The Village Museum: 3 new words for the day

Believe it or not, I had never visited the Village Museum. This changed on Sunday morning. I was in Bucharest and the sun was shining too playfully to let the minutes go by without doing anything enjoyable before returning to Braşov.
Village Museum; Bucharest, Romania
It was not my first experience in an outdoor museum of this sort in Romania and I had fond memories of the one I’d seen in Sighetu Marmaţiei, on a bright June day. However, that one gathers only houses from the region of Maramureş, while the Village Museum in Bucharest is home to households, churches, and other structures from all over Romania. As I laid my finger on the museum’s map and started to read the names of the villages represented on the stretch of hilly land around Herăstrău Lake, excitement followed: I knew so many of the places listed there… and I had stories and special connections with most of them.
Village Museum; Bucharest, Romania
Surprise joined me later on, as I started to explore the narrow alleys, framed by the white and fluffy piles of snow. I learned that bordei was not only a one-room house inhabited by the poor Moldavian peasants, but also a half-buried structure specific to Oltenia, owned by the richer peasants, as more wood was necessary for building this type of house (keeping its owners warm in winter and cool in summer) than for a regular one. I learned that merendar was a small wooden frame attached to Moldavian gates, where the house owners would put water and fruit for the passers-by. I learned that scrânciob was a large wooden swing used by the young and hip during the Moldavian fairs as a means to have fun.
I believe, though, that the most important lesson of the day was a reassurance of the undeniable diversity that Romania holds: different devices for making wine, different structures for keeping the farm animals, different types of yards, roofs, and porches. And a multitude of colours – from the bright cobalt and the pure green of Dobruja to the washed-off blue of Buzău households. And all this heritage is definitely worth fighting for.                

Opening times:
-          Winter (October>>April): 9:00am-5:00pm (Mo-Su)
-          Summer (May>>September): 9:00am-5:00pm (Mo); 9:00am-7:00pm (Tue-Su)
Admission fees:
-          2.50 lei (students)
-          10.00 lei (adults)
Taking pictures is allowed in all the outdoor spaces, without paying an additional fee.
Taking pictures inside the structures is forbidden.    

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