“Visarion Puiu” Memorial House, “Mihail Sadoveanu” Memorial Museum
26 june 1966
In the greater village of Vânători-Neamţ, close to the Vovidenia Small Monastery, there is a building which hosts both the “Mihail Sadoveanu” Memorial Museum and the “Visarion Puiu” Memorial House. On the 26th of June 1966, the Board of Directors of the Romanian Literature Museum from Bucharest, having the Romanian cultural personality of Perpessicius as Director, together with the support of the Sadoveanu family, inaugurated the “Mihail Sadoveanu” Memorial Museum in Vânători-Neamţ.
The building was built under the initiative and under the direct guidance of Visarion Puiu, Metropolitan of Bucovina and Moldavia in the period 1935-1940. In 1937 he builds the house having the purpose of a bishop palace. The Metropolitan lived here only a few years, and after he left in exile, in 1944, the house was left in the administration of the Neamţ Monastery.
In the course of time, together with all the changes brought by the new regime, the building became a house of guests for important visitors of that time. In 1947, the house was made available for Mihail Sadoveanu and then assigned to him for life.
The writer lived in the house from Vânători-Neamţ almost 20 years, in the period 1944-1961. It was his summer residence. Eight novels were written here, among which the following: Nada florilor, Nicoară Potcoavă, Păuna mică, Clonţ de fier and Lisaveta.
Still, in 1997, the building was returned to the Mitropoly of Moldavia and Bucovina. Nowadays, the museum is managed by monks, who also set up in its precincts a small museum dedicated to the Metropolitan Visarion Puiu.
Nowadays, the museum keeps the ambiance of that epoch. The permanent exhibition includes objects, books and paintings which belonged to the writer. Among these there can be distinguished, as pieces of furniture, a Florentine table, an ivory check or the family’s piano. Also, the visitor will discover the Venetian furniture in the living room, and the chest which is over one hundred years old, bought by the author himself.
The Venetian piano remains the most impressive, which was used by great Romanian singers and interpreters like George Enescu, Dinu Lipatti, Maria Tănase, Sviatoslav Richter, Valentin Gheorghiu and two of the writer’s daughters, Despina-Lia and Tincuţa. At the same time, a distinct attraction is represented by the hunting and fishing objects.
Other valuable items are the paintings signed by Romanian painters like Cornelia (Nelly) Ştirbei, Dimitrie Sadoveanu, the eldest son of the great writer, Iulia Hălăucescu, Aurel Băeşu, Jean Steriadi, Ştefan Constantinescu, Mircea Ispir, and also sculptures made by the following Romanian sculptors: Ion Vlasiu, Miliţa Pătraşcu or Constantin Baraschi.
On the same line, other important museum items are the 63 princeps editions of the volumes published by Sadoveanu, and also the historical volumes.