Scheii Brasovului – a typical Romanian neighborhood

 

People visiting Brasov usually limit their visit to The Black Church, The Council Square or Mountain Tampa. A valuable place is thus ignored, namely Scheii Brasovului, a typical Romanian neighborhood, gathered within a handful of dusty museums.   

Forgotten museums

In the courtyard of the Saint Nicolas Church (from the above-mentioned neighborhood) there are eight remarkable museums that are rarely visited nowadays: the first Romanian school, the museum of the ‘juni’ (picturesque young Romanian men), the grave of the great Romanian politician Nicolae Titulescu, an ex-libris museum, unique in Romania. The Mironescu Painting Museum has 54 paintings depicting Scheii Brasovului. In the Tudor Ciortea Music Museum, there is a small organ, brought from the United States, 200 years ago, as well as the first gramophone brought in the country. For those who are familiar with the work of the great Romanian composer, George Enescu, this museum gives them the chance to admire the draft of the opera ‘Oedip’. The eighth museum hasn’t been visited in years.

The holder of the ‘Schei’

The curator of these museums is a museum himself, the stories he tell about the treasures he guards being fascinating. The ex-libris museum owes its existence to a man whose hobby was to collect the matrices of the seals bibliophiles used to mark their personal collections. These matrices are proof of the respect people used to give to books years ago: they would have personal, unique matrices made by important artists, just for the pleasure to mark the first page of one their books with the inscription ‘ex libri mei’ (of my books). The Museum of the ‘Juni’ gathers valuable objects attesting the history of this neighborhood: a Roman amphora (a local found it just like that when the main road of Brasov was being constructed), a hundred of years old bagpipe (discovered in the yard of a men who was using the bagpipe to deposit nuts in it), a ladies’ waist belt with rubies. The manuscript used in 1731 to illegally print the first Romanian almanacs (at the beginning of the 18th century only church books could be printed on Romanian territory) is to be found in The Museum of the First Romanian School. An old school teacher came in one day and asked if she could get some money on this manuscript she inherited from her grandparents, who inherited it from their grandparents as well, and so on. Needless to say that old manuscript proved to be the valuable piece already mentioned.

These are only a few of the stories you can listen the holder of the ‘Schei’ telling each visitor. What makes Scheii Brasovului a typical Romanian neighborhood? Well, the mixture of faith, history, legend and mystery … and some more qualities for you to discover!

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