Enescu House from Mihaileni

Fundatia Pro Patrimonio

A project for solidarity
OAR București și Pro Patrimonio/2014

The house belonged to the family of Enescu’s mother, Maria Cosmovici, and was built by her parents, priest Ioan Cosmovici and his wife Zenovia. To this day, we have an impressive amount of letters written by George Enescu to his mother, who had retired at the house at Mihaileni towards the end of her life. The composer’s holidays were split between the home of his father in Cracalia and the house at Mihaileni. It was here that Enescu composed his Symphony for cello and orchestra op. 8 in November 1901, the lieder “Plugar” and “Die Nächtliche Heerschau”. The house follows the ethnographic characteristics of the area. It is a dwelling for one family, with a characteristic sobriety and symmetry. While still uncertain, it was apparently built between 1775 and 1830.

The Enescu House in July 2014
Interior with the wall-stove between two rooms
The room of Enescu's mother 
Upright piano from Liveni
Maria Cosmovici
The gravestone of Maria Cosmovici
The Orthodox Church of Mihaileni
Enescu with beard, mourning the death of his mother

Mihaileni is on the border with Ukraine, 5 km away from the customs in Siret, Botosani county. It was established through a lordly charter in 1838 as a market town on the border, shortly turning prosperous and with a rich cultural life. An old school, built in 1850 by Mihai Voda Sturdza, and the St. Nicholas church founded by Mihai Voda Sturdza between 1839 and 1842 are also to be found in this location.

Landscape of Mihaileni

The house is in a state of pre-collapse due to the lack of interventions for an extended period of time and to the fact that the bearing elements have yielded (the porch over the cellar is rotten and broken, several parts of the outer masonry on the western, eastern and northern sides are cracked and collapsed, the framework for the roof is fractured due to the way the walls deformed, and important parts of it are rotten on the northern side, etc). The architectural value of the building is not diminished in the least by these important physical degradations. The house remains just as interesting from an architectural point of view: the existence of the two fireplaces between rooms, the floor plan and the functionality of the house represent reference points which justify its preservation even if it did not have memorial value. The value of the house is indestructibly connected to the surrounding terrain; the environment and the landscape cannot be neglected in our appreciation of its architecture. For this reason, it is impossible to even consider rebuilding this house on a different site.

Project for emergency intervention
Project for emergency intervention
Project for emergency intervention
Project for emergency intervention
Emergency works
Emergency works
Before and after
Alexandru Semeniuc playing the violin in front of the Enescu House
Visiting the Enescu House during the Festival for Urban Culture organized by the Chamber of Architects from Suceava and Botosani

The building was urgently classified as a historic monument on 29 November 2013, following the actions of the “George Enescu” International Society. In its turn, the Romania Architects’ Order, through its Bucharest and North-East subsidiaries, decided to organize an emergency intervention to protect the house. The Mihăileni Municipality offered its support and covered a part of logistics, supervising works, accommodation and meals for volunteers. The emergency intervention aimed to preserve the building before rainfalls and snow started to fall, being carried out through volunteering and donations. The emergency works unfolded between 4 and 14 August 2014, were executed by a local craftsmen team, with the assistance offered by volunteers, who researched the area and informed locals about the projects. The furniture pieces from the house were inventoried and sent to a specialized workshop in Botoșani, to be reconditioned for free.

Besides its memorial side, an education function is envisioned for the Mihăileni House, which will be transformed into an international music education center. To rehabilitate the house and to establish this center are neccessary about 45 000 Euro.

Donations can be made in the accounts below.

IBAN EURO RO42 RZBR 0000 0600 1676 3759

IBAN LEI RO43 RZBR 0000 0600 1676 3741

Cod BIC Raiffeisen Bank RZBRROBU 

The accounts are open at Raiffeisen Bank S.A., Agenţia Victoria, Calea Victoriei nr.21, s. 3, Bucureşti

Accounts holders: Filiala Teritorială Bucureşti a Ordinului Arhitecţilor din România

Cod Identificare Fiscală 14244188, str. Academiei nr.18-20, Sector 1, Bucureşti, România

Credits: Story

Emergency intervention initiator — Șerban Sturdza, architect, President of the Architects' Chamber of Bucharest
Initiator of the campaign "Save Enescu House of Mihaileni" — Raluca Știrbaț, pianist, president of the International Society, Vienna
Volunteers coordinator — Raluca Munteanu, architect
Photos — Elena Maior, Alexandru Miron, Raluca Munteanu, Șerban Sturdza, Raluca Știrbaț, Centru de Arhitectură, Cultură Urbană și Peisaj „Uzina de Apă” Suceava, 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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