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Blackpool, United Kingdom
March 22, 2006
From journal A Cold December Day at Mogosaoia Palace
July 12, 2005
Leaving Bucharest behind and heading for Târgovişte, one arrives in the village of Mogoşoaia. Here, the ruling Prince of Valahia of the second half of the 17th century, between 1688 and 1714, Constantin Brâncoveanu, built a summer residence. The building is not particularly big, and it resembles a more comfortable house. If one knows even if little about the architecture of the Renaissance, he or she will be really surprised when seeing the castle. The castle has an elegant Italian loggia, columns with stone masonry as they occur in the Romanian folk art (albeit they are traditionally carved in wood), a flight of stairs of marble on the exterior, and a balcony. All these elements, which are characteristic to Italy and to the Orient, are not unpleasant together. On the contrary, they melt together in a Unitarian style, which became known in Romania as the Brâncoveanu style.
Constantin Brancoveanu loved art and culture. The second half of the 17th century until his execution in 1714 in Istanbul can be characterised as the Romanian Renaissance, as Brâncoveanu brought masters from countries that had a strong tradition in building. It was they who brought the elements of the Renaissance, which, together with the local style of the hillside, put together the Brâncoveanu style. An important religious painting school was built at the same time, of which the greatest painter is Pârvu Mutu. His frescoes are to be seen also in the Monastery of Sinaia.
Only a few years before his taking of the throne, the Bible from Bucharest was printed, a bible that worked wonders. The Romanian language has also its dialects, but they are spoken outside the borders of the country. So, for instance, there is the Istro-Romanian, which is spoken in Istria, Croatia, or the Macedo-Romanian (Aromanian), spoken in Macedonia, Greece. Brâncoveanu named as a Metropolite (the head of the Orthodox Church in Valahia) Antim Ivireanu, who had an important activity in printing both laic and religious books. At this time, many legends have been printed, which were very popular at that time. It was a blooming period, the ruling of Brâncoveanu from all points of view.
After the execution of Brâncoveanu and of his sons in Istanbul, the Mogoşoaia castle was inherited through a female line.
From journal Bucharest: The Mogoşoaia Castle