April 16, 2012

Nicolae Iorga Museum, Valenii de Munte

Last summer I visited  Nicolae Iorga's Museum / Museul Nicolae Iorga located in Valenii de Munte, Prahova County, on the advice of a friend, the house where Nicolae Iorga had been living  for more than 30  years.

Nicolae Iorga Museum- main entrance, Valenii de Munte
Nicolae Iorga Museum- main entrance, Valenii de Munte

Ok, I need to admit that during my visit there, I  improved my knowledge about Nicolae Iorga's contribution to the European History and Culture:
Nicolae Iorga Museum sign, Valenii de Munte I learned that he has written in his lifetime around 1250 volumes and more than 25.000 articles in many international publications, and here, at Valenii de Munte, he wrote and published for many years the "Neamul Românesc" journal. 



Nicolae Iorga Museum, image from the suspended interior wooden bridge connecting the houses
Nicolae Iorga Museum, image from the suspended wooden bridge connecting the houses


I would recommend to anyone to visit it, is truly worth every moment spent there. His statue was welcoming me close to the main gate. Once passing it, the entire ambient proving his love for Romanian Traditions and Culture trough objects, furniture, paintings and paperwork were really impressing to me. I highly recommend to take a guided tour - our guide proved a great professionalism talking not only about the objects from the museum. She presented us with passion detailed and useful explanations of Nicolae Iorga's life, opera, political views and interests.

Museum of Etnography of Teleajen Valley, Valenii de Munte
 Museum of Etnography of Teleajen Valley, Valenii de Munte

The Religious Art Museum Nicolae Iorga, Valenii de Munte, Prahova County
The Religious Art Museum Nicolae Iorga, Valenii de Munte, Prahova County


"Nicolae Iorga Museum / Muzeul Memorial Nicolae Iorga", "The Museum of  Ethnography of Teleajen Valley / Muzeul de Etnografie al Vaii Teleajenului" and "The Religious Art Museum / Muzeul de Arta Religioasa Nicolae Iorga"  are sections of the "Prahova Museum of History and Archeology / Muzeul Prahovean de Istorie si Arheologie" (as I noticed on a poster at the main entrance):

Prahova Museum of History and Archeology / Muzeul Prahovean de Istorie si Arheologie poster

Nicolae Iorga (January 17, 1871 – November 27, 1940) was a polymathic Romanian historian and politician (known also as Nicolas Jorga): member in Romanian Parliament from 1907, President of the Romanian Deputies' Assembly and Senate, Founder of Romanian National Democrat Party and Prime Minister of Romania between 1931-1932. He was a notable hyperpolyglot who studied abroad, lectured and spent many years in European countries like: Italy, France, Germany, England and Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Turkia and Hungary and he had had also a great contribution as literary critic, memoirist and poet, many of his volumes being written or translated by himself in multiple languages. In Nicolae Iorga's Memorial House from Valenii de Munte was started in 1922 the tradition of Summer courses under the name of " Nicolae Iorga Popular University / Universitatea de Vara Nicolae Iorga" - tradition continuing nowadays in this well conserved Ensemble of  buildings donated to Romanians by his descendants in 1963 and 1978 as is written on a plaque at the main entrance  (Aceasta casa in care au muncit, s-au bucurat si au suferit Nicolae si Ecaterina Iorga, a fost daruita statului in 1963 si 1978 de catre urmasii lor).


Nicolae Iorga Portrait
Nicolae Iorga Portrait,  at Valenii de Munte Memorial House


Nicolae Iorga wrote many historical volumes related to Romanian History topics " The History of the Romanians/ Istoria românilor" " Acts and Excerpts Regarding the History of Romanians /  Acte si fragmente cu privire la istoria românilor" "A Short History of Michael the Brave/Scurta istorie a lui Mihai Viteazul" "The Histories of Wallachian Princes / Istoriile domnilor Tarii Românesti", " On the Cantacuzinos / Despre Cantacuzini" "The links of the Romanian Principalities with Transylvania / Legaturile Principatelor române cu Ardealul", but he is also known worldwide for memorable volumes about "History of the Ottoman Empire/ Istoria Imperiului Ottoman" or "Notes and Excerpts Covering the History of the Crusades / Note si fragmente cu privire la Istoria Cruciadelor"
He covered also other domainsm letting as heritage a large collection of volumes about etnography, religion, geography, folklor and literature: "People who were / Oameni care au fost" , "History of Contemporary Romanian Literature/ Istoria literaturii românesti contemporane",   "The History of the Romanian Church/ Istoria bisericii românesti" "The History of the Romanian Army/ Istoria armatei române", "In the Age of Reforms/ În era reformelor" "Romanian Folk Wear/ Portul Popular Romanesc" "Roads and Towns of Romania / Drumuri si orase din România".

Of course, his contribution to Romanian Culture is another important point to my "Why I Love Romania/ De ce Iubesc Romania" list.  You may find a detailed description of his opera and life in wikipedia or reading Andrei Nicolae Pipidi's (his grandson) and Petre Ţurlea's book  "Letters to Nicolae Iorga / Scrisori cǎtre N. Iorga". 

Nicolae Iorga's room, Memorial Museum Valenii de Munte, Prahova County
Nicolae Iorga's room, Memorial Museum Valenii de Munte, Prahova County

I've had a great "travel in time" experience visiting the interior of the main house which is filled with cultural riches from N. Iorga's life. I was impressed to see his simple and joyful room decorated with fabrics  with traditional motives, and the desk where he wrote many of his works. The ensemble of houses represents a typical monument of traditional architecture with narrow porch covered by ivy, roses and red geraniums, improved with a suspended wooden bridge connecting two areas of the main building.

Nicolae Iorga painting at his Memorial House, Valenii de Munte
Nicolae Iorga painting at his Memorial House, Valenii de Munte

Seeing him lost in his thoughts, in this imposant picture, made me walk carefully, making sure my shoes didn't make a sound against the tiles and did not disturb him ;-).


 picture taken at The Museum of Ethnography of Teleajen Valley, Nicolae Iorga Museum, Valenii de MunteNicolae Iorga's Museum from Valenii de Munte  is a real treasure of Romanian traditions and customs waiting to be discovered, where may be seen traditional clothing elements, traditional wooden furniture pieces, ceramics and carpets.  You can see also a lot of original manuscripts, pictures of interesting guests and his descendants, his favorite place, as well as tidbits about his personal and family life  that express his common sense and modesty, and images of the places visited and loved by him in his time.

 picture taken at The Museum of Ethnography of Teleajen Valley, Nicolae Iorga,  Valenii de Munte

 
 picture taken at The Museum of Ethnography of Teleajen Valley, Valenii de MunteIn completion of Nicolae Iorga's collection of traditional objects, The Museum of Etnography of Teleajen Valley / Muzeul de Etnografie al Vaii Teleajenului is hosting and displaying  folkloric traditional costumes and ethnographic pieces from the area, objects made by local artisans,

fabrics made to decorate the interior of the houses, old pictures and wooden statues that illustrate how people lived in these parts and traditional objects used by Romanian ancestors in their daily jobs.



I'm very happy that I visited Nicolae Iorga's Ensemble of Museums from Valenii de Munte. My brief description intends to encourage those who pass through Valenii de Munte (a small town located at 30 km from Ploiesti when ride on DN1A road to Brasov),  to pay a visit to this impressive touristic attraction. It is an exhibition sharing testimonies about Nicolae Iorga's contribution to ethnography, history and geography, where true values of traditions and customs wait for you to see and treasure.    

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