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20 July 2015 | 13:00
"Focus on Nature”, visiting nobles' mansions in Temeleuti and Vascauti
Almost every corner of Moldovan forests hide one noble mansion built after 1812. Even if they are historical monuments protected by the state, the summer palace of boyars have suffered, some being converted into deposits, other into administrative buildings, rest or interned camps.
At the top of the village of Temeleuti, district of Floresti, it is located the dendrologic park of the former mansion of boyar family Meleghi. Historically, we know that the mansion was built in the early twentieth century. In 1903-1908, it was established a park of 3.8 hectares, on which more than 50 species of trees and shrubs grew, 40 of the exotic species were brought from Canada, America and the Caucasus.

The park which is surrounding the mansion was made of tree species found only in nobles' mansions built by foreign architects. In addition, it is assumed that the brood lord used to bring trees from countries where he was traveling.

Beautiful memories remain in elderly locals’ memory about that mansion and his family. Vera Bele knows about noble families’ life from her mother, who, as a child, was playing with the boyar’s daughters.

The mansion had a complex of buildings. It had winter and summer residences. With the arrival of the Soviets in Bessarabia, the mansion buildings were demolished. It just remained the building of the kitchen, which served as the administrative building in the village. It was then converted into school, and finally, it became the Village Museum.

Much of the iron fence surrounding the mansion was stolen, thus freeing access to the park. So, the remaining building was devastated, being seized doors, windows, floors, some constructive elements of the roof. This led to the degradation of the construction and because of rains, the floors were damaged. Despite this, the walls of the building on two floors and basement are still in satisfactory condition, which would allow the reconstruction of the building in its original parameters.

From secular trees of the park it remained few until today. Invasive species have increased, taking place of the decorative ones.

To restore the park it was developed even a project. The money necessary for the work amounted to one million Moldovan leu. Demand for financial support of the project was submitted to the National Environmental Fund.

Next to the boyar’s kitchen building, it extremely well preserved the mill machine, which was producing wheat and maize flour. The mill of the boyar Meleghi, which works perfectly even today, it would be unique with such an equipment in our country.

The mansion in the village of Vascauti, Floresti has also undergone great changes after the departure of noble families. Of the building complex, it was kept in good condition the main building because in Soviet times it served as primary school.

From the history of old noble families there is not too much information kept. Lilia Cazacu is one of the few villagers who ransacked the archives, thus obtaining important data about the history of this land and former owners of the mansion.

First nobleman who built the manor was the lord Hudevici. According to locals, he was always seen on a white horse and accompanied by two hunting dogs. He built the mansion in 1826 and was rich with many fruitful lands. All his fortune he gave to his grandson Ion Strajescu.

Because he had many orchards of apples, pears, plums, the nobleman built a distillery. He hired people from the village to work at the distillery. And in the manor’s yard it worked a Roma family who had asked for shelter for a night and because they proved to be industrious, the lord asked them to stay.

Like any mansion, it was surrounded by a park. Tree species seem to have been more local. Some trees are still vegetating. Behind the building, there are some trees in the orchard that the nobleman had had.

In 1957, the main building of the manor was converted into a village primary school, other outbuildings were destroyed. In the manor building, when the boarding was acting, these were bedrooms for children, and this has helped to keep much of the architecture of the building intact.

In the annex next to the main building, it is supposed that the lord kept agricultural products, and in one of the rooms - salt. Because of this, until today, that apartment’s walls are wet and salt stained.

Since 1967 until now, on this territory it activated the boarding school for orphans. This year, the boarding will be closed after the process of structural reform in education.

Under the mansion it was the cellar built with red bricks. It is assumed that in this cellar, the lord had an underground output leading up to the outskirts of the village.

Most data on past noblemen who lived here are related to the village church, as any rich nobleman at his mansion was building a church. The first church was built of wood, by the lord Hudevici, then during Strajescu’s ruling it was rebuilt from stone in the Byzantine style.

It is also supposed that Strajescu lord lost the mansion at gambling.

For more details watch the show “Focus on Nature” on TV “Moldova 1”.

Carmelia Albu – Ombudsman of the Public Broadcaster „Teleradio-Moldova”, in the service of community

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