The “Evocation of 1848” Monument
The moment we reach the park through the Summer Theatre gate, the hugeness of “Evocation of 1848” catches the eye, a monument which occupies a central position and which is meant to be an abstract work of art which consists of several blocks of rock which pile up to almost 10 meters high. It was done in 1970 by the sculptor Gheorghe Călinescu-Iliești. From the artist’ s point of view, the masive blocks of rock represent the feudal sytem of the 1840-1850 decade, the fight between those who wouldn’t change this system and the progressive waves of those times, some of their successes being symbolized by the two hollows from the upper side of the block at the bottom of the monument. The vertical blocks from the middle of the monument which can be seen as a two –pole structure, represent the momentary success of the revolution – from June to September 1848, while the last horizontal block of rock represents the defeat of this revolution.
The Monument of HARALAMB G. LECCA is dedicated to this poet, playwright, actor, novelist, translator and epigram writer who was born in Caracal on the 20th of February 1873. The monument was built through the financial contribution of the local community. This work by the sculptor I. Dimitriu-Bârlad represents an expressive bronze bust which sits on a pedestal; at the bottom of this pedestal, there is the rock statue of a woman who stares at him, full of admiration for the poet’s work. This monument was first located in front of the theatre, but in 1962 it was moved to the natural setting of the park; next to the monument, there are a table and a bench of a special form, they are both made of mosaic concrete, and they represent a real group of monuments which are dedicated to this writer. The inscription “TO H.G. LECCA, 1873 -1918” is engraved on the upper side of the pedestal. We need to mention the fact that the year of death of this great scholar is 1920.
The Funerary Monument MIHAIL BIBIAN (1842 -1909) is dedicated to the commander of the Royal Crown of Romania, but also a leading figure of the Conservative Party. In 1895-1896 when he was the mayor of Caracal, the primary School for boys in the Bold neighborhood was built and the building of the Theatre and the Palace of Justice began. He is mayor again in 1905-1906 and he starts restoring “Constantin Poroineanu” park. Almost one year later after his death on July 7th 1909, his family ordered his bronze bust from Frederich Storck, a famous sculptor from Bucharest. This bust was taken to his grave in Cemetery no.1, and it was placed on a pedestal of polished mountain rock. In 1997, the bust of Mihail Bibian was taken from the Cemetery no.1 and placed on a pedestal in the park in the town center, close to the entrance to Bibian alley from ‘Constantin Poroineanu’ park, and in 2006, the bust is moved right to the entry to the alley which is named by his name. In the fall of 2008, the bust of the great benefactor of Caracal, Constantin Poroineanu, was placed on the pedestal at the park entry, and the bust of Bibian was moved to the same alley, right in front of the monument of Haralamb G. Lecca. The bust of Mihail Bibian is on the list of historical art monuments issued by the National Institute of historical monuments, whose identification code is OT-IV-m-B-09100.
The bust of CONSTANTIN POROINEANU was built in 2008, in commemoration of 100 years from his death, when the town leaders decided to build a new bust which was to be located in the town park.
His first bronze bust, located at the entry to the town park in 1928, was melted for political reasons during the communism, after having been forgotten for some time in Mărculescu Bookshop. As we have already mentioned, a marble bust of this great benefactor is still preserved these days and you can see it when you enter the building of the National College „Ioniţă Asan“. Constantin Poroineanu was a distinguished personality, he was very generous in the sense that, every year, he gave the peasants and the poor children financial or material support. He gave 12000 lei to the Hospital in Caracal and he also gave 500 lei to the Geographical Society of Romania in order to come up with the best geographical map of the Romanaţi county. He was elected by his fellow citizens in Romanaţi College I, during ten subsequent legislations. Caracal inherited Poroineanu’s whole fortune through his will on 14th September 1908, this fortune being estimated to over 3.100.000 lei, out of which 2.150.000 represents real estates and the rest of it consists of cash effects, money and all the furniture and everything else in his houses on Corabia street in Bucharest. His executor was named Vintilă Brătianu, whose legal task was to ensure that the legatee acquires possession of Poroineanu’s fortune, this legatee being the Town Hall of the Urban Town of Caracal. Poroineanu’s will mentions that, every year, the Town Hall of Caracal should make him a “coliva” on celebrating the Holy Emperors Constantin and Elena, a thing which was long forgotten. Ever since 1996, the Town Hall of Caracal commemorates this great personality through a Te Deum on celebrating the Holy Emperors Constantin and Elena, these Holy Emperors being the spiritual patrons of our town. This bust is built by Alexandru Siminică, a sculptor from Bucharest.
The Monument of Heroes is the work of Ioan Schmidt, a sculptor from Bucharest. This monument was finished at the end of 1926 and it was inaugurated on the Ascension Day, the 2nd of July 1927, the Heroes Day. It is made of three statuary bronze groups which sit on a pedestal made of rock from the Apuseni Mountains. The plate in front of the monument had the following inscription:
“This monument was erected in the XIth year of glorious reign of M.S. King Ferdinand I, AD 1925, for the eternal glory of the enthusiasm of the heroes of Romanați, who contributed with their supreme sacrifice to the manumission of their brothers from Ardeal, Bukovina and Bessarabia, making the long-awaited dream of the Kingdom of Romania come true. / 1916-18-19”.
After World War II, when the political regime changed, this plate was replaced by another plate which says:
“This monument was erected in 1925 as an eternal reminder of the enthusiasm of the heroes of Romanați, who contributed their supreme sacrifice to the emancipation of their brothers from Ardeal from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy domination which served the invasive German imperialism, making the long-awaited dream of the unified Romania come true”.
The names of the officers of Romanați are inscribed on three bronze plates, “dead heroes on the battle field, for their country, during the war 1916-19”.
The Monument of the Revolution of 1848. On the 10th of July 1848, Gheorghe Magheru, the steward of Romanați, got a letter from the revolutionary people who gathered at Islaz, a letter which consisted of a proclamation and a manifesto which was addressed to the people of Caracal:
“People of Caracal, Your county was reserved the right to see putting up the first flag of Romanian salvation, to proclaim truths that will save Romania sooner or later …. The movement which happened in your county will regenerate our country and the pages of history will be illustrated with the devotion of these worthy successors of Romans … You will spread the fertilized seeds throughout Romania and they will bear fruit in the future”.
On the morning of the 11th of June 1848, the revolutionary camp reached Caracal where a huge crowd of people, consisting of townsmen, peasants from the surrounding areas and soldiers, led by Gheorghe Magheru and other personalities of the town, showed a triumphal manner of receiving the camp at the southern barrier of the town.
When the revolutionary people got closer to the barrier, the crowd and the over 600 soldiers from the Caracal garrison started shouting:
“Long live the Constitution, long live the interim government!”
The leading personalities were Ion Heliade Rădulescu, Ştefan Golescu, Radu Şapcă, Cristian Tell, cpt. Nicolae Pleşoianu şi Grigore Serurie. The people of Caracal hugged the brothers who had arrived, while fully expressing their adhesion to the revolution.
A few decrees were issued in Caracal, which were strengthened later, on June 14th, by the interim government which also included the members of the government of Islaz.
In 1995, a monument was erected at the town barrier where the crowd received the revolutionary people, this monument being the work of the sculptor I. Mladin, and it stands as a reminder of this important historical fact of 1848.
On the trapezoidal marble plate you can read:
“On June 11th 1848, right here, the people of Caracal received the revolutionary people of Islaz with patriotic enthusiasm, who had started fighting for the people’s rights.”
The Statue of the Goddess Ceres. This is one of the oldest monuments in the town, it is the work of an unknown artist. The monument is called “Ceres” by the name of the Roman Goddess of agriculture and cereals. The statue shows a young woman who has wild flowers into her lap, and she also has garlands of flowers on her head and in her right hand.
The white marble plate on the pedestal of the monument says:
“Ceres – the Goddess of Fertility”
Probably, the monument was built in the second half of the XIXth century when the public garden of the town was decorated, this being the place where the monument was first placed.
The Funerary Monument to the Family Jieni. The monument of the family Jienilor is built as a truncated pyramid with a cross on the small base and there are several marble plates which have the following distribution:
- on the western side of the monument, there are three marble plates which illustrate the names of the members of this family: Iancu Jianu (1787-1842), Sultana Jianu (1796-1869) his wife and Zoe N. Dobruneanu (1836-1906), born Jianu, their daughter;
- on the eastern side of the monument - Iancu N. Dobruneanu (1858-1942), his daughter Elena and Stiva Ştefan Dobruneanu (1890-1892);
- on the northern side of the monument - Nae Dobruneanu (1830-1873), and to the south lt.col. Mihail Dobrunenu (1861-1924) and Jeana Mariana Dobruneanu (1927-1934).
- în partea de est – Iancu N. Dobruneanu (1858-1942), fica sa Elena şi Stiva Ştefan Dobruneanu (1890-1892);
- în partea de nord – Nae Dobruneanu (1830-1873), iar la sud lt.colonel Mihail Dobrunenu (1861-1924) şi Jeana Mariana Dobruneanu (1927-1934).
CARACAL AND ITS MONUMENTSWe invite you to discover the National Cultural Heritage, beauty and continuity of monumental art showing historical importance, artistic and touristic public monuments, funerary art and the Caracal..