Lonely Planet Writer

See the raw beauty of Romania documented over 10 years

A Romanian photographer has spent the last ten years capturing images that showcase the unspoilt beauty of his country. “Almost a decade ago,” says Alex Robciuc, “I started to take my first photos because I wanted to present the beauty of Romania’s landscapes, places and villages. This series was made with passion, accuracy and patience. I tried to express my feelings in it, to transmit something profound for the viewer.”

Farmer with his horses
Farmer in rural Romania. Photo by: Alex Robciuc

Alex has seen lots of change take place in Romania during the course of the project. “When I began,” he recalls, “Romania was joining the European Union, after seven years of waiting. During this time the people were anxious, happy, and curious about the future. After a while, the big cities began to develop, rapidly. New companies arrived, jobs were created, houses were built, new businesses came to life, and the people’s lives changed too.”

Romania has changed rapidly in the last decade
He’s seen the country grow and develop over ten years. Photo by: Alex Robciuc

With this economic growth, says Alex came a new appreciation for home. “As the mentality changed and we as people started to visit and explore other countries, we became aware of the beauty and value of Romania. It’s a big country with lots of different places to see – landscapes, museums, mountains, vineyards, pastures packed with wildflowers, Danube Delta, steam-train rides and much more. There’s an abundance of castles, museums, fortified churches, a well-preserved medieval city, memorial houses, the museum of communism victims.”

Alex has captured the beauty of Romania's landscapes
Romania is home to some breathtaking landscapes. Photo by: Alex Robciuc

“Romania has a strong cultural heritage”, he continues, “and well-preserved traditions. Life in some parts of this country (in villages from regions like Maramures, Bucovina or Sibiu) is more different than you could imagine. It’s very interesting; it intrigued me to find places where technology and modern life represent only a small part of the everyday routine. Here, the villagers preserve a life that most other countries in Europe abandoned hundreds of years ago. You can visit these villages and see old wooden houses and churches, visit traditional workshops of blacksmiths, potters, and carpenters. Around holy days there are different traditional festivals (for example the Festival of Winter Traditions from the town of Sighetu Marmatiei). Visiting Maramures is a fairy-tale experience, like taking a journey back in time to the Medieval period.”

Villager in Romania
Villagers enjoy a traditional lifestyle. Photo by: Alex Robciuc