Introduction

Apart from the painted monasteries in Bucovina, the eastern half of Romania gets relatively few tourists. That's their loss, as vibrant cities like Iaşi, filled with students, exude both cultural energy and impressive historic and sacral architecture.

This was the stamping ground of early national heroes such as Prince Ştefan cel Mare, and many churches and fortresses, especially the impregnable rock at Târgu Neamţ, bear his stamp. The region's numerous monasteries lack the dazzling colours of Bucovina but arguably compensate with a more genuine sense of living spirituality. The Bicaz Gorges and Ceahlău Massif in the west are stark natural wonders.