When I had visited the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum in Bucharest, I was told by locals that I was going to see the “Real Romania”. This open-air museum which is located on the King Michael I Park, showcases the traditional village life of Romania. It houses 272 authentic peasant farms, structures and homes that represents the “Real Romania”.
Strolling the beautiful grounds with the many types of homes that date back to the 18th century was impressive. It was intriguing to see how families lived in the countryside, as well as entering several of the homes to view traditional furnishings and layouts.
The history of the Village Museum dates back to almost 100 years ago, when it was inaugurated on May 10, 1936. It was the creation of Professor Dimitrie Gusti, who was a folklorist and founder of the Sociological School in Bucharest. The homes in the Village Museum were transferred from villages throughout Romania. The mission for bringing in authentic structures and homes was to emerge visitors in the reality of village life, through the eyes of the Romanian peasants.
The Village Museum can be a very authentic experience as periodically peasant families from the homestead origins will live inside these homes, some being descendants from the original home owners. The villagers have brought in everything to make it an authentic life experience, including animals and traditional clothing.
I did have my favorite village homes and structures that I found fascinating which included the windmill, the 1700s church, the 19th century Alba House and the Drăghiceni huts.
The Drăghiceni huts were my true favorites and were very intriguing to me, as they are built within a pit in the ground. The semi-buried homes offered protection against frosty winters and extreme summer heat. Additionally, the construction served as protection against Turkish invaders. Also, churches in the area were built in the same manner as to be hidden within the landscape.
On my visit, I also had lunch at the museum restaurant and is where I had a traditional peasant style meal. I lunched on polenta, sheep milk cheese and sour cream which was delicious. The polenta served was very tasty and had a nice texture to it. Polenta in Romania was so great that I ate it throughout my visit.
For more Romanian food ➡ What I ate in ROMANIA, MOLDAVA and BULGARIA – A Food Journal
When I was told that the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum was the “real Romania” and after visiting it, I comprehended why. This ethnographic museum brought in a variety of peasant lifestyles and history into Bucharest, in order to preserve the heart and soul of Romania. As a person who appreciates and has interest on how people live, I found this museum to be an extraordinary experience. The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum is truly special and should not be missed on your visit to Romania!
For museum information, please visit – Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
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