Department of History and Archaeology

Brief summary of the History-Archaeology

In the XVII-XIX century, in the main building where the History-Archaeology Department within Oltenia Museum is located, there was a spring from where water carriers took drinkable water and sold it in the historical area of Craiova. The ground belonged to the Maica Precista Church from Dud, today called Madona Dudu. On the same ground, there was a part from an old and ancient forest, of which a small part is still preserved nowadays, in the park Mihai Bravu. The ground belonged to Brînduşa slum as well, which was divided by a bourn, merging Vâlcea Valey to one of the Jiu branches from those days.

In front of the current building, there was a wooden footbridge which connected with the Dorobănţia slum, where people from Dorobănţia lived, who maintained order in Craiova and had military obligations as well. At the end of the XIX century, supported by a donation made to the Madona Dudu Foundation by a certain Preda, the municipality considered the idea of building an asylum. Under these terms, the project of the future building contained a yard with a closed interior and the windows were barred at a greater height than the usual buildings.

The management of Craiova town, who received this land by donation, decided that building such a hospital would be inappropriate, as it was too close to the town centre. As a result, the hospital would be built in a location outside Craiova.

With funds from the Ministry of Education, supplemented by funds from Craiova city hall, at the beginning of the XX century, the construction of its current residence began.

The construction of the History-Archaeology Department building from Oltenia Museum, made after architect Fr. Billek’s plans, was finished in 1906 and inaugurated in the autumn of the same year, on the occasion of the 40 years anniversary celebration of the reign of king Carol I, building that served as an elementary school for boys and girls. This place also served as a shelter for orphan children, who had an opportunity to learn a profession. With funds collected on their own through different methods: objects handcrafted by pupils and sold by the “Doamnele Craiovene Committee” during holidays over the year, they would provide food for many poor pupils, all managed by the priests of the Madona Dudu church.

In November 1940, the building was seriously damaged by an earthquake and the school was temporary transferred before further restoration. In 1948, all religious buildings and private schools were suppressed by the Communist regime. As a result, at the direct intervention of future scholar C.S. Nicolăescu-Plopşor and his colleague, Ştefan Voitec, at that time secretary of education, the building was granted to Oltenia Museum. In this location, the State archives, as well as archives of all Craiova museums, would be initially registered.

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