CRAIOVA (KRA’YOVA) (Romanian pronunciation : KRAJOVA).  There are possible etymology for CRAIOVA : Old Slav KRAL (King), which has been borrowed in Romania as CRAI and Slav KRAJINA (border or edge)Since no source prior to 1475 mentions the city, it is impossible to tell which of the two words is the real etymology.  The name is probably of Bulgarian or Siberian origin, due to historical minorities in the area.

Craiova bridge

CRAIOVA is Romania’s 6th largest city and Capital of DOLJ County, and is situated near the east bank of the River JIU in Central OLTENIA.  It is a longstanding political centre and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians (north) and the River Danube (south).  CRAIOVA is the chief commercial city west of Bucharest and the most important city of OLTENIA.  The city prospered as a regional trading centre despite an earthquake in 1790, a plague in 1795 and a Turkish assault in 1802 during which it was burned.

Craiova park

In the first two decades of the 19th century, Craiova was characterized by economical growth, multiplication of its habitants’ pre-occupations in the areas of trade, commerce and public services.  In comparison with other great urban centres, Craiova is situated as a commercial, administrative and cultural knot of prime order.  In 1832, there were a number of 595 shops, of which “187 of wood and 398 of stone wall”.  It was exporting to Austria and Turkey ——- cereal, skins, wax, animals, tallow and cervices.  In 1846, the first Romanian Society on Shareholders for cereal transport by ship on the Danube was established.

Craiova fountain

Around 1860, there were 4633 buildings, of which 3220 were houses, 26 Churches, 11 schools, 60 factory-workshops.  There were also approximately 90 establishments with an industrial character of which : 12 windmills, 3 beer factories, 2 gas and oil factories, 4 tanneries and 2 printing units.  Craiova was a city that had small factories and workshops with chemical products, agricultural machines, graphics art, textiles, tanneries and construction materials.

Craiova cathedral

CATEDRALA STANTULUI DUMITRU ( Saint Demetrius Cathedral) is a Romanian Orthodox Cathedral.  There was likely a Church on the site by the 1490s, renovated in 1651 and having fallen into disrepair, demolished in 1889.  That year, work on a new Church began, and this was completed and sanctified in 1933.  The earlier Church’s proximity to the headquarters of the  BAN od Craiova, gave it importance in the city’s political life, as well as a defensive purpose, while the modern building’s role ensures its continued significance.


NICOLAE ROMANESCU PARK ( formerly BIBESCU PARK) is the largest and most well-known park in Craiova.  Plans for the Park were awarded the Gold Medal at the 1900 World Fair.  Work began in 1901 and was completed in 1903.

GRADINA BOTANICA din CRAIOVA (Botanical Garden) is a scientific organization, where plant specimens are collected from different regions of the country and preserved as reference material, but also as study material for the students of University of Craiova.  The garden occupies a large area in the centre of the city, covering an area delimited by streets and at an altitude of about 99metres.  It is also referred to as a local park for the citizens of Craiova and a tourist destination.

Craiova University

CASA BANIEI : the Ethnographic Museum of Craiova is located in the historic city centre and is located in the town park.  The building, known as CASA BANIEI, is one of the oldest, non-religious monuments of medieval architecture in Craiova.  It was built in the 15th century, but was partially destroyed.  In 1699, it was restored by Prince Constantin Brancoveanu.  From the original building, there are preserved only the underground parts with arched brick walls.  Over the years, CASA BANIEI re-purposed repeatedly, but since 1966, it houses the ethnographic collection of the Museum of Oltenia.  Among the exposures, there can be seen restorations of household articles with the characteristic region pottery, textiles, costumes, musical instruments and ritual objects.  There are organised puppet shows and workshops for children in the building, as there is housed the first Museum of Puppet Theatre in Oltenia.


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