Urban Sketching 2022 Tour with Ioana and Christina


Ioana and I finally have an itinerary for our sketch trip to Romania!

Romania is a beautiful Eastern European nation with gorgeous castles, cities, towns, and landscapes.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just getting into sketching as a hobby, there is nothing like experiencing a place through observation and drawing.

Write ioana.travels2@gmail.com for additional materials and to arrange the deposit.

Sketch by Christina Wald


June 3-17th 2022


Friday Day 1    2022 June 3

Arrive at OTP Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport – transfer to hotel: see appendix 1

Accommodation Hotel Capitol 

Located in the heart of Bucharest, Hotel Capitol, ~ 3 minutes walk from the pedestrian area of the Old Town. Built in 1901, the hotel is a living legend, called in the past the Louvre Hotel, the 5-store building houses a restaurant and café, a favorite meeting place for many writers, musicians, and artists.

Sketch by Christina Wald

Saturday Day 2  2022 June 4

Breakfast & accommodation at Hotel Capitol

Bucharest = București

Group Dinner

Peleș Castle TiberiuSahlean

Sunday Day 3  2022 June 5

Breakfast at Hotel Capitol

9:30 am leaving by bus to Peleș Castle ~ 2 ½ h


Peleș Castle youtube 37 min


before Peleș visit - Group Lunch Complex Turistic Furnica




Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, and Cordoba leather-covered walls.
The castle draws its name from neighboring Peleș Creek, which passes right through the courtyard.
King Carol spared no expense. Peleș Castle was the first European castle to have electricity, it even has its own power plant. The Castle has hot and cold running water, central heat, and a central vacuum system. The stained glass roof of the foyer opens mechanically and there is a small elevator for the royal family.
Each room is decorated in a different style or theme. There is a Concert Hall, Music Room (India), Turkish Salon, Great Salon (Italy), Council Room (Switzerland), Moor Hall, and so much more. The Royal Library has a secret door and the castle's 60-seat Theater, with royal box, showed the first movie projection in Romania in 1906.
The furniture in the Music Room is carved of teak, a gift to King Carol I from the Maharajah of Kapurtala in India, while handmade silk embroideries adorn the ceiling and walls of the Turkish Salon. The ceiling paintings and decorative frescoes in the Theater Hall were designed by the renowned Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Frantz Matsch. Also has original works by Alfons Mucha. Over 4,000 European and Oriental pieces dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries are on display in the armories.

After Peleș Castle bus to Brașov ~ 1 ½ h 




Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels, Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as a backdrop in many recent period films.
The location of the city at the intersection of trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and western Europe, together with certain tax exemptions, allowed Saxon merchants to obtain considerable wealth and exert a strong political influence in the region. This was reflected in the city's German name, Kronstadt, as well as in its Latin name, Corona, meaning Crown City (hence, the coat of arms of the city which is a crown with oak roots). Fortifications were erected around the city and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craft guilds, according to medieval custom.



Accommodation Casa Wagner Brașov

Build 1477 (Last renovation: 2012) Casa Wagner, the third oldest building in Brasov's Council Square, was initially named Casa Wallbum, after the name of its first owner, a Saxon pharmacist. Built of stone, brick and oak beams this solid construction later housed the 'Industrie Bank', and more recently it served as an office building.

Sketch by Christina Wald

Monday Day 4   2022 June 6

Breakfast & accommodation Casa Wagner Brașov

9:30 am leaving by bus to Râșnov Fortress ~ ½ h


Râşnov Fortress (Rosenau in German), is located on a rocky hilltop in the Carpathian Mountains, 650 ft. above the town of Râşnov. First mentioned in an official document in 1331, the fortress was built by Teutonic Knights as protection against invading Tartars and was later enlarged by the local Saxon population. Strategically located on the commercial route linking the provinces of Transylvania and Walachia, Râşnov differs from other Saxon fortresses in that it was designed as a place of refuge over extended periods of time. As such, it had at least 30 houses, a school, a chapel, and other buildings more commonly associated with a village.

Tuesday Day 5  2022 June 7

Breakfast & accommodation Casa Wagner Brașov

9:30 am leaving by bus to Bran Castle ~ ¾ h



Build between 1377 and 1388 atop a strategic site overlooking a heavily trafficked mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia by the Transylvanian Saxons of Brașov = Kronstadt. The castle is owned by the descendants of Queen Marie, to whom it was given in 1920 as a token of appreciation for her efforts to unify Romania. After her death, Bran Castle was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, who ran it as a hospital during World War II. In 1948 the castle was seized by the Communist regime, then returned to Dominic von Hapsburg, Princess Ileana’s son, in 2006.

Sketch by Christina Wald

Wednesday Day 6  2022 June 8

Breakfast Casa Wagner Brașov

9:30 am leaving by bus to Sighișoara via Fagaraș ~ 1 ½ h + 2 h


before fortress visit group lunch


Fagaraș Fortress


Built in 1310, on the site of a former 12th-century wooden fortress, burned by the Tartars in 1241, Fagaraș was enlarged between the 15th and 17th centuries when it was considered one of the strongest fortifications in Transylvania. The fortress was surrounded by a deep moat which, in times of war or social unrest, could easily be filled with water from a nearby mountain brook. A bridge over the moat provided the only access point. The fortress boasts strong defending walls and five watch towers.
In 1948, Fagaraș Fortress was taken over by the communists and functioned as a political prison until the early 1960's when it was turned into a museum.

Throughout the years, Fagaraș Fortress functioned mainly as a residence for various princes and their families. Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen (1613-1629), strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, brought architects and glassmakers from Italy who rebuilt the fortress, bestowing elegance and beauty to the construction.

During the rule of Georg Rákóczi (1630-1649), the castle's fortifications were doubled and the moat was enlarged. Ráckózi had the bastions bridged and covered, the moat paved with stone, the drawbridge, and the casemates repaired.

Records show that, in the 17th century, the interior must have been quite luxurious; unfortunately, little of the former grandeur has been preserved. The castle was deprived of its original decorations and furniture when it was turned into a military garrison, in the 18th century.
Today, the beautifully preserved fortress houses the Fagaraș County Museum. Roman artifacts, a collection of medieval weapons and traditional folk crafts as well as a beautiful collection of icons, painted on glass are on display.






The origins of Sighișoara go back to Roman times. During the First Century AD, the Dacians (ancient inhabitants of the territory of modern Romania which eventually will develop into the Romanian people after Roman occupation), built a fortification called Sandava. Under the Roman administration, it was known as Castrum Stenarum.

During the 12th century, the Transylvanian Saxons built a new citadel which was named Schäßburg. Sighișoara (Schäßburg - Schassburg or Schäsbrich in German). Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this 16th-century gem with nine towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses, and ornate churches take you back to a medieval atmosphere. It is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepeș (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462.


Accommodation Hotel Sighișoara

Construction of present-day Hotel Sighișoara started in 1520, which was first a private residence. It survived the great fire of 1676 when the citadel almost burned down. The building carried through centuries one of its oldest treasures is the hunting fresco in black ink which is still alive from the Renaissance onwards. The building was home of nobility and one of the most famous owners was the Saxon Bishop George Paul Binder (1784-1867). Born in Sighișoara, educated in Latin and Greek at the citadel’s evangelic high school, continuing his studies in Cluj and Tubingen where he studied theology, philosophy, and philology. In 1806 he came back to Sighișoara where he worked as a teacher at the School on the Hill, becoming a rector in 1821. Starting in 1840 he was a priest in Saschiz and bishop in Biertan till the end of his days.

From the end of the 19th century till the middle of the 20th century the building continues to be a symbol of Sighișoara being the city hall.

Thursday Day 7  2022 June 9

Breakfast & accommodation Hotel Sighișoara


enjoy Sighișoara 

Sketch by Christina Wald


Friday Day 8  2022 June 10

Breakfast Hotel Sighișoara

9:30 am leaving by bus to Corvin Castle 3+ h & Alba Iulia ~ 1 ½ h

before castle visit group lunch


Corvin Castle youtube ~ 1 min


One of the most spectacular Gothic-style castles in Romania, Corvin was built by the Anjou family on the site of a former Roman camp. The castle served as a fortress until the mid-14th century when it became the residence of Transylvania's voivode, Iancu de Hunedoara (Ioannes Corvinus in Latin, Hunyadi in Hungarian). Iancu upgraded the fortress transforming it into a stunning Transylvania castle.

The beautifully preserved structure features a sumptuous Knights' Hall, the Council Room, a chapel, an impressive drawbridge, high buttresses, inner courtyards, and over 50 rooms resplendent with medieval art and furniture. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Hunedoara was the main iron extraction and processing centers in Transylvania. Swords and spears manufactured here during this period were renowned across Europe.

Although a museum, Corvin Castle occasionally hosts private functions and special celebrations.


Bus to Alba Iulia ~ 1 ½ h


Accommodation Hotel Medieval Alba Iulia

Hotel Medieval is housed in a 300-year-old building located in the middle of the citadel at Alba Iulia. The classic image, elegant furnishings, and vintage outfits of the staff bring to mind the great noble courts of Europe. Its 28 rooms are furnished with epoch furniture. Here the staff wears suits of the era and at the post of majordomo, you will find a soldier dressed in an Austrian military outfit that will give honor upon arrival and departure. Medieval Hotel has a terrace where you can eat, admiring Alba Iulia from above. 

Saturday Day 9  2022 June 11

Breakfast & accommodation Hotel Medieval Alba Iulia

enjoy Alba-Iulia



One of the oldest settlements in Romania, known in ancient times as Apulum, Alba Iulia served as the largest military and economic center during the Roman occupation. Temples, mosaics, thermae and statues, amphitheaters, the governor's palace "Daciarum Trium" – all rendered the original Dacian Apulul as the miniature copy of the mother Rome.

An Episcopal citadel and an important political, military and cultural center, Alba Iulia reached its peak between 1542-1690, serving as the capital of the independent Principality of Transylvania and the residence of the Transylvanian princes. In 1599, Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) achieved here for a brief period of time the union of the three main provinces of Romania: Walachia, Transylvania, and Moldavia. The town later became an important printing center. Nowadays the local universities continue the tradition of the old academic schools.

The peasant revolt led by Horea, Closca, and Crisan, executed on February 28, 1785 on Pitchfork Hill (Dealul Furcii) turned the city into a symbol of the fight for justice and freedom.

It was here that on December 1st, 1918 the province of Transylvania announced its unification with Romania. In 1922 Prince Ferdinand was crowned King of Romania in an act which mirrored the union achieved more than four centuries earlier by Mihai Viteazul.

Alba means white and comes from the time when the Slavs called the settlement Belgrade ("White Castle"). Iulia comes from the name of Romanian Prince Gelu (Iulius in Latin) who ruled over the land around Alba Iulia during the 10th century. The Habsburgs tried to impose the name Alba Carolina (Karlsburg) in honor of the emperor Charles VI. In 1918 the town became once again Alba Iulia.

Sketch by Christina Wald

Sunday Day 10  2022 June 12

Breakfast Hotel Medieval

9:30 am leaving by bus to Sibiu ~ 1 ½ h


Accommodation Hotel Am Ring Sibiu

Am Ring Hotel is situated in The Large Square (Piața Mare) of Sibiu where the heritage has been very well preserved spreading the atmosphere of the merchants from the 19th century. This atmosphere is discovered even in the rooms where you can find some original restored furniture pieces dating from 1800s. Amber Caffe comes up with a wide range of cocktails, coffees, alcoholic / non-alcoholic beverages and dishes to satisfy even the most exigent of our guests. With an outdoor terrace in the Large Square, this place turns out to be an ideal place for people to enjoy some quality time in the city center. Gothic Restaurant - the wine cellar invites its customers to spend some moments full of charm enjoying delicious culinary specialties.



Monday Day 11  2022 June 13

Breakfast & accommodation Hotel Am Ring Sibiu

enjoy Sibiu 



Sibiu = Hermannstadt was the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels (Siebenburgen) built starting in the 12th century by German settlers known as 'Transylvanian Saxons'.
The riches amassed by its guilds paid for the construction of both impressive buildings and the fortifications required to protect them.

Sibiu's Old Town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade. Like Sighisoara and Brasov, it has a distinctly Germanic feeling. Sections of the medieval wall still guard the historic area, where narrow streets pass steep-roofed 17th century buildings with gable overhangs before opening into vast, church-dominated squares such as Great Square and Little Square.

Sibiu is a pedestrian-friendly city with two easily accessible levels: the Upper town, home to most of Sibiu's historic sights, and the Lower town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets and bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin.

In 1797, Samuel von Hahnemann opened in Sibiu the world's first homeopathic laboratory
Sibiu is home to the first hospital in Romania (1292), the first pharmacy (1494) and the oldest museum in Romania, the Brukenthal Museum, opened in 1817
The first book in the Romanian language was printed in Sibiu in 1544

Traditionally, the Upper-Town was wealthier and concentrated businessmen and tradesmen; the Lower-Town served as the manufacturing area. Within the limits of Sibiu Old Town are Sibiu's major attractions including the Great Square, Huet Square, the beautiful Passage of Steps (which connects the upper town to the lower town), Goldsmiths' Square, the Smaller Square as well as the Bridge of Lies.


Tuesday Day 12  2022 June 14

Breakfast Hotel Am Ring Sibiu

9:30 am leaving by bus to Bucharest via Curtea de Argeș ~ 3 h + 3 h

 One of the most imposing and elegant religious buildings in Romania, Curtea de Argeș Monastery is founded at the request of Neagoe Basarab and built by Manole together with his craftsmen and masons. The construction started in 1512 during the time of Neagoe Basarab and was completed during the time of his son-in-law Radu de la Afumați in 1526.

Following centuries were harsh to the monastery, fires, earthquakes, attacks, and pillaging almost destroyed the church. Luckily it was restored several times: in 1681 by Prince Serban Cantacuzino, in 1804 by Joseph the first bishop, while the most major changes were done between 1875 and 1885 when it was reconstructed. Carol the 1st hired French architect Emile Andre Lecomte de Nouy, and according to the restoration criteria of the time, the church was almost completely rebuilt and repainted. Sadly, this controversial renovation destroyed the original impressive frescoes. You can admire some of the remaining fragments at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest. Following the restoration, the church became the necropolis of the royal family of Romania.

Accommodation Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest

Located on Franceză Street, the oldest street in Bucharest, facing the Old Princely Court and Church built by the infamous Vlad the Impaler in the 15th century, Europa Royale Bucharest sits in the midst of history. Also facing it is Hanu' lui Manuc (Manuc's Inn), the oldest operating hotel in Bucharest, a must-see for its pretty balconied courtyard, and the bustling Unirii (Union) Square. Instant access to the vibrant Old Town and its many attractions is a big plus. You’re steps away from the cobbles of Lipscani Street, the resplendent Stavropoleos Church, and to Cărturești Carusel bookstore.


Wednesday Day 13  2022 June 15

Breakfast & accommodation Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest

group dinner

enjoy București 

Thursday Day 14  2022 June 16

Breakfast & accommodation Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest

OPTIONAL – Therme Bucharest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQpfmv1w3dE&ab_channel=ThermeBucuresti ~ 1 min

Accommodation Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest

enjoy București 


Friday Day 15  2022 June 17

Breakfast Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest

Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport 

 Each day will have a proposed set of sketch locations and we will also have some optional tours.


Price: 3300 USD for double occupancy / 3800 USD for single occupancy


taxi fare from and to the airport

hotel accommodation 14 nights at great hotels in the heart of

București, Brașov, Sighișoara, Alba Iulia and Sibiu

breakfast at the hotel

3 group lunches

2 group dinners

entrance fees, photo & video fee, guides at several castles, fortresses including:

Peles Castle, Rasnov Fortress, Bran Castle, Fagaras Fortress, Corvin Castle

Transportation with rented bus 10 days: day 3 to day 12


Deposit is $1200 by November 30

2nd payment is due January 31

Balance is due March 31


Write ioana.travels2@gmail.com for additional materials and to arrange the deposit.

Ioana and Christina at Fagaraș Fortress


  Ioana Popescu graduated Biology in Bucharest Romania, late 20th
   century, a couple of years later she arrived to graduate school in
   Cincinnati Ohio, where she met George Gibeau whom she married 
    also late 20th century… 

   She is a college professor in US since 1999… for
   the last 20 years at Drury University in Springfield Missouri.

In June 2004 (three weeks) and June 2006 (four weeks) she took
students to Romania on a study abroad tour through Drury University. The class called ‘Romania – more than just Dracula!’ was a combination of mostly global cultures class sprinkled with a bit of field and systematic botany. Since then she continued visiting Romania as often as possible, while ‘chasing’ wildflowers of Romania and ‘building’ a photographic field guide of wildflowers of Romania and Southeast & Central Europe. One of these years Christina Wald (who has been friends with Ioana since 1996) joined Ioana in her search for more wildflowers and together they took a tour of Romania combining… urban sketching with hikes in the wilderness.

Together with Christina Wald, we are thrilled to offer an Urban Sketching Romania June 2022.

  Christina Wald is a full-time illustrator, urban sketcher, and toy/ product

  She has illustrated over 60 books for children and teaches illustration and
  sequential storytelling at Northern Kentucky University.

  She has taught many urban sketching workshops and works with the
  Urban Sketchers international organization's social media team. She also
  started the USk Cincinnati chapter.

  She was recently part of USk Sketch Together where she interviewed sketchers
all over North and South America. https://youtu.be/EazxqAT1mCI

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