Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attractions

The Kissing GateThe Endless ColumnThe Table of SilenceChristian Tell County LibraryElvira Godeanu Dramatic TheatreEcaterina Teodoroiu Memorial HouseAlexandru Ştefulescu County MuseumThe Art MuseumTudor Vladimirescu’s StatueGeneral Gheorghe Magheru’s StatueAlexandru Ştefulescu’s BustEcaterina Teodoroiu’s Mausoleum

The Kissing Gate – is the space that makes the transition to another world. The symbol of the kiss carved on the two pillars could be perceived as the inward eye. The work is made of Banpotoc travertine being 5.13 m high, 6.45 long, with one side of the pillars of 1.69 m.

The Endless Column – is a true “spiritual testament” of the great artist, a true Axis mundi as if designed to support the sky, being considered “the peak of modern art” by Sidney Geist. It is made out of 17 rhomboidal cast iron modules measuring 29.33 m high. The modules of 1.80 m in height and about 860 kg are mounted on a shaft of steel embedded in a concrete foundation with a side of 5 m.

The Table of Silence– is the peasant’s table and also the table where the combatants were sitting down before a confrontation in the battle. Made of travertine, it has the following dimensions: the flat surface has a diameter of 2.15 m and a thickness of 0.43 m; the leg has a diameter of 2 m and a thickness of 0.45 m. Initially, the 12 chairs placed around it were much closer to the table and arranged two by two.

“Christian Tell” County Library on Heroes Street is a vibrant part of the community’s promotion of culture, education and lifelong learning in Târgu Jiu and Gorj County. It organises various major events at county and national level in collaboration with other institutions.

“Elvira Godeanu” Dramatic Theatre –- established on 6 June 1993 is of particular importance in providing for the public this exceptional cultural space where theatrical movement can be developed and future generations of actors, followers of Elvira Godeanu, can be trained. Since 26 October 2002 the theatre has a new, modern hall where performances, theatre festivals and other cultural events are appreciated by the public.

“Ecaterina Teodoroiu” Memorial House – is situated in Vãdeni neighbourhood, on DN 66 Târgu Jiu-Petroşani. The house, where Ecaterina Teodoroiu (1894 – 1917) was born, was built in 1884 by her parents and has two rooms: a living room with fireplace and a bedroom. There is a porch in front of the house and on the west side. Until 1945 the house was inhabited by family members and since 1959, after restoration, it became a memorial house. There is an exhibition of photographs, documents and personal objects of the second lieutenant Ecaterina Teodoroiu, faithfully recreating the atmosphere where the so-called “The Heroine of Jiu” lived.

“Alexandru Ştefulescu” County Museum – was founded on 16 July 1894 on the initiative of scholars of the time, including Alexandru Ştefulescu, Iuliu Moisil and Aurel Diaconovici. The museum has specialized sections of ethnography, archaeology, history, numismatics, religious objects, natural sciences and is housed in The Administrative Palace of that time located on Geneva Street. The Museum has more than 24,000 objects relating to the history of Gorj which were collected, investigated and processed through others by the historian Alexandru Ştefulescu. It also includes a gallery of historical figures from Gorj since the XVIth century.

The Art Museum – is located in the Central Park of the town presenting paintings and artwork of local artists, various religious art objects and sculptures.

Tudor Vladimirescu’s Statue– is located in the park, in front of “Tudor Vladimirescu” National High School and it is the work of the sculptor C. Bălăcescu being raised in November 1898 by a group of students from Gorj and having as honorary president, the historian Grigore Tocilescu.

General Gheorghe Magheru’s Statue – was unveiled on 7 October 1972 and is the work of the sculptor V. Năstăsescu, located at the intersection of Eroilor and Gheorghe Magheru streets where his house used to be.

Alexandru Ştefulescu’s Bust – the work of the sculptor Vasile Blend was unveiled in 1937. Alexandru Ştefulescu (1856-1910), primary school teacher, school inspector, journalist, archaeologist and numismatist was a famous animator of the cultural life in the town, his writings having a valuable contribution to our understanding of the past of Gorj County.

Ecaterina Teodoroiu’s Mausoleum – sarcophagus ornamented with bas-relief was built in 1935, in the Square of The Administrative Palace by the artist Miliţa Petraşcu, a student of Constantin Brâncuşi, in order to house the remains of “the Heroine of Jiu”. The statue of Ecaterina Teodoroiu, done by Iulia Oniţă, was unveiled on 22 January 1979, in the C.A.M. area.

Heritage Buildings

The Administrative PalaceTârgu Jiu Town HallCornea Brăiloiu HouseVasile Moangă HouseDumitru Mălădrescu HouseBarbu Gănescu HouseIosif Keber Memorial HouseSâmboteanu FountainThe CathedralThe Church of Peter and Paul Saints St. Nicholas Church

The Administrative Palace (nowadays The Prefecture and The County Council) was initially a space dedicated to The Town Hall. The construction started on 22 August 1898 and the reception took place on 9 May 1900. The Council Room is very impressive by its Moorish style. The works were completed in 1904 by mounting the clock. When Gorj County was formed in 1968, new spaces were added to the central building of The Town Hall (whose wings were demolished) due to the need of spaces for the political and administrative headquarters.

Târgu Jiu Town Hall (no. 19 Constantin Brâncuşi Boulevard) is an important building that impresses with architectural style and grandeur, the cornerstone of which was laid on 11 July 1932 and was initially an apprentice school.

Cornea Brăiloiu House was built in 1710, in Vădeni and is a historical and architectural monument in Brâncoveanu style. A church was built inside the house.

Vasile Moangă House (Siret Street) was built around 1770 being the property of Vasile Moangă, a friend of Tudor Vladimirescu to whom the leader of the revolution told the plan of the movement organized with his Pandours in January 1821.

Dumitru Mălădrescu House (no. 36, Tudor Vladimirescu Street) is one of the oldest and the most interesting houses in terms of architecture. It has a rich history, reminiscent of diplomacy (boyars and leaders) and cruelty (after the defeat of the Revolution of 1821 the Turks made piles of the Pandours’ heads they had killed).

Barbu Gănescu House is near the (current) Administrative Palace and represents a monument of old architecture from Gorj, dating from the XVIIIth century. Constantin Brâncuşi was hosted in this house between 1937-1938 when he worked at The Monumental Ensemble “The Heroes’ Path”.

Iosif Keber Memorial House is situated on 11 June 1848 Street and houses a collection of paintings and an art library being considered an architectural monument.

Sâmboteanu Fountain is located near The Water Tower and was built at the end of the XVIIIth century by the intendant Ianache Sâmboteanu, from Gorj County, being the place from where the town was supplied with water.

The Cathedral (The Church of Holy Voievodes or The Church of Merchants) in Victoria Square, was built by city merchants (important founders being Dobre Sârbu and Radu Cupeţu) starting with 1748 on the place of the old church which was built in 1717. The exterior painting is decorated with the prophets ‘faces and was enriched within the restoring period 1933-1940 by the contribution of the famous painter Iosif Keber.

The Church of Peter and Paul Saints on The Heroes Street was built between 1929-1938, on the site of an old church (dating from the XVIIIth century,) on the axis of the Monumental Ensemble devoted to the memory of the heroes by the great artist Constantin Brâncuşi.

St. Nicholas Church (11 June 1848 Street) was built in the XVIIIth century by the Archpriest Andrei Schevofilax in byzantine architectural style. As in the case of the Cathedral, the painter Iosif Keber has contributed to the restoration of the exterior painting in 1980.

Potential of natural resources tourism of GORJ County

Gorj County’s relief presents a rare harmony and beauty of landscapes that attract the attention of every traveller. In the north, rise The Godeanu Mountains, The Vâlcan Mountains and The Parâng Mountains, with The Parângul Mare peak of 2519 m, whose landscapes gradually descend in the Subcarpathian depressions.
The most spectacular natural sights are the gorges and the caves located along the southern rim of the Carpathians, in contact with Subcarpathians.

OGThe Olteţ Gorges stretch for a distance of 1.5 kilometres, a very picturesque landscape with vertical walls, 4.5 m away from each other at the bottom of the valley and 10-20 m at the upper part.

The entrance to The Polovragi Cave is on The Olteţ Gorges along which there is a forest road that in some parts was dug in the rock where a sort of canopy was formed increasing the picturesque of the valley. The Polovragi Cave resulted of the work of an old underground course of The Olteţ River that dissolved the calcium carbonate on its way. According to the research of the Speleological Circle “Living Fire” in Bucharest, in 1974, the total length of the known galleries reached 9000 m. There are only 3200 m described and mapped namely the galleries previously known. The cave is carved by water dissolving calcium carbonate in the left side of The Olteţ Gorges and the entrance of the cave is located at about 200 m from the entrance to the gorges, at a height of 20 m above the thalweg of The Olteţ River. The cave is easy to navigate and is electrified.

In the past, the cave was shelter and refuge for outlaws. It seems that in 1821, Tudor Vladimirescu’s Pandours stored in the cave weapons brought from Sibiu. The legend says that the cave housed the God of the Getae (or Dacians) Zalmoxis and ruins of a Dacian fortress were discovered nearby.

GGThe Galben Gorges have removed slopes with leaking detritus showing an intense process of rocks degradation.
WCThe Women’s Cave is located on the right side of The Galben Gorges, with an altitude of 751 m, in The Parâng Mountains, with 3566 m in length, arranged on four levels. The Women’s Cave is the first electrified cave in Romania. The name was given by locals due to the fact that during the fights men were going to confront the invaders and women and children were sheltering in the cave.

In the cave there are formations of stalagmites and stalactites receiving names depending on the form they got: Pipe Organ, The Small Dome, Altar Hall, Altar Veil, The Pulpit, The Big Chandelier, The Odalisque, Santa Claus, The Bustard, The injured hawk and due to leakage of iron oxides which gave a rusty colour to the place – the place is called The Bloody Rock. In the main gallery there is an area where the cave floor has numerous pools, sometimes, especially in spring, full of water, named The Large Basins.

Near the Turks’ Room there is the Bears’ Gallery where there were found numerous fossils, skeletal remains and more than 100 skulls of the cave bear (Ursus Spelaeus), extinct species and other skeletal remains of hyenas, lions, foxes, wild goats, wolves, wild boars that prove climate change throughout the geological eras.

The cave is located in the municipality of Baia de Fier (560 m altitude). The toponym of the settlement came from the iron extracted from here as historical documents testify.

PMThe Parâng Mountains reach the maximum height of 2519 m with The Parângu Mare Peak, presenting highly attractive landscapes and the most picturesque landforms. In Gorj, there are several marked hiking trails (both in The Parâng Mountains and in The Vâlcan Mountains).
TTransalpina (DN 67C) connects Oltenia and Transylvania from Bengeşti, Novaci over the Parâng Mountains to Sebeş, in Alba County. Centuries ago this route was a steep footpath used by shepherds from Mărginimea Sibiului to pass the flocks of sheep to Oltenia and also an exile for many Transylvanian people socially, nationally and religiously persecuted by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who were crossing the mountains in Ţara Românească settling in Gorj, Vâlcea, Argeş, known as pastors, shepherds and sheep breeders. This explains the identity of clothes, customs and traditions of the population on both sides of The Meridionali Carpathians.

Romans worked at this road in 104 AD for moving their armies to Sarmisegetuza. During the World War I, German army paved the road for military reasons. In 1933, it was rebuilt by King Carol II who was impressed by the beauty and wildness of the landscape that the road was passing through. The inauguration of the road took place in 1935, in Poiana Sibiului.

Transalpina is the highest road in Romania, having the highest point in Urdele Pass (at 2,145 m), being recently paved with asphalt./su_animate]

JDThe Jiu Defile, with a length of 30 km, is one of the most spectacular and wild defile of the Carpathians. The road and the rail passing over the deep valley, crossing viaducts and tunnels constitute a tourist attraction. The National Park “The Jiu Defile” occupies an area of 11,127 hectares and is located on The Jiu Valley between The Vâlcan Mountains and The Parâng Mountains.
SGThe spectacular Sohodol Gorges are located in a complex natural reserve, (a length of 10 km), presenting: caves, springs, limestone cliff vegetation with rare flora and fauna etc. Erosion shaped in the stone “The Nostrils” and “The Ring” on The Sohodol Gorges.
TTismana area (karst area, nature reserve). The name Tismana comes from the yew, a species of red hardwood conifer which grew in the area centuries ago. An edible chestnut reserve which represents a sub-Mediterranean vegetation island lies on an area of 60 ha at an altitude of 350-600 m. There are also several caves in Tismana due to the region petrography and the steep lines. A very interesting cave is The Tismana Cave known as “The Treasure Cave” near Tismana Monastery, a cave from where a stream of water gushes out forming a fall of 50 m height.
CDIn the northeast part of the county we find The Cerna-Domogled National Park and The Cerna springs. Within the park there are included on a length of 40 km: Piatra Cloşanilor from the commune of Padeş, a complex reserve with limestone relief, a rocky reserve with specific Mediterranean elements (1,730 ha), The Cloşani Cave and The Corcoaia Gorges.
Anthropic tourism potential of GORJ County

PMPolovragi Monastery is located in the contact area of the Carpathians with The Subcarpathians, near The Polovragi Cave (which the monastery administrated for 300 years), at the entrance of The Olteţ Gorges. The monastery has existed for over 500 years.

Polovragi commune takes its name from a rare plant that grew here, “polovragi” used by a famous medicine man that lived in the mountain cave to cure people of stomach and bones diseases. Archaeological excavations in Polovragi have revealed the remains of a fortress and a cemetery since Dacian times. A big celebration (Nedeia) takes place every year, on the 20th of July, in Polovragi, where people from Gorj, Vâlcea and Transylvania come.

RRânca resort, located along Transalpina Road, has four ski slopes equipped with ski lifts and nocturne, the most famous ski resort in the Oltenia Region. Declared as having the greatest winter tourism potential in Romania, the resort has a large ski area, located between 1600 m and 2100 m altitude. The area is growing and the number of accommodation and catering is increasing from year to year.
IMIcon Monastery (Crasna – Carpiniş) was raised in 1997 at the initiative of a priest originally from the area.
CMCrasna monastery (The hermitage) was founded in 1636 by Pitar Dumitru Filişanu being a monastery of monks.
CF Curtişoara Folk Architecture Museum, founded in 1975, comprises a number of 30 objectives that show the lifestyle of Gorj over time. It was built around the assembly constituted of Cornoiu Manor and other buildings raised by families who owned it.
RCThe Roman camp, in Bumbeşti Jiu, was intended to defend and ensure the entry into The Jiu Defile as well as to supervise the Dacian population from here. The camp was built and used between the two wars against Dacia by the Romans (101-102 and 105-106); It was originally made of earth and then, in 201, stone walls were raised. Today it retains only the east side (167 meters) and partially the south side (88 meters). In 2002, inside the fort there was discovered a Roman imperial treasure consisting of 92 silver coins, covering a period of almost 50 years.
RVThe ruins of Vişina Monastery, situated at the entrance of The Jiu Defile, were made of stone during Mircea the Old (1386-1418).
LMLainici Monastery – at an altitude of 450 m. The name of the monastery is given by the passage where the monastery is, the word LAINICI is of Greek origin and means “pass through the mountains “. The old church was built between 1812 and 1813, on the site of an old wooden church shaped like a ship (1770-1794). After 1990, a new church was built near the old one shaped like a Greek cross. Near the monastery, at an altitude of 750-800 m, there is Locurele Hermitage which was sanctified in 1860.
CBConstantin Brâncuşi Memorial House inaugurated in 1971, is a folk architecture monument. Constantin Brâncuşi (1876 -1957) was a Romanian sculptor with overwhelming contributions to the contemporary sculpture. Considered by some critics as the greatest sculptor of the XXth century, Constantin Brâncuşi is the most famous Romanian artist. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova, Bucharest and Munich; after six months he starts walking through Bavaria up to France, where he takes the train to Paris – where he lives much of his life. In 1905, he was accepted to the prestigious École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. He died when he was 81 years old, leaving behind 1200 photographs and 215 sculptures of an incalculable aesthetic and cultural value. He was buried in Montparnasse cemetery from Paris. His works are exhibited in New York, Washington, Paris and Bucharest. In 2009, one of Brâncuşi ‘s sculptures – Madame LR- was sold for $ 37 million.

The human body is beautiful only when it reflects the soul.”

“Work like a slave, command like a king, create like a god!”

Constantin Brâncuşi

TMTismana Monastery is the oldest monastery in Ţara Românească. The founder of the monastery was the monk Nicodim. The legend says that Nicodim walked along the valley and the beauty of the landscape was decisive in choosing the place for the holy sanctuary, on Stârmina rock, with a 40 m waterfall whose waters flow in the river. There were also other reasons in choosing the place: the trout, the forests of edible chestnut, the walnut and the grape-vines that grow in the wild, but also historical events related to maintaining the independence of Ţăra Româneascã and stopping the Catholic influence south of the Carpathians. On the back of a document of the Romanian ruler Dan II there are two dates, namely that the church was sanctified in 6886, ie 1377-1378 and that Nicodemus died in 6915 (1406-1407). Near the monastery there is Cioclovina Hermitage.
TVTudor Vladimirescu Memorial House. He was the leader of the revolution of 1821. The house is a typical rustic house with wooden porch. The two rooms manage to recreate the Romanian village atmosphere of the early XIXth century and depict the life and work of Tudor from images and documents. It is located at 50 km south-east of Tãrgu-Jiu.
Other attractions in Gorj County:

  • The Statue of Buzeşti Brothers – Crasna
  • The Chocolate Factory – Crasna
  • “St. John the Baptist” Church – Novaci
  • The Crosses Museum – Mãceşu
  • The Museum of Mountain Civilization – Rãnca
Anthropic tourism resources of Târgu Jiu

The Municipality of Tãrgu-Jiu takes its name from The Jiu River that crosses it, initially known as the weekly fair held on the banks of The Jiu River, a fair that is held even today on Thursdays. It is first mentioned as the Jiu Fair 600 years ago and as a city 400 years ago. The Public Garden was established in 1856, in the field, on the left bank of The Jiu River.

CBThe Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuși from Tãrgu-Jiu, known as The Monumental Ensemble of Tãrgu-Jiu is a tribute to the fallen heroes of The World War I, designed and built by Constantin Brâncuși. His only outdoor monumental components- The Table of Silence, The Kissing Gate and The Endless Column- are arranged on the same axis, oriented from west to east, with a total length of 1,275 m./su_animate]
TSThe Table of Silence, worked in limestone, is the table where the combatants were sitting down before a confrontation in the battle. Time is represented by 12 hourglasses seats that count it. Everything goes quiet,
KGThe Kissing gate, built of travertine, looks like a triumphal arch symbolizing the triumph of life over death or the pass to another life. The symbol of the kiss carved on the two pillars could be perceived as the inward eye. Brâncuși was helped in the execution of this work by two stone carvers: Ion Alexandrescu from Bucharest and Golea from Dobriţa. The entire work is arranged on a steel axe embedded in a concrete foundation with a side of 5 m.

ECThe Endless Column represents the ascension to the sky. Inaugurated on 27 October 1938, the column has a height of 29.35 meters and is composed of 16 octahedral modules and two half-modules at the upper and the lower parts. Brâncuși named the modules beads.

The sculpture is a specific stylization of funerary columns of southern Romania. Its original name was The Column of Endless Gratitude and was dedicated to Romanian soldiers who died in World War I, in 1916, in the battles on the Jiu bank.

Brâncuși himself called it “a draft of the column which, if enlarged, could touch the sky.”

The Column was brassed on the site by brass wire spray application. This technology has been used for the first time in Romania and was specially brought from Switzerland. The total weight of the column (core + “beads”) is 29,173 kilograms.

PPThe Church of Peter and Paul Saints is situated on the Heroes’ Path and was integrated in Brancusi’s creation connecting the elements of the sculptural ensemble. Built on the site of another church dating back to 1777, the building was reconstructed between 1927 and 1938 and inaugurated at the same time with Brâncuși’s ensemble on November 7, 1937. The painting of Byzantine style was executed in fresco by the painter Iosif Keber.

CPThe Communal Palace (today The Prefecture) was built in 1898. The exterior and the interior decoration in Moorish style make it unique. In 1904, phones were provided and in 1905, a clock was mounted in the tower.

SVChurch of Saints Voivodes, located in Victoria Square, in front of the Communal Palace, was founded by merchants Dobre Sîrbu and Radu Cupetu whose portraits can be seen in the narthex. The construction was done between 1748 and 1764, the building was known as The Merchants’ Church, The Royal Church and even The Church from Jiu. The church is cross-shaped. The building has undergone several interventions over times that have not altered the original form.
TV“Tudor Vladimirescu” National High School, monumental building – was built between 1896 and 1898. Opposite, there is The Statue of Tudor Vladimirescu, the leader of the Revolution of 1821 and of The Pandours that was held on the site where Tudor Vladimirescu and The Pandours met before leaving for Padeş.
ET The Memorial House of Ecaterina Teodoroiu dates back to 1884. In this house Cătălina– the national heroine was born. She voluntarily participated in the battles of World War I. She died heroically in front of her platoon as a second lieutenant in the fights from Mărăşeşti, in August 1917.

GMGorj County Museum was founded in 1894 through the efforts of Alexandru Ştefulescu. The building was renovated in 2007-2008. Materials used in Palaeolithic, Neolithic, The Bronze Age, The Dacian period, The Dacian and Roman period, documents from the first state formations, feudalism and the modern period are here exposed.

AMThe Art Museum was established in 1984 and since 1993 has its headquarters in the Central Park of the city. The museum offers to visitors Romanian old icons of a special artistic value, studies and paintings by Vasile Blendea and Iosif Keber, pastels, exhibits from the XVIIth century belonging to Flemish and Italian schools, paintings of Alexandru Ciucurencu, Corneliu Baba and many other classical and contemporary artists.

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