Gherla has been an Armenian settlement since 1672 and was
called Armenopolis; carved Armenian family crests are still
visible over many doorways.
The Baroque Armenian-Catholic cathedral, built between 1748
and 1804, sits in the city center. To the right of the main
square is the town museum, which houses a collection of Armenian
manuscripts and icons on glass.
The tradition of painting icons on glass derives from fourteenth-century
Venice, from where it spread through the mountains of the Tyrol
and Bohemia to the Carpathians.
In the year of 2002, Nicula Monastery
celebrated 450 years since its first documentation (1552), and
at least as many years of existence, taking into account the
fact that the name of the village and the forest originates
from the hermit Nicolae who dates from 1326.
It was initially erected as a modest hermitage, possibly by
a single monk, as a place where the peasants could have taken
refuge from maurading Tartars, and later on, became a religious
school (1659) for "caring about the soul and learning the
commandments". It became a place of miracle when the image
of the Holy Virgin, an Icon painted by the orthodox priest Luca
of Iclod in 1681, cried with tears for 26 days in 1699.
After this miraculous event, foreboding great sufferings for
the Romanians in Transylvania (Austro-Hungarian occupation,
the religious disunion, natural calamities, etc), the monastery
soon became a well-known pilgrimage place and which even today
hosts up to 300,000 believers on its dedication day of August
The evidence of weeping, confirmed with signatures and seals,
brought about the inauguration of the first school of painting
on glass in Transylvania, turning Nicula into a village of painters
of icons, which is still continued.
The wooden church that dates to 1552 burnt down in a fire in
1973. It was replaced with one brought from Nasal-Fanate hamlet,
For those interested in Orthodox rituals, seeing a Holy Virgin
Icon considered to be miraculous and visiting one of the largest
collections of icons on wood and glass, Nicula Monastery
is the place to visit.
Sic village (Szek for the Hungarian
comunity) -an important Hungarian village that is spread over
several hills, boasts a number of churches and municipal buildings,
testifying to its former importance as a center of salt mining.
Sic is considered to be a kind of repository of Hungarian folk
culture. The Magyars there wear costumes, the kind you would
only see in Hungarian museums. Hungarian cuisine may be tasted
at one of the local traditional restaurants.
After visiting the monastery of Nicula, we will stop in Sic
village and indulge in a Hungarian lunch. Then after we'll go
walking on the thiny little streets, enjoying a local event
if the case, or visiting a local Hungarian traditional farm
- duration - between 8 and 10 hours;
- validity - thoughout the year;
- minimum persons required - 2.
- 105 euros / person for minimum 2 people;
- 70 euros / person for 3 people;
- 52 euros / person for 4 people;
- 63 euros / person for 5 people;
- 52 euros / person for 6 people;
- 45 euros / person for 7 people;
- 39 euros / person for 8 people;
- 44 - 29 euros / person for 9 - 14 people;
- 30 - 42 euros / person for 15 - 20 people;
- 40 - 27 euros / person for 21 - 31 people;
Note: get over 20% off the total
price by being accommodated at Retro
- transfer and tour Cluj - Gherla - Nicula monastery - Sic
village - Cluj, by car, minibus or bus;
- English, German, Italian or Hungarian speaking guide;
- snack and refreshings, in the car;
- entrance tickets throughout the day;
- the meals during the day;
- personal expenses.