Craiova – the city on the south-west of Romania. The capital city of the region Oltenia and one of the 41 counties in Romania – Dolj. The city with rich history, beautiful architecture and kind people. The city with few landmarks and hidden gems. The city which many call “home” and are proud of it.
Craiova is home not only to Oltenians or Romanians who moved here from other parts of the country but also for many foreigners who moved here for at least some time, to study, work, and start their life in this part of Europe.
“When you say “Craiova” I just imagine city center. Every time I am walking on the streets there I can see that one can find everything there” – said a youngster from Turkey, living in Craiova. All the positive opinions the city is getting from foreigners who came here are a clear significance that it is friendly for internationals and is open for different cultures.
“Basically I consider Craiova as my city, my home so I am proud of the city. Also there are really nice people so I am also proud of that” – shared a student from Spain. It is definitely something to be proud of when foreigners start to consider Craiova as their home. It proves that the atmosphere here and the hospitality of people is great and it is the first step to making Craiova more multicultural place.
Every now and then there are events which are meant to gather people from different countries living in the heart of Oltenia. There they can not only share their experience with other foreigners, get to know each other but also get closer to the local community. One of such events is “Global village” organized by AISEC, in which also volunteers from Tinerii 3D where taking part. “I can see that a lot of people from different nationalities and I like the way they fit into our groups” – said Ion who grew up in Craiova.
Landmarks and hidden gems
It seems that in Craiova a lot of people are proud of the Nicolae Romanescu Parc. No wonder why – it is said to be the second largest natural park in Europe. Impressive, isn’t it? It is a place to relax, to do sports, to spend time with family and friends, to have fun and get some fresh air. But Nicolae Romanescu arc is not the only green area that the city has to offer – Botanical Garden, Parcul Tineretului (The Youth Park), Parcul Sfantul Dumitru and other places are welcoming people to enjoy their areas. “I am proud of the green spaces of the city – like Nicolae Romanescu Park, a lot of trees and flowers even in the city centre” – share an opinion Gabriel.
Another pride of Craiova is the local football club – Universitatea Craiova with its newly built Ion Oblemenco stadium. Every week the team is playing, either home or away, groups of fans are travelling to support their team. The patriotic spirit of Oltenia and Craiova can be felt especially when the locals sing along the anthem of Universitatea Craiova “Oltenia Eterna Terra Nova”.
What about the hidden gems of Craiova? The city is also not lacking in those. “My favourite place [in Craiova] is a hill called Bucovat because at night time the city is all light up and you can see it” – said Andrea, a student from Craiova. For those who would like to see the panorama of the city from the distance a perfect sport would also be the Palilula hill.“
We have many places to visit, like the cultural centre, a lot of pubs, bars but also the Art Museum, cinema and other places like bowling venues, pools and malls” – said Mihail.
Areas for improvement
Unfortunately it is not all light and bright here, there are definitely things to work on and inhabitants see that. Better public transport, cleaner bus stops, fewer stray dogs on the streets and more parking spaces are the few things that were pointed out when inhabitants were asked what they would like to change in the city.
What are the other complaints of the youngsters that they had pointed out? The notice that roads are not in a good condition and the traffic, due to many cars, is rally bad. Young Craiovians are also hoping to have more libraries and university with better reputation and quality of education. The city has also some stereotypes to fight with: “People think that Craiova is full of gypsies what I think is not true” – shared Alex.
“The city needs improvements here and there but for me to feel great in it I would personally wish for it just not to get worse” – said one of the inhabitants of the city. The city in constantly changing, so are its dwellers and their needs. As some has noticed, comparing how it is now to how it was few years ago there has been a lot of improvement made across the city but it also should not be a reason or point where it can stop.
Probably as many people visit the city and live there, there are as many perception of Craiova. In general it is visible and can be said that those who come from the capital of Oltenia are proud of their ancestry. People here are at the same time cultivating their traditions and open to new things, different cultures. The place is definitely special and even with its imperfections becomes a home for many who move here.