Dreamy Blues, Authentic 1885 Tulcea House by the Black Sea

Window shutters painted in dreamy blues adorn an authentic house from 1885 Tulcea, that dips its shores in both the Danube and the Black Sea. You can visit it now, on my blog, or at the Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania.

We have a Romanian saying, Omul sfinţeşte locul, in English it carries the same meaning as “a good farmer makes a good farm.”

I spotted the bright blue shutters from afar. I quickened my step. I wanted to know who lived in a house with such cheerful windows, and such treasures painted on its doors. Who were they? What was their story?

blue double panel window

They say that one should never start work, or a journey, on a Tuesday for it won’t end well. The year 1654 started on a Tuesday, and it is the year when the great Russian Patriarch Nikon decided to re-examine the church books, for “the Greeks should be followed rather than our own ancients.” The schism that followed affected many during the following century, but especially (as always) the masses. Those who sicked to their old believes, the starovery, were forced to pay higher taxes, wear special clothing that will make them stand out… if not burned at the stake.

I have to pause and draw a parallel between the choice the starovery from the Tsardom of Russia were forced to make in the 17th century and the Romanian population of Transylvania who was forced by Hungarian authorities, during 15th – 16th centuries, to convert to Calvinism, “the true faith.”

Thus, the starovery migrated. Some reached as far as Alaska, others loved the serene land around the Danube and, being fishermen by skill and having the sea in their blood, settled in Dobruja, Dobrogea, at the beginning of the 18th century. Today they are known as Lipovans, or Flipovans(after their leader’s name).

Bright blues and wavy eaves in a house of a family of lipoveni from Tulcea

The Lipovans brought along their personal style, the men wearing long beards, the women dressed in bright reds, greens and blues, like the feathers of the birds, and the spring shoots, and the ripples of the rivers.

Do you see the thatched roof? The way it extends low over the narrow porch? They are distinctive architectural features, as are the wavy eaves:

The house, built as a home in 1885, came to the Village Museum (piece by piece and reassembled here) from the Jurilovca village, siting at the mouth of Razelm Lake – a freshwater lagoon on the shores of the Black Sea in Tulcea County, Romania.

The Lipovans who lived here painted the tree of life, “as in Heaven, so on earth“, on their door:

blue painted door Village Museum. the tree of life, "as in Heaven, so on earth"
The tree of life, “as in Heaven, so on earth

Originally painted in 1885, perhaps as a blessing on the threshhold of their new life, in a new land, and a new home:

dark teal painted door, Village Museum Bucharest
The Tree of Life in front of a full moon painted on a dark teal door, Village Museum Bucharest

And because it meant so much to them, the Lipovans painted it again. I like the wavy movement of the greenery depicted above and how the flowers appear to sway in the breeze.

A door with a painting in shades of green and a dark teal door frame, Village Museum
The Tree of Life again, against a happy background, a new life in Romania, a better life.

It is a cheerful house, and I hope the Lipovans led a happy life in their new home in Tulcea County, Dobruja, by the Black Sea.

thursday doors, 100 words story

For Dan Antion’s exciting Thursday Doors and for Jude’s Life in Colour Photo Challenge 2021 – weekly challenges.

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47 Replies to “Dreamy Blues, Authentic 1885 Tulcea House by the Black Sea”

  1. Come to think of it I have this Tuesday superstition myself. I prefer to start things on Monday and if I can’t I postpone them until Wednesday. 🙂 Love the house and the first two pictures… unfortunately, for some reason I can’t see the rest of them. And they sound interesting judging by your description. I’ll try to see them tonight from my tablet…

    1. Oh, oh, after two refreshes, my silly computer managed to upload all the pictures. 🙂 I’m pleased I could see the tree of life. I like the one in front of the full moon better.

    2. I think that most Romanians have such superstitions 🙂 I’ve got a couple of my own too. The people I met here don’t mind as much.

      Glad you could see the Tree of Life, Jo. I like the one against the big moon too. Makes me think of a warm summer night.

        1. I saw. The other day the night temperatures of Bucharest were warmer than our daytime – but we had a cold front visiting in the middle of winter 😉

        2. You know what? I’m not a big fan of heat waves, but they sound sooooo much better than cold fronts. So yeah, I’m glad I am here for a change. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading the history very much, Pat. The odors and the other details are wonderful. What an experience it would be to come up to one of those painted doors.

  3. Thank you, Dan. It was a wonderful surprise indeed 🙂 And two of them.

    To think that they took each home apart, log by log, rock by rock, transported, and re-built it in the Village Museum.

  4. Great post! Such a charming home, one can only imagine the generations that lived and loved in those walls. Always a pleasure to travel with you, Pat. 🙂

  5. Hey, one more thing:
    I am hosting a blog party to celebrate 3 years of blogging and 1000 followers, and you are invited! The post will be live tomorrow (Sunday) at 8PM IST.
    Hope to see you there:)

    1. How exciting! Congratulations and thank you so much for inviting me 🙂
      We’re on GMT+1 here in South Africa, so it will be 16:30. I’ll try my best! 😉
      Best wishes. Pat

    1. So glad to hear it sparked your interest, Inese, and always thrilling to discover that the history we read about is still part of our daily lives, isn’t it 🙂

      I loved your information on Latvia’s starovery churches. to I was too young when I visited there, or I would have paid attention…

      Happy to have you visiting here. Thank you.

  6. How incredibly interesting and the bright blues and tree of life painted on the doors are so gorgeous. How could you live in that house and not be happy. Thank you for the very interesting history too. Joni

  7. Isn’t it? as if nature and life smile at you through them 🙂
    I also had the feeling that this was a happy place.
    Thank you for returning to comment, Joni 🙂

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