#UnireaPrincipatelorRomane. A historical walk among the busts and monuments of the county
The celebration of the Union of the Romanian Principalities on January 24, 1859 is just a few days away. Traditionally, the actions dedicated to this day will take place in the English Park area of Craiova, at the statue of ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza. And, as the county is full of monuments depicting prominent personalities of Dolj, we propose to remember our forefathers who wrote history, visiting their monuments and learning their stories. Here are just a few statues or busts that you can study in the county.
And, let's start at the beginning. The statue of Mihai Viteazul, standing guard in the centre of Craiova, in the park between the Administrative Palace and the "Holy Trinity" Church, is certainly the most famous statue of Craiova. Its story? In 1913, an initiative committee was set up to erect a monument dedicated to Mihai Viteazul in Craiova. In 1927, the "Friends of Science" society proposed Unirii Square as a location. In 1933, they addressed the Capital City Hall with a request to move the statue of Mihai Viteazul to Craiova, in case a bigger one will be erected in Bucharest. The statue was brought to Craiova in 1974, but was dismantled until 1990 behind the Art Museum. In 1990, it was erected in the city center, in Piața Unirii near the Prefecture and facing west. Between 2004-2008, during the redevelopment of the city center, it was moved to the large park between the Prefecture and the historical Church of the Holy Trinity, with large artesian fountains in front facing east.
The statue of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, to which we referred earlier, was executed in 1912 by the Italian sculptor Raffaello Romanelli. The sculptor cast two copies of the statue of Ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866) in bronze, one for Iași, the other being brought to Craiova in 1912. Placed in 1935, in front of the "Minerva" hotel, it will only be inaugurated in 1939, so that a year later, it was moved, right in the centre of the city, on the north side of the "English Park" garden, in front of the City Hall. The statue represents the ruler standing, straight, with the sword held in both hands, in a gesture that suggests the idea of determination and dignity. On the plinth, on both sides, right and left, there are inscribed texts describing the measures taken by Alexandru Ioan Cuza during his reign.
Also in the centre of Craiova, we invite you to study the monument of ruler Barbu Știrbei, considered the first public monument erected in Craiova, which was inaugurated on December 8, 1918. It is located in the courtyard of the Holy Trinity Church, and the monument was executed by the French sculptor Jean Lecomte du Nouy in 1907 and was cast in bronze by Barbedienne. The monument represents the ruler standing, wearing a princely mantle on his shoulders, and several decorations on his chest. In his right hand the ruler holds a parchment on which he writes: "I have entrusted the defence of the country and our destinies to you". Ruler Barbu Dimitrie Știrbei was born in Craiova, in August 1799 and died in Nizza, on April 12, 1869. He reigned between Jan. 1949 - Oct. 29, 1853 and Oct. 5, 1854 - Jan. 25, 1856. He faced the burden of maintaining the Russo-Turkish armies and the power of extraordinary commissars.
In Calafat, about a hundred kilometers away, you can visit the monument of the local heroes from the First World War, a work of sculptor Dumitru Mățăoanu. The statue was inaugurated on November 7, 1923, on which occasion the property titles were also distributed to veterans of the 1916-1918 Campaign and war widows. The monument represents a soldier from the First World War.
At the same time, in the municipality of Băilești, there is also the monument of Petre Ivanovici from Băilești, erected in memory of one of the most famous Romanian aviators from the interwar period. Ivanovici was a flight instructor at the Romanian Aeronautics Training Center (military) in Tecuci and at the ARPA civilian flight school. He evolves into numerous aerial acrobatics demonstrations, being one of the original members of the Red Dragon formation.
The statues and busts in the county are numerous and full of history. We invite you to discover them and we leave you some links that may be useful to you. 😊