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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Negru

Brâncuşi’s Hometown: The Museum City

At the foot of the Parâng Mountains, in the southern sub-Carpathians, almost 300 km away from Bucharest, lies one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. No matter why you are in the country, while you’re here you’ve simply got to visit the hometown of Constantin Brâncuşi (1876-1957), the world-famous modernist sculptor: Târgu-Jiu. It is the museum city of Romania, where art at its best, Brâncuşi’s works, stand right in the city centre.

So let me explain in more detail why I will always say proudly, whichever big city around the globe I may end up living in at some point, that my home has forever been and will forever remain Târgu-Jiu.

A prominent personality of contemporary art, Brâncuşi bequeathed his fellow townsmen and women a sculptural ensemble which is unique in the world. Stretched between the Central Park and the Park of the Endless Column, the ensemble spans almost 1.3 kilometres of the city, from east to west, and includes The Table of Silence, The Path of Chairs, The Gate of the Kiss, The Endless Column and, en route, the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Driving from Bucharest, the first work you can spot is the Endless Column, an unparalleled wonder of the world; the 30-metre high sculpture made up of 17 rhomboidal modules emulates the architectural style of southern Romania’s traditional houses.

Coming up next is the Gate of the Kiss. Once you and your partner get here, you simply can’t help kissing under the Gate - it’s local tradition! If you’re alone, you’ll just have to walk round, instead of under the gate, though…

Having taken in the Gate’s beauty, keep walking towards the Table of Silence along the Path of Chairs, which is made up of 30 square-shaped stone chairs and two stone benches placed on either side of the main alleyway of Central Park.

And reach the far end of that path to find yourself in the place where perfection dwells: the Table of Silence with its twelve surrounding chairs, an arch-symbol of time and its passing.

Speaking of which, it won’t take you just an hour or two to look round these unique and wonderful works of art, but more like four or five hours, because you’ll want to stay on mesmerised by Brâncuşi’s art.

Finally, in case you’re wondering why it is that, of all people, it was the townsfolk of Târgu-Jiu who had the privilege of living in the museum city, always close to those art treasures, you have to know that the great sculptor was born nearby, in the mountain village of Hobiţa. Only 10 kilometres away from the city, the village is home to the Constantin Brancuşi Memorial House. That, too, awaits your visit!

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