Pastele Cailor (Horse Easter), Targoviste, Romania

united_kingdomEvery year on the first Saturday of Lent, the Bulgarian community in Targoviste, Romania, is celebrating the Horse Easter (or Saint Theodor day), marking the end of winter and beginning of spring. The horses harnessed to carts, make a tour of the neighborhood and head for the church to be hallowed by priests.


romania_flagAm crezut toata viata ca expresia “La Pastele Cailor” ce inseamna “niciodata” se datoreaza faptului ca Pastele Cailor nu exista, dar se pare ca exista si chiar se sarbatoreste! Comunitatea Bulgara din cartierul Matei Voievod din Targoviste, Judetul Dambovita (cunoscut local ca “in Sarbi”) celebreaza in fiecare an Pastele Cailor (sau Tudorita), marcand sfarsitul iernii. Azi, de 8 Martie 2014, caii impodobiti cu ciucuri si gambiere au defilat pe Calea Bucuresti inhamati la carute, dupa care s-au indreptat spre biserica pregatita pentru sfintirea cailor.

pastele cailor Targoviste  8 martie 2014

Horses' Easter, Targoviste, Romania, March 2014

Targoviste 2014 Pastele Cailor

Pastele Cailor Targoviste 2014

Pastele Cailor Targoviste 2014

Caruta si cal de Pastele Cailor din Targoviste 2014

Pastele Cailor martie 2014 Targoviste, Dambovita

cal la caruta, cu ciucuri rosii de Pastele Cailor

Bulgarii sarbatoresc Pastele Cailor in Targoviste, 8 martie 2014

Pastele cailor in Targoviste

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My hometown – Targoviste, Romania.

What to see in Targoviste?

1. THE ROYAL COURT WITH CHINDIA TOWER

The Royal Court and Chindia Tower, the symbol of Targoviste

Targoviste is a city full of history. It used to be the capital of Wallachia in the 15th-16th century.  The Royal Court hosts Chindia Tower (the symbol of Targoviste) which was built by Vlad the Impaler (Vlad III Dracul, or Dracula).

Chindia Tower, view from the park

2. CHINDIA PARK

It’s the biggest park in Targoviste, where you can walk, relax and admire the nature, or take a boat on the lake.

The lake in Chindia Park, Targoviste

Chindia Park, the biggest park in Targoviste

You can rent a boat and enjoy the lake in Chindia Park

Chindia Park in Targoviste with view over the Chindia Tower

Alley in Chindia Park in Targoviste

Statue of Radu Paisie in Chindia Park, Targoviste

Tall, thin trees around the lake in Chindia Park

A stray dog in Chindia Park. He had such a kind look and patiently waited for me to take a photo of him.

 

3. THE CENTRAL PARK (Parcul Mitropoliei)

It’s a beautiful park just in the city center. Have a walk and admire the beautiful Orthodox Church built in 1889 (Mitropolia Targovistei), watch men gathered for a game of Chess, Backgammon  or Remi or have a rest on the ruins just in front of the Church.

Cathedral in Central Park Targoviste
Cathedral in Central Park Targoviste
The same orthodox cathedral, in Central Park Targoviste
The same orthodox cathedral, in Central Park Targoviste
Alley with a stray dog in Central Park, Targoviste
Alley with a stray dog in Central Park, Targoviste
Ruins in the Central Park
Ruins in the Central Park
A beautiful architecture
A beautiful architecture
The central park in Targoviste
The central park in Targoviste
Michael the Brave square in Targoviste
Michael the Brave square in Targoviste
The bell tower of the church
The bell tower of the church
Detail of the church in Central Park
Detail of the church in Central Park
Behind the flowers
Behind the flowers
Michael the Brave Statue, in Targoviste
Michael the Brave Statue, in Targoviste
Between bushes
Between bushes
Men know who to enjoy their time, playing Chess or Remi in the park, while their wifes are probably at home cooking or washing laundry :D
Men know how to enjoy their time, playing Chess or Remi in the park, while their wifes are probably at home cooking or washing laundry 😀
Alleys in the Central Park of Targoviste
Alleys in the Central Park of Targoviste
the church and the lamp in Central Park, targoviste
the church and the lamp in Central Park, Targoviste

4. THE CITY HALL and THE OLD CENTER

The old center has recently renovated buildings and many pubs and shops. Unfortunately, in Romania smoking is still permitted in bars and pubs, so going for a coffee or beer is not one of my favorite activities there, because I end up smelling like a walking cigarette.

The City Hall in Targoviste
The City Hall in Targoviste
The Old Center in Targoviste, with many pubs, restaurants and shops
The Old Center in Targoviste, with many pubs, restaurants and shops
The City Hall in Targoviste
The City Hall in Targoviste
The City Hall in Targoviste
The City Hall in Targoviste

5. THE CITY CENTER

In the Center of Targoviste there is the Prefecture, the Main Square and Valahia Hotel. Around the year 2000, the Central Square used to be a dating place for friends and lovers, evenings were gathering big groups of high school teenagers and during day there were children with bikes and roller-skates. Now this tradition got lost, the socializing I assume is done on Facebook and during evening the Main Square looks deserted.

The Prefecture in Targoviste (the big, white building on the right) and Valahia Hotel (the small, green building on the left)
The Prefecture in Targoviste (the big, white building on the right) and Valahia Hotel (the small, green building on the left)

muntenia targoviste

The central square with Valahia Hotel and the Prefecture
The central square with Valahia Hotel and the Prefecture
Center in Targoviste
Center in Targoviste
Center Targoviste
Center Targoviste
Big intersection in Targoviste Center
Big intersection in Targoviste Center

6. WALK TO SEE THE CITY

Walk through the city and see the communist style buildings (now many of them renovated), find the 1 May market place (markets are opened daily and you can find fresh veggies and fruits that taste very good), walk around Chindia Park and visit the History Museum just next to it. If you find a stray dog  give him affection; some of them are very kind and would be more than happy for a sign of  love or a scratch on the belly (beware though, not all of them are very friendly).

Merloni, s small shopping center in Targoviste
Merloni, a small shopping center in Targoviste
The History Museum in Targoviste
The History Museum in Targoviste
Old communist buildings in Targoviste
Old communist buildings in Targoviste
An everyday market in Targoviste, where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables
An everyday market in Targoviste, where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables that actually have a taste, not like the western junks that are tasteless
The Old Post Office in the Old Center of Targoviste
The Old Post Office in the Old Center of Targoviste
St. Friday Church in The Royal Court of Targoviste
St. Friday Church in The Royal Court of Targoviste
The new courthouse in Targoviste
The new courthouse in Targoviste
Sain Friday Church in Targoviste
Saint Friday Church in Targoviste
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. I will let them.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. I will let them.
The old children's library
The old children’s library
Old communist buildings in Targoviste
Old communist buildings in Targoviste
The Red Cross building in Targoviste. And a dog with a red coat.
The Red Cross building in Targoviste. And a dog with a red scarf.
:)
🙂
A bookshop in Targoviste
A bookshop in Targoviste
Sidewalk towards City Center
Sidewalk towards City Center
Stelea Monastery in Targoviste
Stelea Monastery in Targoviste
Nice gate at Stelea Monastery
Nice gate at Stelea Monastery
"Minisat" is the first company who brought cable TV in Targoviste
“Minisat” is the first company who brought cable TV in Targoviste
Apartment buildings in the Center of Targoviste
Apartment buildings in the Center of Targoviste
Saint Friday church towards Chindia Park
Saint Friday church towards Chindia Park
A very cute stray dog
A very cute stray dog
School number 8. My school :)
School number 8. My school 🙂
Targoviste landscape
Targoviste landscape
The school no 8, where I studied 7 years of my life
The school no 8, where I studied 7 years of my life
The courtyard of School number 8, where I've spent 7 years of my life, between 2nd and 8th grade :)
The courtyard of School number 8, where I’ve spent 7 years of my life, between 2nd and 8th grade 🙂

Is there anyone in this world who is not nostalgic about the places where they grew up, rode their first bike, broke the knees while running or roller-skating?

Targoviste is the city I grew up in. Kindergarten, school, friends – memories of the past and the most wonderful period in someone’s life: the childhood.

The first 7 years of my life were spent during communist regime. Luckily, as a child, I didn’t know better and it felt normal to grow up not having access to various types of food, toys or clothes. What mattered the most was the love of my parents and the joy of when grandma or my aunts came to visit. I was a happy child.

Targoviste is the city where Romania’s communism was put to an end through the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena Ceausescu on Christmas Day, 1989. A crime that haunts me till today. Even though the times were hard under his rule, I cannot stop wondering: was/is death penalty justified?

Do you have any favorite memories from you childhood? In what city/town did you grow up? I would love to know your stories 🙂