As a Romanian, I always wanted to visit Tg Jiu, where 3 breathtaking works of the world known sculptor are exhibited. Brâncuși sculptures are famous, so I decided to make this place part of my 4-day car trip around Romania.
Who was Constantin Brâncuși?
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer. He became famous in France. A pioneer of modernism, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century.
I remember we had a short bio of him in our books at school, and the pictured of these places in Tg Jiu. But nobody told me he was famous world wide, and his work is easy to reach. Brâncuși sculptures were inspired by non-European cultures, which merged with influences from Romanian folk art from the Byzantine and Dionysian traditions.
Apparently, this is what Brâncuși said about his work: “Work like a slave; command like a king; create like a god.”
I remember one year ago, when I was strolling the streets of Paris, I saw a museum of Brâncuși there. Only then I realised I speak the same language as this great artist.
Reading more about him, I found out he was more than a sculptor. He had his own vision, of which he never grew apart from. Once the great master Rodin offered him to be his apprentice. Although he was a great admirer of his work, he declined. Later he explained: “Nothing ever grows in the shade of great trees.”
The priceless legacy of Brâncuși sculptures
Although he left Romania to live and work in Paris, he never forgot his homeland. Constantly longing for home, he left in Romania his most important legacy. His genius works of art are right here, in Romania, in Tg Jiu.
Romanian roots of Brâncuși sculptures
The Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuși at Târgu Jiu is a homage to the Romanian heroes of the First World War. The ensemble comprises three sculptures: The Table of Silence, The Gate of the Kiss and the Endless Column, on an axis 1,275 m long, oriented west to east.
The ensemble is considered to be one of the great works of 20th-century outdoor sculpture.
The Gate of the Kiss (Poarta Sărutului)
The Kissing Gate looks like a triumphal arch, symbolizing the triumph of life over death. On the sides of each column, there is the symbol o the kiss, two halves of a circle. This is a characteristic of Brâncuşi.
The Table of Silence (Masa Tăcerii)
The table represents time, which is being represented by the circular arrangement of the 12 hourglass chairs.
The Endless Column (Coloana Infinitului)
The original name was “The Column of Endless Gratitude” and it was dedicated to the Romanian soldiers who died fighting on the shores of Jiu river, in 1916.
The column has a height of 29.35 meters and consists of 16 overlapped octahedron modules. Brâncuşi called the modules “beads”.
The total weight of the Column (core + bead) is 29 173 kg.
Brâncuși himself called it “a column project that, magnified, could support the celestial vault.”
What else to see in Tg Jiu?
Make sure to visit the Tg Jiu Museum of Art
It’s in the same park with the Kissing Gate and the Table of Silence. It’s a small museum, but well worth a visit.
The ticket is very cheap, but they do have a photography fee, which I didn’t pay. Sometimes I’d rather just live in the moment, not trying to document every second of my existence. Because some feelings go beyond words. Or pictures.
The tourist information centre
The centre is also in the park, not far away from the gate. Inside there are a few souvenirs and a lot of photos from the construction of the Endless Column.
I was fascinated by the construction stages. Also, the lady working there was so nice in explaining and telling us the story of the Brâncuși sculptures.
There is an old fire tower next to the Touristic Info Point.
Looking for something new or diversity over seas can be too much. Started to look in my home country and I cannot realise how blessed I am. And yet there are so many places I need to see and so many experiences I have to live.
Places like these are truly remarkable because they are human made. And there are many amazing places in Romania that still need to be discovered. Trust me, it does good to the heart. If you get close to Tg Jiu, go a bit south and take a short cruise on the gorges of Danube.
And while I’m rambling here about some lifeless stones, we live our lifes facing a screen.