20 November 2016

ZĂPODENI HUT, Vaslui County, the XVIIth Century

Situated just about 15 km from the city of Vaslui in the Central Moldavian Plateau, the scattered village of Zăpodeni is somewhat atypical to rural settlements in the hilltop area. The natural and geographic setting has and still offers auspicious conditions for intense agriculture, wine growing, to a less extent, the breeding of cattle, pomiculture and bee-keeping.

The house exhibited in the Museum since 1961 is an ancient type of abode (the monocelular lodge), one of the most valuable examples of mid-18th century popular Moldavian architecture. It is built from massive oak wood beams notched (Romanian: „cheotori”) together straight, featuring a single room with a direct access and small windows covered in sheep bellows.

The hipped roof, with a reed cover, is executed using an old fixating technique called „la prăştină“. Ample eaves shelter the walls from rain. The open space (porch and gazebo), otherwise traditional to Romanian vernacular architecture, is fitted with a bench carved from an oak wood trunk.

The modest interior is warm and welcoming. The heating system, sat to the corner next to the entrance, is represented by an oven with an open fireplace. Near the wall sits a bench often used as a bed, two other oak and walnut wood benches are grounded using stakes. A chest, a low table and four little chairs called – „bedrege” (built from tree stumps) – complete the interior of the abode.

Fabrics and textiles on display (plaid rugs, carpets, tapestries) are laid on the benches and display atop the beam on a beam. The interior also features a selection of folk costumes for feasts and holidays (aprons, belts, chemises, vests), also hung on the beam to endow the premises with a beautiful and conforting décor.