"LA BARIERĂ" ("La Frâncu") INN, VăLENII DE MUNTE, early 19th century
Located on an important road that connected Muntenia with Transylvania, the village of Vălenii de Munte was transited in the past by merchants and shepherds who practiced transhumance, leading their flocks to and from the Danube wetlands. Until the end of the First World War, those who used this route were forced to stop at the customs point here, founded in the 15th century (known as “At the Barrier”), where their documents were checked. Therefore the area became favourable for merchants, with premises that could accommodate overnight travellers.
One of these, the “La Barieră” or “La Frâncu” Inn (after the name of its former owners) was built in the early 19th century and transferred to the Village Museum in 1990. Through the materials used and its balanced proportions, the inn is representative for the Prahova County community architecture.
It is built out of stone and brick masonry and has a steep hipped roof with a covering of small fir shingles. The façade of the inn stand out for the two large verandas, with beautifully decorated wooden pillars. Each of the three levels had in the past a different destination. The basement was used to store food and barrels of wine and brandy, on the ground floor, there was a kitchen and a dining hall, while upstairs there was the innkeeper's home and a room that could accommodate travellers with high standards. Here, it seems ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza stopped over too.
Nearby, there is a space for storing wine barrels, the grape press and the facility for making fruit spirit. Next to it are the yoke for horseshoeing and the stable bar. Indispensable around any inn, they responded to the need of travellers to rest and water their draft animals, as well as to shoe them.
Today the “La Barieră” Inn is adapted to the museum's requirements, awaiting visitors all over the world with selected dishes from the Romanian traditional cuisine.