Craiova is the capital city of Dolj County, also known as the capital of “Oltenia”.
The city of Craiova is located in southern Romania, on the left bank of Jiu River, at its exit from the hill region, and it is a part of the Plain of Romania, more precisely the Plain of Oltenia.

Novelties on Craiova

Park Romanescu in Craiova is the third largest natural park in Europe and the largest one in Romania.

Craiova is the city where you can visit FREE OF CHARGE a zoo and a botanical garden.

The history of the city of Craiova begins in 400-350 B.C. period, according to the archaeological discoveries; at that time a Getae-Dacian settlement, called Pelendava, is mentioned.

Henri Coandă (inventor of the jet engine, father of the “Coanda effect”, member of the Royal British Academy) and Nicolae Coculescu (founder of the Astronomical Observatory in Bucharest, Paris Academy of Sciences Laureate) were born in Craiova.

What to visit in Craiova?

The patron of The Metropolitan Cathedral in Craiova is “Saint Demeter” (October 26th), who is also the patron saint of the city. Unconfirmed opinions place its existence during Petru and Asan brothers, 12th century (1185, or during Ioan of the Cumans, 13th century (1230).

Park Romanescu is the third largest natural park in Europe and the largest in Romania.

Vorvorenilor Palace – the current residence of the Metropolis of Oltenia – is an impressive looking palace, made by the plans of architect D. Maimarolu. It was built in the first years of the 20th century and it belonged to the well-known Vorvoreanu family in Craiova.

Marin Sorescu Theatre, established in 1850, is the most representative cultural institution in Oltenia.

The Museum of Oltenia has epigraphic monuments from the Dacian-Roman era, prehistorical Dacian-Roman, barbarian and Romanian antiquities, religious Romanian antiquities, collections of old documents, photographs, collections of Romanian medals etc.

The Art Museum was built in 1896 after a plan made by French architect Paul Gotereau. Its main attraction is the gallery with the sculptures by Constantin Brâncuși, including 6 pieces from his early period.

History, culture and architecture

Craiova was first confirmed in Tabula Peutingeriana, a map probably dating back to 225 A.D. The Roman camp of Pelendava was built up nearby Cosuna Monastery, whose construction only began most likely in 1442-1443.

During Mihai Viteazul, Craiova knew a powerful development, and is described by contemporary documents as an important political and military center. Also, in the Medieval Ages, Craiova was an important military and strategical center, and it served as a formation or regrouping point for military forces and a center for the initiation of anti-ottoman actions.

Madona Dudu Church, Our Lady cathedral, is a true place for pilgrimage. Built during 1750 and 1756, the church was rebuilt in 1844 after it was destroyed by the 1831 earthquake. The church was painted by Gheorghe Tattarescu. The church was named after the miracle-making icon of Our Lady which – according to the legend – was found in a mulberry tree that had grown where the altar was built later.

Cosuna-Bucovățul Vechi Monastery, is the oldest building in the area of Craiova and was preserved as such. It is registered in the category of religious monuments in Wallachia. According to an old chart the monastery had been walled in 1483 (opinion shared by historians Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu and Nicolae Iorga). For the execution of the church stone (for its foundation) and brick (for the basis and walls) from the Roman camp of Pelendava were utilized.

Saint Demeter Cathedral, also the protector of the city of Craiova, who is also on the city coat of arms. Built on the site of an older church erected by Craiovești boyars at the end of the 15th century it is considered to be the opera of Matei Basarab – according to inscription dated to 1652. The actual cathedral was built in 1889 on the site of the old church destroyed by the earthquake in 1840, according to the plans of French architect Lecomte de Nouy. The Icon of Saint Demeter was made in Venetian Mosaic. The Metropolitan heritage keeps valuable religious items, of which a byzantine bowl from the 15th century – proof of the Romanian spiritual continuity in this area.

Jianului Fountain, it is a monument located in the Botanical Garden at it was built around 1800 by boyar Hagi Stan Jianu and it was remade in 1930. Jianu was a boyar from Craiova who benefitted throughout the years of many important titles. The Fountain is a quadrilateral structure, with four columns (two engaged in the back side and two disengaged on the front side) that create open arches on three sides and support a spherical vault.

The Vorvoreni Palace – the current residence of the Metropolis of Oltenia is an impressive looking palace, executed by the plans of architect D. Maimarolu; it exhibits the late influence of the French Renaissance, characterized by gable roofs, a multitude of decorations and stuccowork, and also interiors decorated abundantly.

The Art Museum, the building that hosts the museum was erected in 1896 by the plans of French architect Paul Gottereau. One of the key interest points of the museum is the gallery exhibiting some of the operas by Constantin Brâncuși. The works exhibited here are representative for the artist’s initial creation period; Constantin Brâncuși studied at the School for Arts and Crafts in Craiova. In the two halls of museum designated for the exhibition of Constantin Brâncuși’s art there are six works exhibited: “The Kiss” – made in stone in 1907, “Vitellius” – the sculptor’s oldest work, made in plaster in 1898, “Woman torso” – marble made in 1909,”The Ego” – made in 1905, “Bust of a boy” – made in 1906, “Miss Pogany”, “Chair” and “Ecorche” – made in plaster in 1902.

Museum of Oltenia is one of the most well-known museums in the city. Established in 1915, the museum is divided in 3 departments: ethnography, history and nature sciences. The museum has a vast heritage that comprises 3 numismatic and archaeological collections, as well as various items and documents illustrating the main historical events in these lands. The museum was created as a result of donations made in 1908.