MUZEUL ROMANATIULUI CARACAL
On September 26 1949, "Romanaţi Museum” was established in the center of the town in a building built during the second half of XIX century. The new museum had an entrance hall space with two galleries for its two sections: history and plastic art.
The history section exhibited 65 pieces that represented the core of museum. The painting arts section took over what was left from Hagiescu-Miriste’s collection and displayed about 27 paintings signed by N.Darascu, C.D. Stahi, O. Obedeanu, N. Grimani, Ambrosini and others, from Hagiescu –Mirişte’s collection.
In September 1950, "The Romanaţi Museum” was renamed "District Museum” in accordance with the abolishment of the Romanaţi county and moreover, in 1968 was once again renamed becoming known as the "municipal museum.” Then on April 30 1990, it was returned to its initial title because of a grievance put forward to the Museums and Collections Department from the Culture Ministry.
Today, The Romanaţi Museum is stilled housed in the historic Iancu N. Dobruneanu’s house, Iancu Jianu nephiew, with Iancu N. Dobruneanu’s house serving as the museum’s headquarters located at no 24, on Iancu Jianu Street. The museum houses a collection of archeological artifacts along with history documents detailed the region’s history. The museum is structured in four sections:
- The archaeology-history section;
- "Iancu Jianu“memorial section;
- The plastic arts section;
- The ethnography section.
The archaeology-history section have a patrimony of more than 20,000 extremely valuable pieces, one of them older than 6,000 years, that are laid out in eight rooms on a surface more than 400 mp.
At the entrance is established a valuable sector of the museum, called Lampidarium, formed from more than 20 pieces: sarcophaguses, gate sills, funeral pinies, provisions pots.
The center piece is Aelius Iulius Iulianus’s sarcophagus, having the dimensions of 2.30 x 1.08 x 1.54 m and is processed in Vraţa chalk-stone with beautiful sculptural ornamets both on the lid and box. The sarcophagus was commissioned by his wife Valeria Gaemellina and his children and discovered in 1952 near Romula, in the necropolis of Hotărani. It is believed that was constructed around the beginning of the IIIrd century. From the stoic verses inscription we find out that he lived for 40 years in Romula, carrying out credibly the functions of city leader and chestor.
The sarcophagus hasn’t been preserved untouched. It was profanated during the roman period, suffering two breakages on both sides of the lid. Because of the profanation the funeral inventory couldn’t be found.
Established in the spirit of romanian historiography’s phasing, on the thematico-chronological criterion, the permanent exhibition of the archaeology-history section, presents valuables evidences that certify the regional inhabitants’s wealthy material and spiritual life, from the oldest times since 1944.
Each one of the eight rooms of the museum has a thematic, both well defined and illustrate with great valuables images, documents, maps and texts, objects from different materials and centuries, costumes, uniforms and guns, and works of art. All of these items have traceable roots to the former Romanati County’s history, social-economical life and culture,
The Paleolithic period is represented by pieces (some of them in stone, mammoth bones, bone utensils, earthenware pots) discovered in Vlădila, Caracal, Fărcaşele, Hotărani and Grădinile.
The Neolithic and Metal age are vastly illustrated through earthenware pots, guns, cult pieces, funerary urn, bronze and iron pieces discovered during archaeological excavations by Fărcaşele, Hotărani şi Grădinile.
The Daco-Roman age is well represented by the vestiges discovered on Romula-Malva (Reşca village near by Caracal). The pieces discovered here, such as noggins, glasses, pots, amfore, geme, candles, sarcofage, gatesway, inscriptions in stone and brick, statues, etc., prove the vitality of the location in this age.
The museum owns an important earthen lamp collection represented by lamps with different types of arms ranging from lamps with single arms, lamps with two or three arms and rare specimens with five or seven arms. This collection’s centerpiece is the extremely rare earthen lamp representing an aged man’s head.
A special mention is required of the Roman bronze statues such as: the goddess Diana, the goddess Fortuna – protecting Romula-Malva and Janus, or other pieces worked in limestone: Jupiter Dolichenus, Dea Dardanica Romula, etc.
Not at least, from this age (II –III rd centuries) it should be mentioned the relief votive fragment discovered in Romula.
The VI-XIII century’s period is presented through pieces and photos, texts, diagrams, etc. certifying the Romanians’s habitat permanence and continuity in these areas.
The XIV-XVIII centuries represented a period for the region where goals of unity and fight for state independence dominated the national scene. The museum house’s remarkable texts from this time including the first documentary attestation of the city of Caracal, the document emanated from the Romanian Country Voivode Radu Voda Paisie (1535-1545)’s official dated 17th of november 1538, document through some estates bought from the noblewomen Marga from Caracal were given as a present to Radu vel Culcer, for fulfilling honestly his service. This noblewoman was Pârvu Craiovescu’s daughter, Neagoe Basarab’s sister and Matei Basarab’s grandmother.
Beginning with the second half of XVI century, documents written by Mihai Viteazul turn up that included numerous mentions of Caracal. These documents mentioned that he built a princely house and a church where he found the time for staying and writing a series of documents that ended with “written on my princely house of Caracal”.
In this princely house resided also the regnant Matei Basarab (1652-1654), (native from Romanaţi region), Grigore Ghica(1662-1664) and Constantin Brancoveanu (1688-1716), who attached their names to Caracal through a series of economic-social and cultural measures.
The museum also houses historic examples of the Romanian people’s historic, passionate defense of their beloved region and even during periods of maximum intensity, a spirit that refused to be defeated or driven out from their homeland. We find them illustrated in glorious fights from Middle Age, involved in the earliest revolution lead by Tudor Vladimirescu, in 1848 revolution from Romanian Country, in the Independence war from 1877-1878, in the Romanian union war and on the eastern and western battlefields during the Second World War.
All this historical moments are illustrated in drawings and epochal pieces, some of them donated by time’s greatest personalities.