Sometimes it feels boring stopping at contemporary hotels where you just want to reach your room, lay in your bed and fall asleep. Sometimes you want your road break to be as interesting as possible.
“Podu cu Lanturi” (Chain Bridge) Hotel will satisfy your expectations and you will surely want to come back again. It is situated in Bacau, on the way to Piatra Neamt and it is a medieval inn which will surprise even with the smallest details. If you like gothic style, you are exactly where you have to be, because the hotel is built according to this style, you can even find a fresco that contains images from the Middle Ages. It is painted by Horia Ghelu.
More than that, the restaurant and the menu are absolutely extraordinary! Imagine yourself trying dishes which where served more than 500 years ago! Imagine yourself enjoying a lunch or a dinner and eating chervil borsch and baked ram. Who has the courage to refuse such a lunch?
I’m walking on the street, raising my eyes towards each passer-by. Faces ground by life’s sorrows, empty regards without any twinkle of hope. Men crooked by sweat are letting their eyes down, they don’t dare to look to the sky, not to make wishes or to hope. It is a gray afternoon, the sky is about to cry on the people’s shoulders.
Constantin Brâncuși was without doubt one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century. A few of his creations contain this motif of ascension, represented by aerial symbols, as well as the concept of infinity.
L’Oiseau dans l’espace (Bird in Space) represents a series of sculptures in which Brâncuși concentrated on the harmonious movement of the bird, instead of the physical attributes. The artist’s spiritual aspirations, his need for transcendence of the material world and its limitations, are verbalized in his description of the sculpture as a project before being enlarged to fill the vault of the sky.
Just by gazing at the delicate yet dynamic shape of the bird, we are immersed into the mind of Brâncuși and are able to learn about his interior conflict. The elimination of the wings and the feathers suggest the escape from the human body (representing the material world) and the remaining shape symbolizes the soul trying to free itself.
The way he conveyed this profound message – through such a simple sculpture – is one of the reasons why Constantin Brâncuși is considered the patriarch of modern sculpture.
Personally, I admire works of art that communicate a whole lot more than what they appear to be, so Bird in space is a creation I think highly of because of this reason.
The Infinity Column
Praised as one of the greatest works of 20th century sculpture, The Infinity Column by Constantin Brâncuși was commissioned by the National League of Gorj Women to honor the soldiers who defended Târgu-Jiu against a German force during World War I. The meaning behind the sculpture refers to the concept of infinity and the infinite sacrifice of the Romanian soldiers. It is considered by Sydnei Geist as the top of the modern art. Also, Geist’s construction of Brâncuși included the sculptor among the important artists of modern art.
The motif of ascension is approached through the vertical orientation of the column, whose repetitive and identical elements create the illusion of infinity. It is considered that the idea of endlessness is expressed through the incomplete top unit. The sculpture could be thought of as one of the most inspiring works regarding this concept, especially because of its simplicity.
Ascension is also a widely used notion, probably because humans are the kind of beings that wouldn’t settle for what they already have, they feel the need to evolve constantly, which is why artists often use the motif of ascension in their artworks. Unfortunately, the need to evolve doesn’t refer to the spirit most of the time, but to money and status. In this superficial rush, we forget what we should really focus on, and I believe that the true artist will always be there to remind us through their art to take care of our soul and to evade from this material world from time to time.
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.
Here we are, again in Iasi, sprinkling steps on historical streets that take us into the heart of culture. There’s a saying according to which all roads lead to Rome, but in the capital of Moldova somehow all roads lead to the Palace. Especially now, that everyone has heard about the reopening. Lured by the treasure locked until recently, we rushed in like the brave hero rushes into the cave when the seven-headed monster goes for a walk. But instead of “one chest” we have encountered many more, one more beautiful than the other. But let me take each at a time…
On top of the list of museums within the Palace of Culture was “Stefan Procopiu” Museum of Science and Technology. Or in other words sort of a “knock-knock, who’s there”, because we expected one thing and we found something totally different. Although the first section of the museum was the energy department, founded in 1961, instead of being presented the main forms of energy that were used, we entered the world of music. Currently arranged for the renovation project of the Palace of Culture, what greets us at the entrance of the museum is the department of recording sounds and playback, opened in February 1966. It includes a song performance, featuring the chronological evolution of sounds recording and playback. All the instruments it includes delight the eye and capture the viewer’s full attention, even without being put into action. When they`re turned on to do a demonstration, these musical hybrids became real beings that move gracefully and “voice” in hypnotic rhythms.
The Palace of Culture from Iași represents the expression of romanticism inspired from the official architecture, being built between 1906-1925, in neo-Gothic style, it was officially inaugurated in 1926, by the second King of Modern Romania, Ferdinand of Hohenzollern.
This palace is perceived as being the most important creation of I. D. Berindei, a Romanian architect, educated at the Parisian school.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi is the oldest public university in Romania and one of the advanced research and education institutions in the country. It was founded a year after the establishment of the Romanian state, by a decree given in 1860 by Alexandru Ioan Cuza, under whom the former Academia Mihăileană was converted into a university. Known at first as the University of Iasi, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University became the first student-centered university in Romania, once the Bologna Process was implemented.
From under the fur-lined peak appears, in the cold winter, a red nose, bereft of the comfort of clothes. The first day of November benumbs life in my veins, keeping me steady on the path covered by leaves. A very strong fresh air fills my lungs, and nourishes my skin with a kind of mountain health. On my face some lively beams of sun melt the frown, smoothing my forehead, emerging from the evergreen branches. They shine in the blue of my eyes; they filter through the branches like honey, pouring out yellow warmth which has the power to melt my sadness. The park is like a watercolor palette which contains rusty hues. Nature dressed up with autumnal clothes that dry on the ground, whipped by the cold season. There can be felt the edge of winter, which awaits the arrival of December in order to make its great entrance. Its crystal cloak is floating and spreading a frosty weather perfume on the realm of the last month of the fall. The cold whip has its top hung in the air of this day, biting the pedestrians` noses. Finally, the light of the sky and the lethargy of the ground join into a tango, accompanied by the people`s steaming breath.
The holiday atmosphere, the sand fragrance and the desire of feeling the sea- all these brought home from Bulgaria. But here we arrived again, engaged in an office chair, continuously struggling to grip our minds full of fleeting thoughts and make it stand motionless in front of the computer. The little imp… it would not stand still, moreover it would bring grief to the heart reminding it of what has been left behind. It passes like this a day, two days… Friday is still to come and also the long-expected weekend. And what is there to see!? The weekend had been missing us too, so it thought of canceling the last of the working days, so as to let the mind go for a walk, the same as you would take out the dog on a leash, for a walk around the house. Luckily, at just a stone’s throw, a magnificent fortress lies…
Back in the days when, for me, even the opposite end of town seemed a distant place, I had to go on a trip along with my perky classmates in Northern Moldavia. At that time I perceived my being away from home even in terms of feelings ; not only the fact that I had to leave the street on which I was living, but also the fact that I was going to visit a place… up high. A citadel discovered in Romanian language and Romanian history textbooks, a legendary place sealed between the pages of a book. I was little, and the ruins big and I was wandering about, driven by curiosity. This was the picture of the famous fortress of Neamt, which was unfolding before our eyes a few years ago. Built in the late XIVth century in Moldavia, this fortress belonged to the system of fortifications which was meant to defend the country against the Ottomans. Having high stone walls, deep trenches, narrow windows, the citadel was visibly designed for defense.
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!