Every 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.
Am 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 🙂