20 November 2016

RĂPCIUNI COTTAGE, Neamț County, The XIXth Century

This cottage is an old style house of small proportions originating from a village at the foot of Ceahlău massif, transferred to the Village Museum in the year 1957. Built at the beginning of the XIXth century, the Răpciuni cottage is built with a simple architecture, a two-sided porch and walls made out of rough beams notched at the corners with round enclosings. The steeply hipped roof features wide eaves to shelter the porch and is built with simple shingles with no notches, coursed on two rows.

The interior of the home is evenly set up with plastered and whitewash painted walls, the ceiling is fitted with fir boards with visible beams. The fireplace with an oven is the centerpiece of the house, and everything shaping the interior is arranged in concordance with it: the bed, the chest, the bench, the low table, the corner bench and the hanger.

Next to the house there is a shack (Romanian: „surla”) which is considered by specialists to be one of the first types of dwellings built by man. The shack is frequently used by shepherds as a seasonal shelter, either used by forest workers or householders for collecting hay during the summertime from far away areas outside the village (15-20 km). Some village folk would have used it as a summertime kitchen, having been situated near the house, as seen on the Museum premises.

The entire house is surrounded by a fence built of fir tree stakes and the entrance inside the establishment requires the crossing of a stile (Romanian: „pârleaz”), an element characteristic to mountainside residences.