“Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum is a creation of the folklorist and sociologist bearing the same name. It has been inaugurated on May 10th, 1936 in the presence of king Carol II of Romania and currently it is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Bucharest together with the Palace of the Parliament, the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History and others.
Located on the shore of Lake Herăstrău, the Village Museum takes you back in time, to another dimension, and transposes the life of Romanians within various regions of the country at the beginning of the XVIIth century.
The moment you enter the carved wooden gate, you sense the freshly made hay and you begin the journey, wondering what the concerns and thoughts of the people living in those times were.
The rural life and traditions are of great significance for Romania’s history as, before the first half of the XXth century, a great part of its population lived in villages. The rural communities were organized so as to satisfy all daily necessities. The clothes were handmade, and agriculture and rearing were among the most important activities at the time.
In order to build the Village Museum that Dimitrie Gusti used to call ”the sad sound of the bells of Romanian history”, the houses had to be disassembled, piece by piece, transported to Bucharest by train, carriage or boat, where they had to be assembled in place at the site of the museum. The houses preserve the original décor to a large extent, and the looms, the crocks, the painted stoves, the carpets and the hope chests revive the origins of Romania.
The Village Museum attempts to retrace the intimate ambience of each house in a generous natural landscape and succeeds in doing so by attaching to each household barns, fences and other outhouses, fences made of wood, with or clay brick, modest or imposing gates.
The oldest house was built in the XVIIth century, and the most recent house was built in the XIXth century.
From place to place, amid the wandering sidewalks, there appear wooden churches made by the gifted masters of those times. One of the churches has devils painted on its walls, which is a clear proof of the past Christians’ bravery of portraying the eternal and prophetic battle between the good and the evil.
The museum’s atmosphere is more like that of a natural park as approximately all elements that could remind of the older times and the picturesque atmosphere are rebuilt. The beholder is nothing but subdued and captivated without remedy.
Thus, if you get to Bucharest, you must check the Village Museum on your list. Within the Village Museum, you will find a genuine „village” with monuments and artefacts from the XVIIth century to the beginning of the XXth century; representative buildings from significant ethnographic areas that have regained a second life at the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum.