Mihai Eminescu Memorial House In Ipotesti
If, as a child, you went on at least one school trip, you undoubtedly visited Creanga’s Shack or the house of the “morning star of Romanian poetry”. Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet, prose writer and journalist, by his real name Mihai Eminovici, is praised by Romanian literary critics as the most important poetic voice of Romanian literature.
ABOUT THE MIHAI EMINESCU MEMORIAL HOUSE
The year when Mihai Eminescu was born, 1850, his family, consisting of his father, the nobleman Gheorghe Eminovici and his mother, Raluca Eminovici, bought the lands where the future childhood home of Mihai Eminescu would be built, in the village of Ipotesti. The nobleman’s family being a wealthy one at the time, furnished the house with all the necessary accommodations: the hall where the family spent most of their time, nobleman Eminovici’s study, the bedroom for his wife and their daughters. This is where the poet lived between 1850 and 1878.
The Mihai Eminescu Memorial House in Ipotesti was completed about the same time, with the addition of a small church. Raluca Eminovici bought it from Murgulet for 250 gold pieces. It dates back to about the 19th century. The church, albeit small, housed numerous valuable objects belonging to the family. Behind the church is where the poet’s parents as well as two of his brothers (Iorgu and Nicu) are buried.
The year of nobleman Eminovici’s death is also the year when the memorial house neared its end, as it was abandoned; in 1884 the house was no longer inhabited, which left its mark on it. Photographs describing the house a few years later, in 1916, show the pillars of the porch collapsed outward because of a landslide. 8 years later, the house became a ruin in the true sense of the word, as did the small church and the tombs of the people buried there, completely forgotten by the hand of man. The later owners of the estate in Ipotesti tore it down completely because of its precarious state. This led to revolts and riots from the Romanian and Jewish students who studied in Botosani at the time.
Maria Papadopol, the rightful owner of the lands where the house once stood, decided to donate the lands, following the riots at that time. A short paragraph in the letter addressed to the prefect of Botosani is shown below:
“The undersigned Maria D. Papadopol, owner of the Ipotesti estate, hereby declare to willingly consent to donate my house in Ipotesti, or better yet, the place where my house stood, on the expressed condition that an identical building be erected on this spot, with the building material found on the ruins today, building which shall serve no other purpose than that of national museum named “Mihai Eminescu donated by Maria Papadopol, born Isacescu”, which can also have a reading room, but which can in no way serve as school grounds”. The letter was written and sent by her on August 3rd 1924.
Following that donation, 10 years later, the house was erected on the same spot and inaugurated in 1940 as the first memorial museum dedicated to Mihai Eminescu; however, the house was not in accordance with the original, so it was torn down and rebuilt in 1979 – the new building was based on original documents. Nowadays, only 50% of the furniture in the house is in accordance with the original, while the remaining furniture perfectly describes the second half of the 19th century.
In the same courtyard where the Mihai Eminescu Memorial House is located, there is also the Papadopol House, a small, rustic, Moldavian style home, belonging to Doctor Papadopol, the last owner of the estate; like Mrs. Papadopol, he also donated his house to the state. Presently, the house is the Ethnography museum of the National Studies Center in Ipotesti, and displays objects belonging to the households of villagers of the time; also exhibited here are the paintings by Horia Bernea which describe the time of the national painting workshops in Ipotesti.
About 4 km away from the Ipotesti Memorial House is the lake in Baisa forest, which inspired many of the poet’s work.
GOOD TO KNOW WHEN VISITING THE MIHAI EMINESCU MEMORIAL HOUSE IN IPOTESTI
If you want to visit the house where the great poet grew up, you have to cross the country all the way to Botosani County. The house is open to the public daily, as follows:
- From 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM between May 15th and September 15th
- From 8.00 AM to 4.00 PM between September 16th and May 14th