Romania 2015 - 14: Monastery-Express (50 p.) is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Romania 2015 - 13: Through Olt River Valley (50 p.)

Link to the video:

April 3 2015

We were on our way by car of the Bujoreni Vâlcea museum curator along the well-maintained DN7 road north to one of the main historical highlights of Oltenia. After a few philosophical debates and complaints that his village museum did not receive funds as for example the national museum Astra at Sibiu, we reached Cozia monastery founded by duke Mircea the Elder in 1386 (or 1388 as it was first mentioned in documents then). Cozia (a name well-known from Vaser Valley) originates either from a Turkic language (Kipchak) meaning "nut" or from Slavic languages meaning "goat". In this case a walnut-grove had been here, so the first is more probable.
More information about the monastery:

We approached the main church of the monastery - the former western side of the complex along the road does not exist anymore, it is an open park.

We were not as alone as this picture might suggest, plenty of tourists visited as well.

The inside of the main nave.

The narthex.



The porticus had been added in 1707 in so-called Brâncovenesc style.


Inside the building you can find private rooms and chapels.

However, the museum featuring historic artefacts can be visited. From an upper floor window this view at one of the large Olt River dams opened up, a main highway for lorries. As you can see from the fortifications Cozia monastery also fulfilled a strategic purpose along this important transit route ...

We marched the short but dangerous bit of DN7 to the dam. Roman castle Arutela had been partly reconstructed here.

A lot of stuff had collected in the reservoir, another church in the background. We turned onto a side road towards Turnu monastery where strong winds generated little dust storms.

You walk through short road tunnels along the reservoir.

At the railway underpass we were welcomed to Cozia national park stretching north to Cornet.

I waited under changing weather conditions at the tunnel portal near the underpass for R 2072 from Sibiu. Punctually at 2:51 p.m. it departed Mânastirea Turnu station in perfect spotlight.

60-0928 almost was chased by sunlight.

Rear shot through the tunnel.

View along the road to the station.

Right after R 2072 had passed by I could wait for the next highlight. A rumbling inside the tunnel announced it: Malaxa 77-0936 as "monastery-express" R 2437 on the short commute Râmnicu Vâlcea - Lotru. The monastery in the background - by the way, the sign warns visitors from entering in short trousers as well as forbids the in Romania still very common nasty habit of smoking...

The panoramic version, as bonus the rear lamps of Malaxa railcars often are turned on. Lazier visitors were just leaving by Dacia-taxi.

We took the footpath.

This monastery does not offer any historical buildings, the original church had burnt down, the current one was rebuilt in the 1930s. The frescoes in the interior still proved to be interesting, even the church donors were represented.

Mobile age: only a direct wire to heaven remains.

Hardly modest gravestones of former abbots.

Caves once inhabited by hermits can be found on the compound.


I passed the modern day equivalent to the caves on the way back to the dam, little separated wooden huts. In the proximity I waited for the return of the Malaxa, a German rail photographer joined me by car. Three minutes ahead of the Malaxa IR 1737, which I had taken from Sibiu to Cluj in winter, passed by.

R 2438 at the cut out spot, only high voltage lines had to be removed.


A quick thought, then I sprinted to the other side of the road bridge to catch this view with Malaxa and Cozia monastery. The high-rises seeming excessive for this narrow valley belong to a hotel complex...

I slowly returned to Turnu station which had been degraded to a halt. The old building and seating possibilities even had been extremely fenced in.

A nice way to follow the change from î to â - it probably had not been a railway "security zone" since ... times.

R 2063 towards Sibiu approached, as already spotted on the way here 82-0141 had slipped into the class 60 diagram.


I already have shown pictures from the return through Olt Valley last time, at Podu Olt we once again came across a snow shower.

Wonderful lighting mood in the wide landscape.

Arrived punctually at Sibiu at 18:57.

Juvenile good-for-nothings (at a station where I felt stupid using the underpass the first time I came here ;-)).

R 2415 to Teius stood on platform 1 every evening hauled by a cutter, this time 62-1365 gave the honours.

82-0141 shunting.

I awaited the punctual arrival of IR 346 "Dacia" Bucharest - Vienna.

The GM-thunder upon departure even received a few last sunrays

Lovely walk back into the old town past the Ursuline church.

The tower of the Protestant parish church seen from Strada Avram Iancu.

Before the usual visit to Billa supermarket I took a look around Piata Mica.


Catholic and Protestant churches.


The council tower was directly in the shadow of the parish church tower - a sort of giant sundial.

Next time we will explore northeast towards Medias and visit Birthälm church castle.
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