Ultimate Quick Travel Guide – EuropeSeptember 29, 2023
Ultimate Packing Guide – Carry On EditionOctober 1, 2023
Tirgu Jiu is the capital of Gorj County in the Oltenia region of Romania. It is situated on the Southern Sub-Carpathians, on the banks of the river Jiu.
Tirgu Jiu (Târgu Jiu)
Tirgu Jiu, the capital of Gorj County, nestles at the base of the majestic Carpathian Mountains, treating visitors to incredible views at every turn. Excursions from this picturesque town are a popular choice. I plan to return armed with a motorbike, a perfect way to immerse myself in the surrounding areas with ease. My next adventure will include a visit to the historic Monastery Tismana, dating back to 1375, and the Cartianu Manor, a splendid example of traditional architecture marrying stone, brick, and wood, and dating back to 1760.
Exploring Tirgu Jiu, you'll discover a wealth of shops catering to all your needs, from food and clothing to vibrant flower markets. Pharmacies are well-stocked, and the local restaurants offer options to suit every budget. On a culinary note, I stumbled upon a charming small restaurant and sampled the mamaliga, one of the more affordable items on the menu, followed by a bowl of ciorba de burta. It may not win any beauty contests, but its taste is an experience worth savouring.
A leisurely riverside walk, with the mountains as a backdrop, offers a serene escape from the centre. Tirgu Jiu showcases a fascinating mix of architectural styles, from the bold façade of Hotel Gorj to traditional smaller properties on the outskirts, and the modern design of Masa Tacerii (the Table of Silence). The blend of old and new gives the town an enticingly eclectic atmosphere.
While commissioned artworks adorn the town, my eye was continually drawn to the equally captivating skill displayed in the graffiti art. One example I appreciated can be seen here; the Pisica Patrata Portret (Square Cat Portrait), located in the town centre adding an artistic touch to the streetscape.
Catedrala Sfinții Voievozi, a pretty Orthodox Church that I passed on my way to Poarta Sarutului (the Gate of the Kiss), is another architectural gem worth exploring.
A brief history lesson: the commemorative sculptural ensemble by Constantin Brancusi pays homage to Romania's heroes of the First World War. Unveiled on 27th October 1938, this ensemble, comprising Masa Tacerii (Table Of Silence), Poarta Sarutului (The Gate Of The Kiss), and Coloana Fara Sfarsit (Endless Column), was inaugurated with a ceremonial procession from Poarta Sarutului to Masa Tacerii, attended by both locals and political figures. This ensemble is closely tied to The Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul, dedicated at the same time as the sculptures on 7th November 1937. The Endless Column symbolizes infinity and the boundless sacrifice of Romanian soldiers for their country, serving as an ode to the kiss of death and the journey to the next life.
For my stay in this charming town, I chose Casa Cristal and I couldn't have been happier with my choice. My hosts went above and beyond, offering invaluable advice on local attractions, assisting with the confusion at the train station during a bus replacement, and ensuring I never went hungry during unexpected delays. I wholeheartedly recommend staying here; you'll have no regrets!