The Racovita Manor – The C.I. Nastase Etnographic Museum
A manor is a type of semifortified building, spread throughout the Balkan area, particularly in Serbia and Albania. Some researchers believe that this type of building originated in Afghanistan and Iran.
In Romania, manors are only popular in the hillside area of Oltenia. Despite this, a small number of manors are also found in Muntenia, Arges County. Before, the spreading area of the manors was extended also on the plains adjacent to Bucharest, but the manors from this areas, less numerous from the very beginning, have disappeared faster than the others. Etymologically speaking, the term comes from the Turkish word "kule" which means "tower". Manors are specific buildings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, acting as the boyars' homes, and as a means for them to defend their wealth and their families, against the invading Ottoman pillagers coming from South of the Danube.
One such Manor exists in Racovita district, a fortified construction, specific to this area, built in 1797 as a three-story cube. It was founded in 1850 by father Nicholas Racoviceanu with Byzantine-style arcades. Racovita Manor has a rectangular shape, is tower-shaped, with a square base, each side measuring approximately 8.5 metres in length and a 20 metres in height. Its walls are about one metre thick.
As of September 12, 1970, Racoviţa Manor hosts the Ethnographic Museum of Mioveni, under the care of the venerable professor Constantin Nastase. The museum is arranged on the following structure: trade, art, costumes, pottery, folk art items, weapons, religious confessions, cooperage and carpentry tools, all sections covering over 1,200 objects and exhibits.