20 November 2016

STRAJA, Suceava County, 1760

 Situated on the upper valley of Suceava, on top of a beautiful natural terrace, the locality of Straja bears a name reminiscent of olden times when inhabitants used to stand guard (Romanian: „a sta de strajă”) against Tatar armies signaling the impending danger by lighting up fires (Romanian: „ciuhe”) on top of fir trees to be visible far and wide.

An original house, built in 1760, pertaining to these historical places has been transferred on Museum premises in the year 1960. The house was initially built on an area lumberjacked for the very spruce wood used in the construction.

The walls sitting on a low masonry foundation have been constructed from spruce logs notched together with horizontal beams. The upper part of the house consists of beams disposed in increments so as to give the house a particular look. The thin natural-gray clay glue that covers the exterior walls confers a remarkable artistic value to the establishment.

The hipped-roof covered with fir wood tiles shelters a wide open porch set on the front side, used for domestic activities, resting and social gatherings. The house plan features a wide vestibule leading to a pantry, and a living room to the right.

The „cold” vestibule does not have a ceiling. It was used as a storage space to house the cereal barrel (Romanian: „buduroi”), the bread trough (Romanian: „covata”), the wooden saddle (Romanian: „tarnița”) and other domestic tools and utensils. The living room is wide and welcoming, it illustrates the archaic lay around of interior spaces: an open fire-place with a chimney and stove, fitted with a sleeping space, the bed built in a console, suspended on the beam with a hewn pillar, as well as two wide benches, set in a straight angle, used for sleeping and a base for the chests. The tall table is beautifully ornamented, the cupboard features enameled vessels of „de Kuty” provenance, to conclude the functional composition of living space.

Numerous woolen covers with warm colors, folk costumes and garments, kindle a domestic feeling. Next to wooden objects such as salt shakers, cups, bowls, barrels for brandy (Romanian: „balercuțe”), pottery and spoon boxes, the inventory of the house from Bucovina is decorated with beautifully crafted interior pieces.