of objectives to visit in our town, we have churches built around the 1700s, we have a boardwalk along the river Trotus, and we have a special entertainment center, unique in Romania.”
The international cemetery of war heroes in the town of Comanesti was built after 1938. It is the resting place for 165 Romanian soldiers, 46 German soldiers, 2,141 Russians, 370 Hungarians, and 191 Austrians. Here is Viorel Miron:
“This international cemetery was built by Mayor Gheorghica Paraschiv which at the time was facing quite a situation. They had to bury all that fell on the battlefield back then, Germans, Russians, Austrians, Hungarians, Romanians. Those circumstances, at the time, had him bringing them all into the same cemetery. In years to come, it transpired that this is one of the very few international cemeteries to have all the people fighting the same war on different sides. Each year, we hold a ceremony, military and religious, on Heroes Day, on the day of the Ascension of the Lord, also overlapping the days of the city, which are in August each year, and also on Romania's national day, December 1. So we commemorate heroes three times a year.”
Tourists interested in culture should know that Comanesti is the venue for one of the most beautiful domestic ancestral traditions festivals, held on December 30 each year. Visitors come there from all over Europe, but not only. Many arrive here from the US and even Japan, according to Mayor Miron:
“Every year, we have tens of thousands of foreign tourists, which get here to witness this festival which is unique in Romania. It is a festival of ancient traditions, and its central theme is the Dance of the Bear, a centuries old tradition. Some say it is thousands of years old, hearkening back to the Dacians. Everyone can enjoy here this unique event.”
If you are into active tourism, with mountain treks, this is the place, but if the weather is less than clement, they can take advantage of a multivalent gym built with European funds, as the mayor told us:
“Children are trained and educated to use this place to take all sorts of courses, in various disciplines such as theater, dance, and sports. Also, we have a half size Olympic pool and a Jacuzzi, ideal for spending summer days. We are also preparing all the time all kinds of activities for children who want to spend a day or a week of vacation here, in Comanesti. Starting in the town, we have lots of mountain trails that reach all over the area, because we are surrounded by three mountain massifs. We have tourist trails all over these mountains, and the more experienced tourists can go as high as 1,337 m, where we have the Lapos Peak. Here we have a radio and television tower. It is 19 km away, and you can even drive there.”
Regarding tourist information about the area, you can get those from the Comanesti National Tourism Information and Promotion Center. You can find there maps, information fliers, and all you need to know about tourism in the area. Going there, you will be surprised to find out that there is no one tourist season that stands out, this is a year-round destination:
“Comanesti is a town where, during my terms as mayor, I managed to plant over 500 magnolia trees. We have plantings of many kinds of bushes and trees, which flower in stages. From the time that magnolias bloom, then, stage by stage, we keep enjoying all kinds of flowers. Looking at the surroundings of Comanesti, one spa destination may be the Targu Ocna salt mine. Then we have the Uzul Valey river dam, one of the biggest drinkable water dams in Europe, and then we have the house of composer George Enescu in Tescani. Then we can head off to Ghimes, where we used to have the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Romania.”
While in Comanesti, we met a tourist arriving from Germany. Jack really enjoys Romania, and he enjoys how clean and green the place is, and loves the culture. He also enjoys the local food. He loves the traditions, and is eager to witness the Christmas festival in Comanesti, since he feels very welcome by all the locals.