#StoriesOfTheWalls. We went for a walk with Monumentalist and learned the secrets of the houses in Craiova
The graphic designer Dragoș Andreescu, or Monumentalist, as he is known online, is one of the most passionate people of history that Dolj has. And not just any kind of history, but that of houses, mansions and, let's be honest, that of every pebble that is several decades old, or maybe over a century, and that has a story.
We wanted to find out some of the stories, so we set out with Dragoș on the streets of the center of Craiova, to enter a story and a whole universe that opened before our eyes in just a few hours.
Dragoș documents old buildings, monuments and even statues and has been doing it very well since 2009. That's when he started with Dolj county, and a few years later he opened to focus on Craiova. He is passionate about the whole Oltenia, and in Craiova alone he has documented approximately 2,300 houses. Every alley, brick, elevator, every mural or stucco has a story for him, and the greatest joy is that the story is not just his.
Monumentalist also organizes guided tours through Craiova and shares each story, sprinkled with strange or unusual facts, to anyone who wants to know it. Behind a Dragoș brand guided tour are years of studying archives and books that, if they had not been taken into account, would not have been able to give rise to such stories.
We were not surprised when we learned the history of the narrowest house in the city, on Theodor Aman Street, or when we saw the construction of the stairs or the French elevators in the White House block, built exactly for the bankers of the past. We walked through the Bazaar of Craiova which was born where Andreescu and Sons and Benvenisti once had properties, we studied the doors of houses made decades ago in Craiova or we learned tragic stories about houses whose histories ended with the death of their former owners.
We didn't even know what wonders lie on the walls of private houses, rehabilitated by current owners with a strong sense of history, which today house restaurants and hotels. As Dragoș showed us, in every brick and under every layer of paint there is a story, either from the time of the Ottoman settlement, or coats of arms that tell us who and how was there, once, far back in time.
Some of them are unique; others say who we have been and who we might continue to be, if we take the time to know and respect our history.
We can and must be such people, as the Monumentalist himself says: "I will grow old and there will be no one left to carry on this passion. If out of a group of thirty kids who come on a tour, one becomes an architect or passionate about something like that, it's an extraordinarily good thing."
Dragoș's guided tours will start soon, and those interested can access the Facebook group dedicated to them.
You can meet Dragoș - also on Facebook - on Monumentalist, of course, but also on the Oltenia de altădată page.
But we recommend something else: to meet him in person and learn from him, as we did, how wonderful the city and county we live in are and how much there is still to discover about them.
Photo: Discover Dolj