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 ” The Vallachian Firepit Holliday Villages Trail” a Cross Carpathian Common Cultural Heritage  Project

Sigla vatra valaha_ecuson_m

 Motto : „Return to the roots, a Carpathian people message from the past, found in the present.”

” The Vallachian Vatra ” (Vatra Valaha) is the first Traditional Holliday Village Project in Europe, aiming to build a holiday village to express on eco-ethno-socio-logical principles the  picturesque and functionality of traditional architecture specific to Vallachians peasant spread across Europe and also the characteristic hospitality of areas currently occupied in the present by the descendants of the Valachs.

The rural development through Traditional VlachTourist Village , proves the applicability of the development of the first pilot project in Romania greentourism = green business scheme in the social and cultural tourism”  called eco-social Holiday Village” Wallachian Vatra , which besides  bio / eco and cultural component (based on secular history and agrarian traditions of Vallachian shepherds) it has a social component based on helping 7  families in poor economic condition on the  principle” provide rod instead of fish.”

The GreenHoliday Village  of Vlachs in the Carpathians Project  Vallachian Vatra” may be an example of innovative social involvement in local communities through tourism. In terms of social protection as part of the social economy, social tourism offer increasingly more economic opportunities for disadvantaged groups, including the tourism service providers, and not just beneficiaries, and this is the innovative element that our association brings to the general concept of social tourism. Direct employees in social tourism, as conceived by our association are themselves social cases. Details about the social  tourism concept of  Turismverde * organization can  be seen on: http://www.turismverde.ro/pagini/CRESC%20turism.html.

Basically Vlachs are present today throughout Europe but mainly in the Carpathian area of Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic there is even a “Vlach autonomous region” called Moravian Wallachia (in Czech : Moravská Valaska), one of the pilars of bridge for the continuity of Vlachs civilization along the Carpathians and Europe.

According to Wikipedia, Vlachs (or Wallachians) was the name given by other people to romanized populations of Central and Eastern Europe.
The name of “Vlachs” appears for the first time in 976 in Greek chronicler John Skiliţes writings.
The origin of the name is related to Germanic linguistics: same origin leads to the words “Welsh” and “Walloon” in other parts of Europe for local populations considered Romance (ex. Prince Charles of Wales). Genealogical research showed that in the middle of the fifteenth century and early seventeenth century, for five generations, ancestors of Rhedey Claudine Countess of Transylvania and, therefore, and of Prince Charles were Wallachian nobles, princes and high dignitaries of the Basarab family.

Later, the word has somewhat tinted, being  changed by diferent users. For example, Italy in Polish is called “Wlochy” and in the Hungarian language “olasz” are Italians and “oláh” are Romanians. (Source: http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valahi)

Vallachian civilization show striking similarities across the Carpathians in terms of ethnography, folklore and rural economy and it has a common part of the vocabulary, kept both in dialectal archaism and in the mountain toponymy.

Everywhere, symbols carved in wooden objects are similar. Basically, if we except the appearance of wooden log houses, the interior of the houses is often identical in all mentioned regions. This may be the evidence that groups of Vlachs were originally one people.

Furthermore, the Valachs maintained a greater degree of self determination expressed by different judicial customs called Valachian Right (in Latin, the Lex Antiqua Valachorum or Jus Valahicum / Valachorum), known as the first law model as being mentioned a lot in the Romanian historical documents.

According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, the Valah Right had an economic part and a legal one, which could not be violated. In the relationship with the institutions responsible for enforcing and upholding the law of a certain state, Vlachs responded to any query using the formula: “Take me to your master, I have the Vlach right” , which ment he possess a special right.

In Romanian there are many sources about Vallachian culture but you can check this one in English, “We Are Valachs!”  by editor Leo Baca, which is an article taken from: Stopami Minulosti: Kapitol z Dejin Moravy a Slezka /Traces of the Past: Chapters From the History of Moravia and Silesia/, by Zdenek Konecny and Frantisek Mainus /Brno, Blok. 1979.

By his mainly pastoral and trade activity, the Valah lerned primarily from the nature the principles of living   in perfect symbiosis with it, life principles applied in green tourism – a basic concept promoted by our organization in Romania and Europe.

The Vlach Holliday village – “The Vallachian Firepit” is a tourism model that gather around an ancient “firepit” all these principles and who aims to facilitate access to authentic traditional Vallachian culture of all those who want to know and live the healthy lifestyles, the millenary traditions, customs and hospitality of the Vlachs.

In the specific rural Vlachs settlements you can always find clean air and clear water springs that come from the Carpathian Mountains. They were for centuries the keepers of the Vallachian material and spiritual heritage , which have taken over and integrated elements of local culture, created, invented and permanently adapted to historical socio-economic conditions.

The pleasure to visit at least some of these rural settlements in hours is impossible today in real conditions of modern society. This can be achieved only by visiting a single centralized site, one from the seven sites of the European network, designed as a living museum containing seven of the most reprezentative traditional houses from each Carpathian country and more:

1.Related activities zone including:
– Popular Creation Centre Meeting Rooms Wallachia (meetings with craftsmen, artisans and artists from all over Europe) meetings and conferences, book launches, popular music auditions, traditional specific movie gale ;
– Sheepfold “On the Hill” (eco food);
– Traditional inn (food and accomodation) and Cellar “village pub”;
– Mill pond “(fishing);
– National sports field.

2.The Village Center:
– Manor House (building with administrative role and accommodation);
– Church “From one tree” (religious service);
– Fire Pit “the council of elders”, where traditional activities, dance and plaing will take place;
– Traditional well (fountain of desires).

3.Etnoturistic Village (itself) with a dual function, accommodation and sightseeing composed of:
– A set of seven households of traditional  Wallachian architecture located on plots of 250-500 sq., called “authentic core” with houses from all  Carpathian countries, including the host house and 1-2 rooms for tourist accommodation equipped with bathroom and different anexes :

-a craft shop (woodwork, metalwork, the sewer, pottery, dip, bread oven, etc);

-cultivated land, to produce by traditional farming 100% green products available for tourists

-household Annexes for raising domestic animals (sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, etc);

Also, each house has a guard dog came from a community center.

Houses from all areas of the Carpathian will respect the traditional building materials (wood and stone), shapes and designs  also for the interior, being valuable replicas of old real houses forming an “assembly of replicas”.

Objectives:

– Facilitating access to authentic Vallachian culture of those who want to know the rural civilization, millenary traditions and great hospitality, tourists from the European countries other than Carpathian countries, and also world-wide tourists  ;

– Creating a personal development environment where people rediscover the healthy, balanced, in harmony with nature lifestyle of  vlach shepard;

– Minimizing environmental impact of tourism activity by using environmentally friendly materials and technologies used in the past by Vallachian ;

– Preserving the traditional agricultural landscapes rich in biodiversity in order to maintain the vitality of rural areas in the Carpathian region;

– Supporting the local economy by generating jobs and a steady income ;

– Rematerializing benchmarks of traditional Valachian architecture in the seven Carpathian countries which could be lost forever if not rebuilt and presented for the future generations.

– Supporting the development of trans-boundary cooperation in Carpathian region

-etc.

 

More info about Wallachian Vatra Trail  project here, http://www.carpathianconvention.org/tl_files/carpathiancon/Downloads/03%20Meetings%20and%20Events/Working%20Groups/Sustainable%20Tourism/WG%20Tourism,%20Aggtelk,%20May%202015/Presentations/Wallachian%20Vatra%20Trail_CSerban.pdf

More info about Wallachian Green Culture here, http://www.greentourism.ro/the-role-and-place-in-europe-of-wallachian-traditional-peasant-culture/