On our first quest, we chose a historical location outside Bucharest, namely
the Warthiadi manor. This site used to be included in school field
trips in the `90s, mostly because it was supposed to take us back to a
sixteenth-century battlefield when the Ottoman soldiers faced defeat by
a “great Wallachian Vaivode”, whose name shall remain unwritten for now.
Back then, in childhood, the grassy and muddy span between the two
small forests appeared ridiculously immense in front of our eyes, and
it took us a while to spread our imagination to fit the most amusing
historical fact: the Vaivode knocking the Sultan`s teeth out in river
Twenty-one years later we came back and discovered what was once known
as a manor house, built in the middle of the nineteenth century,
precisely after 1844, when the chancellor Constantin Balaceanu sold his
estate to an Aromanian doctor called Dumitru Warthiadi.
The word spread that one day, in the 1840s or 1850s, a famous Romanian
writer, translator and politician, Ion Heliade Radulescu, stumbled upon
Warthiadi`s mansion and came to pass in the middle of a feast and saw
folk dancers and peasants celebrating with their masters. It could have
happened upon trying to gather words that had originated in Slavic,
Greek, Ottoman Turkish, Hungarian, and German for his comprehensive
list published in 1847 or just as he returned from the Sublime Porte of
the Ottoman Empire, in 1857, through the old road.
One of the most remarkable personalities of the real estate is a
military man, Panait Warthiadi, the son of the Aromanian doctor, having
served as a Major Commander in the Romanian Independence War of 1877,
he was renowned for his dancing skills at the high society parties, as
The manor, which is also known as a castle in the village, used to
serve as a school hospice and canteen during the real-existing
socialism period, lasting the generous, charitable and intellectual
charm its builders invested it with, and its lowlanders kept as a
memory for generations.
We are still wondering if we could find some old pictures of the castle
at the old lady T., granddaughter of the cottar of Warthiadi`s mansion,
who luckily still lives in the village.
The pictures you are about to take a peek at are evoking both eras the
estate has gone through and somehow manage to surpass the World Wars as
if these took place far away.