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Romanian Tourism Event, Wine Tasting Held
25 Years of Diplomatic Ties between Romania, S. Korea
Romanian Amb. Calin Fabian at the ceremony

The Embassy of Romania to the Republic of Korea hosted, on Jan. 28, 2015, a tourism presentation and a wine tasting to introduce Romanian history and culture to the Korean public. Among the guests were representatives of major tour operators in Korea, journalists and other representatives from related fields.

The meeting has as main focus the projection of a short documentary about Romania, featured on the KBS2 show “The Mountain,” made with the support of the embassy in November 2014 and broadcasted on December 7th 2014.

The documentary featured a few key historic and cultural sites for tourists who wish to visit Romania. The Bran Castle, recognized by fans of the book by Bram Stoker “Dracula” as being the castle which is described in the pages of the books as belonging to the elusive count, draws hundreds of visitors yearly and especially around Halloween when the administration of the castle hosts a costume party and a special night to recount de legend of Dracula.

The legend of the character of Bram Stoker’s book is said to be based on one very important Romanian prince: Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) the ruler of Walachia. He does, indeed, have an association with Bran Castle. Vlad was involved in several campaigns to punish the German merchants of Brasov who failed to abide by his commands as regards their trade in his Walachian markets.

Passage to Wallachia was through Bran, the closest gorge to Brasov, which connects with Targoviste, Vlad Tepes’ capital. The original customs houses at which taxes were collected from merchants entering Transylvania are still at the base of Bran Castle. The relationships with the Bran lords were not very cordial, as they were representatives of the Citadel of Brasov, which were hostile to Vlad the Impaler. It is not known if Vlad Tepes captured Bran Castle.

Another stop on the tour of the KBS team in Romania was the Bucegi Natural Park, a protected natural area located in the south-central mountainous area of Romania which shelters a variety of flora and fauna. The focal point of this natural park is represented by the natural rock formations: Babele and Sphinx, which can be visited through climbing a series of mountain trails marked only by small signs on trees. The natural park is one of the areas which remain barely touched by human constructions, where the natural habitat of several indigenous species of animals is undisturbed.

The city featured in the documentary was Sibiu, an important city in the center of Romania, former European Cultural Capital in the year 2007. Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as "Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes. The city of Sibiu and its surroundings are one of the most visited areas in Romania. It holds one of the best preserved historical sites in the country, many of its medieval fortifications having been kept in excellent state. Its old center has begun the process for becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Sibiu and its surrounding area have many significant museums, with 12 institutions housing art collections, paintings, and exhibits in decorative arts, archeology, anthropology, history, industrial archeology and history of technology and natural sciences.

The city also lies close to the Făgăraș Mountains - a very popular hiking and trekking destination, where the south Korean broadcasting team walked the somewhat difficult part of the trail "Three steps from the death" running the main ridge by ridge Custura Arpaşului to finally reach the lake (in Romanian Lacul) Capra (2230 m).

The Embassy also invited one of the most important Romanian wine importers in Korea, Wineland, to explain to the audience about the long tradition of wine-making in Romania and the high-quality achieved through the years. Another important guest was Mrs. Jeny Pop, the owner of the only Romanian restaurant in the Republic of Korea, Dracula’s Lounge, located in the Haebangcheon area. She introduced Romanian food as an important part of Romania’s heritage.

Through his speech, Ambassador Calin Fabian underlined the importance of the moment of the meeting, as 2015 marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Republic of Korea. The presentation of Romanian tourism and culture is also an opportunity for the development of people-to-people exchanges and should lead to a better mutual understanding of culture and tradition of both countries.

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