4. Ion Creanga's Hut

Museum address: 4 Simion Barnutiu Street, 6600 Iassy, phone: 115515

Ion Creanga's hut of Ticau, in the town of Iasi, the first literary memorial museum in Romania is one of the 12 objectives making up the Iasi Romanian Literature Museum. Surprisingly, the aspect of the old Iasi district, 1 kilometre away from the Unification Square (the city centre), the steep relief (alternating between hill and valley reminding of the typically Romanian space theorised by the Romanian poet and philosopher Lucian Blaga) gives one the impression of being in a faraway village. There lived Ion Creanga (1837 - 1889), the greatest, most famous and beloved Romanian story-teller, from 1872 to the 31st of December 1889. There he met and made friends with Mihai Eminescu (1850 - 1889), the greatest Romanian poet.

It was there that Ion Creanga wrote his entire works: the fairy tales, the stories and the childhood memories. That house - named by Ion Creanga a hut - seems to have come from a fairy tale. Naturally, it has been kept until today in the same shape it had between 1872 and 1889. It is a house with two small rooms; with a north verandah, where the entrance door is and a popular loggia largely opened to the east horizon supported by the Ciric and Sorogari hills.

Two windows (cross-shaped) on the one side of the entrance door and the other. The shingle roof (small fir planks tiles) is given life by two symbolic elements: the chimney through which the smoke gets out and the skylight, a kind of fancy eye through which this strange creature breathes. The hut was opened for the public on the 15th of April 1918 - being the first literary memorial museum in Romania. However, the small house has been visited since 1890, immediately after the writer's death, by pupils, students, teachers and journalists. Since the inauguration and until today the house and the museum have been restored and reorganised several times. The second restoration, after the 1918 one, took place between 1933 and 1934.

Between 1965 and 1968, the documents section of the hut joined that of Ion Creanga museum at the Golia church in Iasi. A documentary exhibition was organised regarding the life and work of Ion Creanga right in the hut. One single room included memorial objects. Between 1984 and 1989 Ion Creanga's hut underwent complex works of ground consolidation, arrangement of an amphitheatre in the open air having 250 seats, raising a special building designed to shelter the documentary exhibition ' The Life and Works of Creanga' and the hut library, auxiliary rooms, storeroom, surveillance room, restoration and reorganisation works of the Ion Creanga hut museum. Also this time they took into account the authentic maintenance of this exceptional house. In the interior are on display in the two rooms and in the veranda only objects belonging to the writer and his family.

The collection of original memorial objects - found in the hut - is outstandingly precious:
  • a portrait in oil - painted by V. Musnetanu in 1889 - the year of the writer's death.
  • the same painter V. Musnetanu painted a portrait in oil of Tinca Vartic, who was lived with Ion Creanga in the hut;
  • there is still available the sanding device, the pen and ink-pot used by Ion Creanga to write his work;
  • the watch and tobacco box are other two memorial symbolic objects;
  • in the hut there are authentic Romanian carpets made of wool, dyed in natural colours;
  • the oven - as a central element of the house - surrounded by objects used in the 19th century kitchen: round wooden table, spoons, plates, pots, etc.
In the new building, inaugurated on the 11th of June 1989, are on display books, photographs and documents illustrating the life of Ion Creanga: pupil, priest and teacher, as well as writer:
  • 'Bucoavna' - one of the first primers;
  • the writer's original photograph;
  • books that belonged to Ion Creanga's 'seminarian';
  • the original school books created by Ion Creanga;
  • the collection of the review of 'Literary Discussions', 1867 - 1889 where Ion Creanga published his works;
  • the collection of original documents from the writer's ancestors;
  • the collection of original documents of Mihai Eminescu's father;
  • publications, reviews, issues related to Ion Creanga's life and works;

'Ion Creanga' hut organises annually four traditional feasts:
  • 2nd of January - the day of the writer's burial;
  • 1st of March - Ion Creanga's birthday;
  • 14th-15th of April - Hut's Days - the anniversary of the inauguration of the first literary memorial museum in Romania;
  • 31st of December - the day of the writer's death - 'Christmas Carols at the Hut'.

'Ion Creanga' literary society gathers young creators from Iasi and from the rest of the country; they meet on Sunday every two weeks and they published the volume 'Tales from the Hut', Junimea Publishing House, 1996, with the winners of the 'Ion Creanga' national competition of literary works - 'Tales'. Ion Creanga hut is the most visited museum of Iasi, and it is taken care of by two Romanian language and literature teachers (one is a member of the Writers' Union, researcher in Ion Creanga's life), three supervisors and a cashier. Ion Creanga hut has long represented a symbol. It often stands for the authentic image of the typical Romanian traditional values. It provides the opportunity of knowing an exceptional Romanian creator, an authentic Romanian interior, a genius (Ion Creanga) identified with 'the very Romanian people in its most glorious moments of creativity'.

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