Industrial Tours

Mining, Industry and Post-communist Transition in SW Romania

The tour highlights some representative industries of the area and their contemporary decay or adaptation: gold and coal mining, metallurgic, railway, heavy machinery, energetic, marble extraction. A big city like Timisoara, the former capital of the Banat province and the place where the 1989 Romanian revolution started, and other smaller ones like Resita, Anina, Hunedoara, Petrosani, Brad, Targu Jiu, each with its own specific identity, are all visited. The beauty of the surrounding mountain nature with lakes and virgin forests is another area's attraction.

Historically they are tied to the Austrian administration and industrial expansion here since the XVIIIth century to the World War I. Romania's communist economic excesses and post-communist difficult transition brought for many of these industrial capacities a painful metamorphosis in surrealistic ruins.

Day 1: Arrival in Timisoara. We will begin with a short tour of the beautiful city, highlighting some of the 1989 revolution's hot points, also visiting the 1718 founded Timisoreana brewery and the former petro-chemical Solventul which is now a disaffected platform.

Day 2: We will take a trip to Oravita (110 kilometers), visiting the picturesque small mountain town with XIXth century Austrian architecture and then having lunch. After lunch we will travel to Anina, by train (2 hours, 30 kilometers), on the oldest mountain railway in Romania (1863), which is similar to the Austrian Semmering. Meanwhile, the driver will bring the empty coach to Anina on the road. Here we will visit the surface platform of the former coal mine (the deepest in Europe, 1250 meters) and the oil shale huge power station, which never functioned, a famous investment failure of the communist regime. In the evening we will go to Resita and accommodate.

Day 3: In the morning we visit the industrial town of Resita, the oldest in Romania (iron works grounded in 1771) and the still functioning remains of its once prosperous heavy industry (the UCMR factory and museum, the disaffected blast furnace - historic monument and the nearby picturesque workers colony, the Steam Locomotives Open Air Park), and have lunch. After lunch we will go to the Semenic mountains touristic road, sightseeing picturesque hydro-energetic constructions (dams, lakes, the 1916 Breazova small power station hidden in the forest with its picturesque water channels). We will continue to the Semenic ski resort (strange remains of some research wind turbines, an abandoned communist big hotel, a meteorological station, a broadcasting antenna, also incredible sights to a vast area and close proximity to the biggest virgin beech forest in Europe. Just at the entrance of the reservation, foundation remains of an intended communist large cattle farm). Accommodation at the Semenic resort.

Day 4: Travel 100 kilometers (2 hours) to Herculane Baths and a 30 minutes break there; famous thermal baths resort, a pearl of the XIXth century Austrian Empire; its historic patrimony is now in a prolonged decay. On the way, a short visit to Garana, a mountain German village and to the Trei Ape Lake. A 0.5 to 1 hour visit of the museum of the huge hydro energetic (2200 MW, the biggest in Europe) and navigation complex Iron Gates I on the Danube, which offers sights in the machines hall. Lunch in Turnu Severin. Next stop nearby of the Motru surface coal exploitations. We will continue to Lafarge Cement Factory Tg. Jiu. and to the Brancusi sculpture ensemble and accommodation in Targu Jiu.

Day 5: In the morning we will take a visit to the abandoned mining sites on the Jiu Valley: Petrila, Paroseni, Uricani, Aninoasa, to a narrow gauge industrial railway from Petrila to Lonea and to the town of Petrosani. Accommodation in Hunedoara.

Day 6: We make our way (90 kilometers, 1.5 hours) to Rosia Montana gold mining site, galleries and museum. We will continue with a ride by steam train on the Brad-Criscior narrow railway. A visit to the Brad Mining Museum, and lunch. After lunch we will travel back to Hunedoara (50 kilometers, 1 hour), where we will visit the remains of the metallurgic industry and the historic blast furnace from Govajdia, built in 1806. The same accommodation in Hunedoara.

Day 7: The day will start by visiting the Corvin Castle continuing with a visit to Calan (defunct metallurgic industry town). We will make a trip to Ruschita (80 kilometers, 1.5 hours) and we will visit the marble quarry, after that we will have lunch. We will travel then to Recas Winery (120 kilometers, 2 hours), near Timisoara for visit and wine tasting. Accommodation in Timisoara.

Day 8: Departure.

- included: transportation, 7 accommodations, 3 stars double Bed & Breakfast
- not included: flights, airport transfers, entrance fees

- maximum 15 - 20 persons starting from €770 / person # (minibus)
- optional during the trip, for no additional charge, a session of one of our creative workshops

For more information, please check our services page or contact us for any questions.

#   prices quoted include a specialized guide permanently accompanying the group