Discover Horezu in Romania
Weather in the Horezu Depression
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The urban area of the town of Horezu has kept unchanged its defining character of borough from the northern part of Oltenia, especially concerning its commercial side, but the last decades have brought a remarkable evolution in the field of tourism, through the appearance of the infrastructure adequate to this type of activity, namely public units of catering and accommodation, playgrounds, parking lots, the Centre for Tourism Information, street markings, etc. The town entry from Râmnicu Vâlcea, on DN 67, consists of a commercial area where can be bought souvenirs, handicraft products, handmade pottery, woven products, Romanian and foreign merchandise, in a mixture of kitsch and authenticity. The town’s vital axis is the exclusively commercial Unirii street, with pedestrian access. This street represents, together with the streets 1 Decembrie and Independenței, the historical centre of the town of Horezu, where we can find buildings dating from the beginning of the 20th century, with a specific architecture and many stories gathered across the time. This perimeter hosts most of the administrative institutions, the Gallery of Folk Art, the House of Culture, the Town Library, the banks, the notary public’s offices, the individual offices for liberal professions, cosmetic parlours, fitness centres, etc. The other streets have a patriarchal air, with one-level houses, flower or vegetable gardens, a reduced traffic level and plenty of vegetation. The “Constantin Brâncoveanu” High School and the Horezu Town Hospital, through their size and architecture, represent the most important landmarks of the locality.
Most of the restaurants and the terraces try and manage, for the most part, to respect the local style, through their atmosphere, their architecture, their interior design, but also through the menus. Several bars and restaurants have been created in the basements of the old monument buildings, where they benefit of architectural elements specific to the wine vaults, with old brick arcades and a vintage atmosphere.
The accommodation units ensure a high level of comfort and they benefit of the circular disposition of the town, all the points of interest being located within a 10-minute walk. For this reason, the town has no means of public transportation. During the last few years, there has been a substantial increase in the local owners of hotels and guest houses’ interest in broadening the range of leisure activities for the tourists, i. e. playgrounds, sports fields, swimming pools, bike-rental services, etc.
Particularly interesting is the Olari street, the longest street of the town, in fact a small village, an area that groups more than 90% of the famous families of potters of Horezu. This is where we find the old workshops, still in use and where the descendants of the potters still work and create, the old tools, the traditional ovens, the history of the potters’ families, their stories, their skill demonstrations, the presentation of the Horezu pottery technique, which, starting from 2012, benefits of a worldwide recognition of its specificity, being included in the UNESCO immaterial heritage.
The rural area, represented by the Romani de Jos, Romani de Sus, Râmești, Ifrimești, Urșani and Tănăsești satellite villages, is a pure Romanian space, with old churches and traditional houses, with fountains with clear water and vast grasslands, with village craftsmen, livestock breeders, orchards, plum brandy boilers, etc. The villages are connected to the town centre by means of asphalt roads, but there is also a circular connection among the villages, at the foot of the mountains, certain parts of which can only be accessed on foot or by bike. Here, in the old peasant homes, we can taste the true traditional foods, inspired by the recipes used by the shepherds or the hunters, impressive through their use of the local produce.
All year round, the Saturdays are the most important day of the week, due to the weekly fair that has been attracting for hundreds of years the inhabitants from the north-western part of Vâlcea county, but also from the north-eastern part of the Gorj county. In the town there is a great affluence of people, who come to buy vegetables, milk products from the small local farms, handmade products, fruit or berries, cereals, birds or animals. This is a dynamic local fair, a meeting place of the producers and consumers, but also of the craftsmen with potential clients for their products or services. Negotiations, appointments, collaborations are discussed.
Horezu benefits from the fact that it is an unaltered area, without polluting industries, without excesses at the level of the agricultural or forestry exploitations. Good environmental policies, not only of the local administration, but also of the economic actors and of the active NGOs, have led to a remarkable purity of the air and water and to a healthy lifestyle. Together with the local civilization (the incidence of crimes in the Horezu area is far below the national average), as well as the healthy food produce, “straight from the garden”, have placed Horezu at the top of the life expectancy lists, according to the National Statistics Institute (2008).