Centrul istoric al Bucureştilor. Cercetări arheologice de salvare din perioada 2007-2010
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|Excerpt||Taking place from 200 7 to 201 O, the archaeological research was triggered by the rehabilitation project for the infrastructure of the Pilot Area of the Historical Centre in Bucharest, and brought to light elements of built structures as well as various archaeological features dating to medieval, modern and contemporary limes.
Among the many important discoveries are worth mentioning here the remains of the first wooden fortification of the Princely Court (161h century); a brick wall from the reign of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714); three major inns (the Zlătari Inn, the Greci lnn, the Şerban Vodă Inn) located along the Lipscani Street, the capital’s main commercial street; the remains of the wooden structure that used to pave the street during the 18th and 19th centuries; several medieval cemeteries; foundations of buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries etc.
The Zlătari Inn was built during the early 18th century by Mihai Cantacuzino. During the first half of the 19 th century, the inn fell into decay following the 1838 earthquake and the 1847 fire. Between 1850 and 1852 it was rebuilt alongside with its church. At that time the inn had a ground floor and a first floor, with almost 200 rooms and shops. lt was demolished in 1903 in an attempt to widen Calea Victoriei.
The archaeological excavations exposed six cellars of the Zlătari Inn and two of a 17th century house, at a depth varying from 0.40 m to 3.70 m, measured from the sidewalk level. This inn will be the first objective to be preserved, restored and put into the value in the Bucharest City Hall.
The Greci Inn ranks among the greatest edifices of its kind in Bucharest, with a church in the center of its courtyard. There is no precise data for the construction of the inn, but mast specialists agree that it was erected much later than the mid-16th century church of Ghiorma Banul, probably sometime during the late 17th century or in the early 18th century.
The archaeological excavations uncovered the foundations of the inn, identifying two important stages and several minor interventions, such as repairs and re-divisions.
An early stage of the inn was documented over a length of approx. 87m length and a width of 4 m, in the southern part of the archaeological trenches. Stage I was affected by the constructions of stage II and later on by the present day BCR building. Archaeological investigations brought to light some 16 compartments for stage I - cellars, rooms and some spaces with various utilities. Following the widening of Lipscani street, during stage II - the facade of inn moved back some 1.50 m behind the exterior wall of stage I. The excavations exposed the enclosure wall (with a thickness of cca. 0.55 m and a length of approx. 56.70 m) as well as the eastern and western corners of the inn. To the west, the limits of the inn were set by House 1 abutting the inn wall, while to the east, behind the inn, there was a construction-free area of almost 20 m before reaching House 2. Also during stage II, the compartmenting observed for the first stage was not kept and six new rooms were discovered. For almost 19 m towards the east, no compartments were noticed, which may be suggestive of an inner yard. Over 60 tombs belonging to the cemetery of the "Ghiorma Banul Church (subsequently named the “Grecilor Church") were uncovered in this area. The cemetery (extending over a rather limited area between the streets of Uliţa Mare and Stavropoleos) was probably used during the l 61h century and the entire next one. The adult burials (both women and men) as well as the infant ones had a poor inventory: rare appearance of a coin and a piece of jewelry seem to indicate a modest social status for the people buried there.
On the opposite side of the Lipscani Street was located the Şerban Vodă Inn, another important historical and archaeological objective. Prince Şerban Cantacuzino started building it in 1683 and the inn was demolished only 200 years later (1881), being replaced by the present day National Bank Palace. The archaeological excavations on the Lipscani Street exposed an important part of the southern side of this important monument: foundations of 11 rooms, 7 basements and an entrance in the cellar level. The cellars numbered 1 to 6 belong to the first phase of the building, while cellar no. 7 and the access way were added later and have suffered modifications during the final phase of the edifice (19th century). Those first six cellars, very well preserved, still maintain areas showing painted wall decorations. Dating to the 17th century, and made in the a fresco technique, the decorations have a religious theme. It was a unique discovery in the Historic Centre of Bucharest and probably belonged to a church. Because of their sizes (4.10 x 4.10 m floor square and 5.50 m height), the good state of conservation and the presence of fragments of painted decorations, this particular cellar area was proposed for conservation, restoration and valorization. Archaeological excavation in the area of Sf. Dumitru and N. Tonitza streets, uncovered an important mediaeval cemetery, developed around the old parish church of Sf Dumitru. 217 graves were investigated. The dead were found in a supine position, heads to the east, legs to the west, with one exception, an individual lying on the left side, with legs and arms fixed. Personal items occurred in 34 graves: belt buckles, hair pins, cuffs, earrings, seal rings, hair combs, bone buttons, colored glass beads. 46 graves yielded coins, mast of them found in one of the hands of the skeletons, in the chest area, around the head or more rarely, the lower leg area. Based on the coins from the graves, the cemetery was dated to the 16th – 18th centuries, with a starting date earlier than what the historical documents might suggest as a foundation time for the St. Dumitru church (1593).
Along all the southern part of Gabroveni Street remains of the first wooden fortification of the Princely Court were found. Mentioned in their works by the foreign travelers of the 16th century, the wooden fortification was probably a structure made of big logs fixed in a trench. Later on, a brick wall was added to project the Princely Court, following, in general lines, the alignment of the wooden fortification, and in some areas even covering it. The wall suffered a major restoration during the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu. After the Princely Court was abandoned, new buildings appeared in the area, making use of the wall of the former Princely Court.
ln almost all of the trenches that were excavated, remains of a wooden structure probably the street pavement during 18th and 19th century - were observed. An extraordinarily well preserved area of this "wooden street" and of the enclosure wall of the Princely Court were both proposed for conservation. First measures for a protected area in Gabroveni street have already been taken: the restoration and conservation of the wooden pavement segment described above.
All the above mentioned discoveries represent important cultural landmarks both for the locals and the foreign tourists, often amazed and impressed by the things hidden (until recently) under the modern pavement of the Historic Centre of Bucharest.
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|Editura||Publicat de: Muzeul Municipiului Bucureşti|