Saturday 16 April Tours

Accompanying Persons Tour


Thursday Sightseeing in Cluj

On Thursday 14th September 2006 at 15.15 participants will be invited to see some of the sights of Cluj. There are three choices and we would like to know your preference at time of registration.

1. Walking Tour of Cluj Duration 15.15 – 17.00
Groups of 20 participants will be given a historical tour of Cluj with an experienced guide. Participants are asked to wear good walking shoes and be prepared to walk uphill.

2. Visit to the Village Open-Air Museum Duration 15.15 - 17.30

Participants are asked to wear good walking shoes and be prepared to walk uphill.
Participants will be taken up by bus to the village open air museum which houses unique wooden houses and churches dating back to the 14th century, set out in a wonderful park overlooking Cluj. You will see exactly how village life as it was throughout the centuries.

3. Visit to the Turda Salt Mines Duration 15.15 – 17.30

Participants should wear very sensible shoes as some areas are slippy and very dark. The temperature is always only between minus 2-3°
Turda is a small town 30 kms from Cluj which is famous for its natural salt water spa and also its salt mine. The age of the salt deposits in this mine are 13.6 – 13.4 million years old. The salt was first surface mined by the Romans when they occupied Dacia. The first recorded document about Turda and its salt mine was issued in 1075 by the Hungarian Chancery. In 1552 the Turda salt mine was referred to as the most important in Transylvania. In 1690 the first mining operations began and continued until 1932. In the second World War it was used as an anti-aircraft shelter and after that as a cheese warehouse. In 1992 it was reopened as a tourist site.


All Day Excursions on Saturday 16 September

These excursions, inclusive of a buffet lunch, are offered free to all participants. There are three choices and we would like to know your preference at time of registration.

Our first stop will be at Alba Iulia, (71,168 inhabitants) located in Transylvania, 100 km from Cluj. The city, known for its vineyards, is often considered as the cultural and spiritual capital city of Romania and is one of the most important historical towns of Romania. It was known as Apulum in the II and III century and was the capital of the principality of Transylvania in the Middle Ages (1541-1690), Alba Iulia was also the capital of the three Romanian countries, united in 1599-1600 under the scepter of the great king Michael the Brave. It was in Alba Iulia that the National Assembly comprising 100,000 Romanians and 1228 delegates from all over Transylvania made the historic decision for the union of Transylvania with Romania on the 1st of December 1918.
The fortress of Alba Iulia, an impressive monument of military architecture, was built between 1714-1738, soon after the Austrian conquest of Transylvania. The Italian architect Giovanni Morandi Visconti designed the fortress in the style of Marshall Vauban, the famous military engineer of Louis IV. Other historical monuments are the Apor Palace,constructed in the late Renaissance style, the Batthyaneum Library known worldwide for its collection of incunabula and manuscripts and the Union Cathedral built between 1921 and 1922 for the crowning of King Ferdinand and Queen Mary.


Twenty kilometers from Alba Iulia on our way back to Cluj, we shall visit the Râmeti Retreat and Monastery, a beautiful example of combined ancient and modern Orthodox religious culture. There will be time to visit the 11th century chapel, beautifully restored by a French artist, the museum, the new modern church. Finally we will be able to see the exquisite hand woven carpets made on site, by the nuns themselves.


TOUR 2 – HUNEDOARA – Corvin Castle and Alba Iulia 8.15am - 8.30pm
We shall stop for a very short time in Alba Iulia for sandwiches and tea/coffee and have time to visit the Union Cathedral built between 1921 and 1922 for the crowning of King Ferdinand and Queen Mary but our destination is much further away. We shall visit Hunedoara and Corvin Castle and then have a late lunch at Lake Cincis high in the mountains of Poiana Rusca. Maximum number of people for this trip is 80.
HUNEDOARA is a town situated in South-Western Transylvania, in Cerna Valley in the Poiana Ruscãi Mountains within the Transylvanian Alps. It is about 3 hours drive from Cluj. Iron ore have been extracted in the area since the Iron Age and later in the Thracian and Roman times. Mentioned since the 12th century as a hub for leather tanning and wool processing, the town of Hunedoara became an important iron extracting and processing center in Transylvania. In the 14th and 15th centuries the iron foundries and works were famous for their swords and spears. However, nowadays, the town is only famous for the Corvin Castle, residence of the Corvin family.
The CORVIN CASTLE was built in a beautiful gothic style on top of a 12th century old fortress in the 14th and 15th centuries, as a residence for King Ioannus Corvinus of Hunedoara (Iancu Corvin de Hunedoara) and his son, Mathias Corvinus (Mathias Rex)
Corvin Castle is one of the most important gothic buildings in Central Europe, and the only Gothic Castle entirely preserved in Romania. It has survived many centuries of turmoil, having been burnt down 3 times. The castle has impressive large rooms and halls with arms and artifacts, torture towers and bastions. Vlad Dracul (Vlad Tepes (Tzepesh), the Impaler, better known as Dracula) also spent some time here imprisoned in the castle's dungeons.

Biertan was one of the first Saxon settlements in Transylvania placed between the two "Sees" (Medias and Seica) in the Andreean Diploma in 1224, situated 130 kms from Cluj. The first attestation of its name was certified in 1283, in a document about taxes demanded by the Catholic Capital of Alba Iulia to the Catholic priests from the Transylvanian Saxon communities. From 1572-1867, this village housed the Lutheran Bishop of Transylvania.
The church is an extensive gothic building with also renaissance and baroque elements comprising towers with heavy doors and double exterior walls. It shelters a magnificent gothic altar from the 17th century, and the door to the treasury has a unique piece of metalwork - 19 locks, made by J. Reichmut of Sighisoara in1515 who also made the unique wooden decorative pews. Biertan village and its fortified church are included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List.

We finish our visit to Biertan with a buffet lunch at the adjoining Unglerus restaurant, fitted out as a medieval banqueting hall. Afterwards we set off to spend the afternoon in the nearby town of Sighisoara. Sighisoara (Schaessburg) which Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) called home, is one of the most beautiful towns in the heart of Transylvania. Originally a Saxon town known as Castrum Sex (Fort Six, of the seven Siebenbürgen), Sighisoara grew rich on the proceeds of trade with Moldavia and Wallachia
Sighisoara was, for several centuries, a military and political stronghold. One of its most famous attractions is the 14th century Clock Tower (Council Tower), where each day a different wooden figure emerges from the belfry on the stroke of midnight. Other highlights include: the Guild Tower, the 13th century Venetian House, Vlad the Impaler’s (Dracula’s) birthplace – now a restaurant, the wooden covered staircase to the Hill Church and Hermann Oberth Square



Friday September 15, 10.00am – 17.00pm

Arts and Crafts Village and Visit to Lake Belis

Lake Belis is situated high in the Apuseni mountains 80 km from Cluj. On the way there we shall stop at the village of Izvoru Cristului which has over 80 stalls permanently open. Locally made tablecloths, blouses, porcelain and wooden goods and many other crafts can be seen and bought here. Euros are acceptable but remember to bargain a little!!! Then we shall go straight to our destination for a lunch overlooking the lake. Time will be left after lunch to take walks around the lake or to just relax and enjoy the stunning beauty of this picturesque spot.

Please remember to register for this trip at the Conference Information Desk.


Pre-conference and Post-conference Tours


Castles of Transylvania

Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

The Danube Delta

Available on request from :-