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Romania: Village Museum Satului

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Village Museum Satului | Romania | Europe

[Visited: August 2007]

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.

Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Houses and church in the Village Museum

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.

Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Painting icons as a traditional Romanian art in the Village Museum

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.

Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Underground construction for a hot climate in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Interior of traditional house in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Stone house with inscriptions in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Wooden roof of a church from Maramures
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Interior of Maramures church in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Sledge for winter with hut to carry provisions in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Structure to produce oil using water power in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Devils represented as Turks in a painting on a wooden church
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Traditional sculpture on display in Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Typical church from Maramures on display in the Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Religious figure painted on wood, exterior of a Romanian church in Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): House with black and white exterior in Village Museum
Picture of Village Museum Satului (Romania): Wooden windmill

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