From: Valcea County, Oltenia, Spa Resorts
Located in the northern part of Valcea County, the city of Calimanesti is guarded by the Cozia Massif and the Capatanii Massif, part of the Southern Carpathians; furthermore, the town is situated on the river Olt, just outside the Olt Gorge.
HISTORY OF THE CALIMANESTI RESORT
The town of Calimanesti is the place where Mircea the Elder founded the Cozia monastery; it was known from the times of the Dacians, when the beneficial effects of the thermal waters here were discovered. The year 138 is when the Romans conquered Dacia and built a defensive camp here, in the place called Bivolari; this place was located right at the base of the sacred mountain of the Dacians, the Kogaion mountain, today known as Cozia. The camp was named the “Arutela” Roman camp, from the Roman name of the river Olt. After the camp was built, the entire area on both sides of the river Olt grew significantly. A few hundred years later, in the 5th century, the newly created village broke apart and was divided between its four rulers: Caliman, Stoian, Serban and Bogdan. The new settlements were thus named Calimanesti (on the present-day location), Stoienesti, Serbanesti (on the hill facing the Cozia Massif) and Bogdanesti (South of the present-day town, on the right bank of the river Olt).
The entire history of Calimanesti has a troubled past, marked by history and the social unrest in the area. Calimanesti, as a village, was created around the Cozia Monastery. Legend says that the monastery was built a short distance away from another monastery built by Negru Voda, which lies at the base of the Capra Mountain. When the Romanian Principalities were formed on January 24th 1859, there were a handful of small houses around the Cozia Monastery, making up Cozia village, which sloped down towards the river Olt, at the base of the Cozia Mountains.
On May 20th 1388, the town of Calimanesti was documented the first time by Mircea the Elder: “…it pleased us to build a monastery from the ground up… on the place called Calimanesti, on the river Olt, where the village of my nobleman Nan Udoba stood before, and which we have dedicated to the aforementioned monastery, with much love and assiduity”.
The swiftly-gained fame and recognition of the town of Calimanesti brought about rapid growth, from village to resort; the beauty of the places attracted large houses, Swiss-style villas, a sanatorium and a casino, all beautiful places to spend your free time and vacations.
LEGEND OF CALIMANESTI RESORT
It is said that in the past, a shepherd confessed his sins at the Cozia Monastery, and in his confession, he told that he had bathed in the waters of a river in the “field of Caliman”, and as a result, both him and his wounded sheep were healed of all “bodily aches”. After that event, the monks themselves searched for the place and found, around a monastery, a place where brimstone flowed. Shortly after this, a hospital church was built around the monastery, and ill people from all over came here to be healed. Mircea the Elder and Matei Basarab are two of the personalities of the times, who came here seeking healing.
Napoleon the 3rd also drank from the healing waters in Calimanesti; the water was bottled and taken to Paris by post, to heal Napoleon’s liver disease, upon the recommendations of Carol Davila.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CALIMANESTI
Apart from the healing effect of the water here, the resort is also a place of relaxation, with wonderful places for tourists to visit. Therefore, once here, don’t be in a hurry to leave, because the resort offers many surprises. You will no doubt find accommodation options in Calimanesti, to spend a few relaxing days. Here are a few tourist attractions worth visiting:
- Cozia Monastery, founded by Mircea the Elder. It harbors his tomb, and also that of Mother Teofana, mother of Michael the Brave
- Ostrov Hermitage, built on one of the islands in downtown Calimanesti. It is considered the first nunnery in Wallachia.
- Turnu Monastery, a monastery for monks at the base of the Cozia massif
- Stanisoara Monastery, only 6 km away from Calimanesti-Caciulata, in the Cozia massif
- The Church under the Rock
- The Town Library, a historical monument on the Historical Monuments List in Romania
- Lotrisor Waterfall, an artificial waterfall in the Cozia National Park, on the Lotrisor Valley
- Calimanesti Train Station, a remarkable building which has managed to preserve its architectural identity over time, in spite of having been built in 1899.
GOOD TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING TO CALIMANESTI
From Bucharest, you can reach Calimanesti in about 2 hours and a half, traveling a distance of 194 km through Pitesti and Ramnicu Valcea.
From Iasi, the route takes you to Piatra Neamt, Gheorgheni, Sovata, Sangeorgiu de Padure, Dumbraveni, Medias, Sibiu, Brezoi, for a total duration of 7 hours and 15 minutes, over 488 km.
From Cluj, the route is 3 hours and a half long, through Turda, Ocna Mures, Aiud, Sebes, Sibiu, Brezoi, over 245 km.