- Helen Vretzaki, an active member of Eastern Paths has traveled to Romania, and she shares with us her impressions.
"August is the ideal month for someone to travel to Transylvanian Mountains of Romania. The landscape with endless wooded areas while the tops of the mountains of Carpathian gradually come into sight because of fog, makes a scenery that tenders the visitor to walk through legendary and historical places of mystery, violence but also of cultural sense.
The tour eventually, is within the tree "station-cities", which indicate Transylvania with their huge historical wealth as well as with the beauty of their buildings: Sibiu, Sighisoare, Brasov. In those three Saxon cities, commerce bloomed form the middle of the 15th century until the end of the 18th. During this period of development, great changes became that left a significant heritage to churches and people.
Today, there exist in good condition 320 Turkish carpets of the ottoman period (end of the 15th till end of the 18th century) and they are presented to the Black Church of Brasov, to the Brukenthal Museum located a t Sibiu (43) and to the National Museum of Art at Boukouresti (20).
These carpets used to be presents from traders traveling to the East or they were products of local producers at Wallachia. They were designed to be less decorated from imitations of the ottoman yard which meant less silk and precious fabrics. This matter still questions many special researches like Charles Evant Ellis, Stefano Ionescu and Alberto Boravelli. Nevertheless, the carpets have survived inside the churches and now they decorate their arches.
I have learned that as it concerns their art technique, there exist approximately 80 Lotto Ushaks, 100 double-niche or Transylvania tout court. Moreover, Selendi have been called those carpets that have white fond or representations of birds or scorpions. Additionally, there are 500 pieces, included those in Hungary, however at St Margaret church located in Medias, there is an important collection of carpets that I wasn't able to visit. Last but not least, I was informed that in the city of Cluj Napoca at the History Museum of Transylvania there is a not so famous collection, which has carpets dated before the 19th century. For a traveler and an amateur fo the subject it was an interesting experience and gladly I repeat it next year being more informative.
For those who are interested, there are some articles that can read: the article of Alberto Boralevi "Back to Transylvania-Rediscovering antique ottoman rugs" published at Ghereh magazine issue No 33 as well as the article named "Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylavania" written by Alberto Boralevi, Stefano Ionescu and Andrei Kertesz, a publication of Esselibri and Verduci Editore, Rome 2005. also, there is a lot of information at the site www.transylvanianrugs.com."
For Eastern Parths.