The Octavian Goga Memorial Museum is situated in Ciucea, a village in Cluj County. On the road from Oradea to Cluj-Napoca, the Goga Memorial pops-up on the side of the highway and it absolutely cannot be missed.
The extremely large domain, measuring 28000 square meters, was Octavian Goga’s residence. He bought it in 1920 from the widow of another important figure, Ady Endre.
Octavian Goga, as a famous poet and also a former prime minister of Romania, lived here until his death, in 1938. His wife, Veturia, donated the domain to Cluj County under the desire to make it into a memorial museum. The domain was recently given back to Goga’s inhabitants.
After a 5 year restoration process, the domain encloses five main pieces of patrimonial constructions, and four secondary buildings: two annexes, the “Summer Theater” building and the “Cliff House” which is centimeters away from the highway.
The manor house, also called the Castle building, the actual home of the Goga family, used to be a considerably more modest building. Only the foundation was kept from the old construction, the restoration extending its surface, adding a second level, large windows, arcades at the ground floor and a tower-like structure to its right. The manor house has a reception hall which discloses 5 other areas, like the living room or the Yellow Salon. The upper level nests a music hall, a library, the poet’s working office, a bathroom and several bedrooms.
The second main building is the Ady Endre House, sheltering the personnel, a storehouse and a kitchen. Today it was turned into a memorial exhibit dedicated to the Hungarian poet Ady Endre.
Another important construction is the “White House”, which used to be guest house. Now, it is an ethnographic museum, displaying numerous folkloric costumes from different regions of Romania, traditional carpets, ceramics and religious glass paintings.
A very novelty edifice is the Mausoleum of Love, built after the spouses decided they wanted to be buried here, in Ciucea. It was supposed to be built by the famous Brancusi, but Veturia couldn’t wait, therefore Cantacuzino took the job. The mausoleum is made out of marble and Murano Mosaic, which is said to have been assembled by Veturia herself, in a twenty years’ time.
Amazingly, the domain also has a monastery and a church. The little church, a 16th century wooden monument, was brought in its entirety from another village, into the domain after the poet’s death. The monastery was intended to be a monk one, but was in fact ran by nuns, who manufactured traditional costumes and rugs. The monastery was closed under the communist regime, only to be thereafter reopened. These two religious edifices, along with the Cliff House, are currently brought into Cluj’s archiepiscopal use.
The current Octavian Goga Memorial Museum displays original Bidermayer furniture, an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, decorative objects, jewelry, German, British and Asian chinaware, a piano on which George Enescu played, tapestry, a collection of over 6000 books.
Tourists can see Goga’s office in pristine state, the music salon, an enormous library, the spouses’ bedroom. These rooms revive the life of the poet, as well as the typical lifestyle and architecture of the early 20th century in northern Romania.
The Memorial Museum also hosts yearly art and photography exhibitions, poetry festivals and contests and other events that all commemorate the poet.