On the northern side of Bucharest, you can find Herastrau park, an enormous area of trees and lakes. It also contains the Village Museum or Muzeul Satului: a large collection of houses, churches, and traditional art from all regions of Romania. Since space was probably only a minor concern when the museum was conceived in 1936, the museum is spread out widely. Every region has its area in the museum, so can walk from one region to the other. Soon, you will appreciate the, sometimes completely different, styles used in different parts of the country.
The first thing that most visitors will notice, is the use of wood as a construction material for most houses - only a minority use stone or concrete. Wood is readily available in most regions of the country, yet the walls must be thick enough to protect against cold winters. You do not need to be a specialist to be stunned by the techniques used to construct very strong houses from enormous wooden blocks, that resist not only below zero temperatures, but also earthquakes. I was especially impressed by the Maramures church, which has a very strong base and an intricate roof made of small wooden tiles. Other striking houses include the underground houses: good protection against a hot climate and of couse better for camouflage, as well as a house with black-and-white beams.
Not only can you see houses and churches, but also interior decoration, vehicles like wooden sledges, oil presses using water power, and windmills. Apart from the many houses and churches on display in the museum, it is also used to promote traditional arts. You can see children practice age-old skills like icon painting, making ceramics, painting on glass, making traditional dolls, etcetera. It can only be hoped that these traditional arts will be preserved. It seems that already the construction of the houses of the museum is increasingly becoming an art of the past.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Village Museum Satului (Romania). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Village Museum Satului. Read more about this site.