November 30, 1976, is a remarkable date for the city of Bacovia. The old house of Criste Cristoveanu has become over the years one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Bacău. The string of years has continued to surprise through considerable achievements, such as the one in 1978, when the operating space that had facilitated the construction of a unique tower in Moldova was obtained. One year later, the observatory was hosted in “The water tower” located on Trotuş Street, number 10. Then, in 1980, the activity of the observatory was encouraged through the purchasing of a planetarium and of two telescopes of 63/80 mm, from Germany.
Let’s talk about what turns the abstract into something concrete. What is it that makes a dream palpable and a feeling come to life? What has the power of not only freezing an instant, but of transposing us back in time, merging the present with whatever moment in the past? Such unique greatness is what God has given us hearing for. Just as rain infiltrates into the dry ground to reach the root of a flower, so does music caress our senses to make its way to our soul. This is why among the altars raised in the world of men one is dedicated to this immortal goddess, strongly anchored to eternity under an illustrious name: The National Opera.
Deeply anchored in history, terrestrial stars shine, lighting the Earth with cultural beauty. Each one of them wears a cape imprinted with stories, caressing both the eye and the soul of the passenger. On Romanian ground lie countless treasures, forming a magical web that unites the country’s territory under the mark of cultural richness. Touched by a legendary destiny, somewhere in the north-east “lives” a pillar of architectural beauty, which was born to die and rise again from its ashes like a Phoenix, returning stronger and everlasting. The “father” of Romanian Theatre has its home in Moldavia’s cultural capital, the city of Iași. “Vasile Alecsandri” National Theatre of Iasi is the first national theatre that has ever emerged on Romanian ground, remaining one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. Ever since 1956 its value has been emphasised by being named after an important Romanian figure – the renowned playwright and poet, Vasile Alecsandri.
Although Iasi was first touched by this kind of art in 1816, when one of the first theatrical performances in Romanian language was held with the help of Gheorghe Asachi, it is only in 1832 when an actual building was constructed, and the stage was now sheltered by the Théâtre de varieté, especially created for the French Fouraux troupe. This became a national asset 8 years later, when on the 15th of May 1840 the French troupe merged with the Romanian language troupe, being united under the direction of Vasile Alecsandri, Costache Negruzzi and Mihail Kogălniceanu, and managed by Costache Caragiali. On the 22nd of December 1846 the whole activity was moved into a pretentious setting, when a new audience hall was inaugurated in the former mansion of Prince Mihail Sturdza, on the Hill of Copou.
A dark event in history is marked by a devastating fire which destroyed the Theatre from Copou on the night of 17/18 February 1888. What apparently seemed to be a disaster led the way to a fundamental act of culture. The identity of the Romanians was consolidated by an everlasting work of art, which wears the fingerprints of the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, who left their signature on important European constructions in Vienne, Prague, Odessa, Zürich, and on other Romanian constructions in Cluj-Napoca,Oradea, Timișoara and Chernivtsi. In 1984 they signed a contract and committed to help build what is nowadays known as the edifice of “Vasile Alecsandri” National Theatre of Iasi, which also hosts the Romanian National Opera. This brought along with it the beginning of electrification in the city of Iasi, for a whole power station was built back then by a company from Berlin to supply with electricity the 12 electric-arc lamps lighting the Theatre Square. The work process lasted 2 years, and ever since the 1st of December 1896 everyone can admire one of the most elegant buildings in Romania, which displays a Neoclassic exterior and a richly decorated interior in Rococo and Baroque styles, including precious elements created by praised artists: the curtain painted by the Viennese M. Lenz, presenting allegory of life with its three stages and the allegory of Romanian Unification, the iron curtain were painted by Alexander Goltz, and the ceiling which has as a narrative basis the Archetypal Story shown in paradisiacal allegories, or the 1418 electric lights and the chandelier with 109 Venetian crystal lamps. All these render a unique architectural personality, crowning the work of the Romanian troupe performing nowadays, which is formed of 36 actors, 2 directors, 2 script writer and various collaborators, under the direction of the director Cristian-Valeriu Hadji-Culea.
“Vasile Alecsandri” National Theatre of Iasi remains a bright pearl on the crown of culture, belonging to Romania and to the entire world. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments, being a symbol of art that carries infinite meaning!
Generalities of the Romanian culture
Romanian culture has its own ethos, generated within its geographical and historical evolution. Trends belonging to distinct areas and cultural traditions were simultaneously and successively combined in this context. The only Orthodox Christians among the Latin peoples and the only Latin people in the Eastern Orthodox space, the Romanians tenaciously kept their Roman roots, and they tried hard to harmonize them with the Orthodoxy in order to transform the ethnic “insularity” into a fruitful dialogue with other cultures.
Romania is a place worth visiting both because of the splendor of the scenic landscapes and because of the historical load rediscovered at each step. As the great values of society are forgotten, so are the buildings that made history. They are buried by the mists of time, not few being the buildings found on the list of historical monuments that today represent no interest for society.
Whether we are talking about mansions, castles, or houses built in the architectural style of old ages, these buildings carry in their walls, more or less affected by time, the stamp of our identity as a nation. These constructions scattered in all the corners of Romania recall the specifics of yesteryear, and also remind us that we are not the generation who will disconnect the wires which connects us to the past.
Cetatea de Baltă is a village at 60 km from Alba-Iulia that is documented in 1197. Under this settlement you can visit the Bethlen-Haller Castle. The Renaissance construction dates from the late 16th century, but the current form is placed under the guardianship of the year 1773. Those who pass its threshold can observe the evolution of the four centuries: from the Renaissance construction to Baroque elements, culminating with modern decorations.Today the castle is a private property, but it can be visited at request. Continue reading “Important Monuments Forgotten over Time”
The bad, negative is to be avoided, for it brings pain. But no one is born without pain, and despite the torment, what comes next is usually bliss. Think about a couple that argues. Some people do it just because making up later brings them joy. Now, if you try to broaden the perspective, sometimes nations start wars because they want the bliss after the pain: in this case, victory!
It took great pain for a jewel of Britain to be born. And this pain is known in history as the War of the Spanish Succession. By defeating the French army in the Battle of Blenheim in the early 18th Century, the military commander of the British forces gained the Queen’s respect. Thus, the heroic deeds of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, were honoured by building for him Blenheim Palace on the land of the ruined Royal Manor and Park at Woodstock. The architect who laid the foundations of what is today an exquisite site was Sir John Vanbrugh.
Throughout time, the surroundings of the palace have been embellished by several architects, who have sown their seeds of creation, shaping true pieces of art. So it is that in the northern part of the Park, the Column of Victory depicts the 1st Duke of Marlborough dressed as a Roman general. Another architect, William Chambers, built the Temple of Diana, which was intended to be a small summer house. Winston Curchill, who was also born at Blenheim Palace on the 30th of November 1874, proposed to Clementine Hozier in 1098 at this very Temple.
Continue reading “A Jewel of Britain, A World Heritage”