e-mail: nicolaetitulescu2005@yahoo.com
PUCIOASA- PLACES AND PEOPLE 1538-2008
The Ialomita Valley, on which Pucioasa is situated, constituted an axle of great importance within  the context of the historical development of the Romanian Country which had established its capital in  Targoviste for a long time, only 20 km away from out settlement.  The old documents show us who we are and how far we come from…Let’s allow them to confess  themselves…  The royal document, issued by Radu Paesie- voivode, on 16th July 1538, entitled the Bucegi  mountains to Mircea from Serbanesti-Pucioasa. From this date up to the year 2038, when our settlement is  500 years old, the people of these places will have lived events worthy to be remembered.  A settlement whose development has been influenced by its location on the Ialomita valley, in a  region of the Subcarpathians, full of beauties which delight people’s eyes and by the mineral waters of  sulphur and iodine springing under the Mitropolia hill gave it the status of balneoclimateric spa. A young  town, which is only 76 years old (1929-2005), became attractive due to its location, liked, due to its mild  climate in winter and fine weather in summer, always nice and hospitable, urging you to meditation and  relaxation.  The Royal Residence of the Romanian Country was a shield, urge and example in its secular  development and progress.  In these places blessed by God lived hard-working and skilful people, the workers of these lands,  grouped in the villages which have become today neighbourhoods of Pucioasa: Serbanesti (1538), Glodeni  (1595), Podurile de Sus and Podurile de Jos (1641), Pucioasa (1759), Maluri (1830) and Bela , Diaconesti,  Miculesti (certified at the beginning of the 19th century). These settlements, during the whole Romanian Middle Ages, had an existence of successive  changes from freeholder villages to mixed villages dependent on monasteries, landlords or the Royal Court-  with special tasks for it. The existence of these forms lasted until the disappearance of the feudal relationships, when the  socmen villages, after the Land Reform of 1864, changed and followed another way imposed by the  development of capitalism.  The historical documents make us notice a social differentiation which led to the destruction of the  free peasant groups, the freeholders losing their hereditary rights for their lands, which being gradually  disputed by landlords and merchants, led to their change into socmen. The freeholders trials presented even  to the Royal Court prove their stubbornness when it comes to keeping their lands and freedom. They are  “messages” sent along centuries which are a proof of our peasants’ tears with which they tried to put out the  fire of the injustice done to them.  The hundreds of documents which can be found in the National Archives and which mention the  old villages, now part of Pucioasa town, certify the economic, social, political, cultural, religious,  administrative position and the land property along the Romanian Middle Ages, giving Serbanesti the status  of “Plaiul Ialomitei” Centre, the place where I.H. Radulescu, one of the leaders of 1848 Revolution, was  arrested. Here was also the residence of the managers of this Centre and also defenders of the borders, our  inhabitants being also border guards. One of them, Scarlat, built the church in Serbanesti (1806).     The long and continuous fight for keeping their lands or for taking them back after long trials ,  represents a sad but dignified moment in the life of the peasants in the region.  During the Land Reform of 1864 we can find here several families of freeholders who had an  important role in the villages’ development: Pietroseanu, Maltezeanu, Diaconescu, Serbanescu, Costescu,  Serbanoiu, Constantinescu, Mircescu, Popescu.  The names of the former inhabitants of our villages are proudly kept by the present inhabitants. We all acknowledge now the permanent and courageous fight of our forerunners , their dignity, bravery and faith  when facing their lords or even rulers.  The main element which determined the evolution of the old village  and its change into a town  was the existence of the sulphurous mineral waters which gave even the name of the place:  “sulphur”=pucioasa=Pucioasa. The positive results of this were: - the development of the town having the status of a Touristic Spa of National Interest (  G.D. 510/24.06.1999);  - the rapid development of trade and industry; - the official recognition as a town ( Royal Decree, 4036/ 7.12.1929).  Known as Pucioasa Spa since 1928, the town has continuously developed,   especially between the two World Wars , its mineral waters being on a first place among others in Europe,  thanks to Dr. Bernath Leudvay Alfred , who had  talked about them during the 1873  Exhibition of Vienna  and made them famous all over the continent.            The presence of the mineral waters gave the town a new aspect, with an adequate architecture, created  a specialized medical system, attracted a great number of shopkeepers able to offer all the necessary things  to the 12,000 annual patients and visitors of the town , offering to these people the Pavillion (The Casino,  1888 ), located in the Independence Park ( 1888 ), the entertainment provided by a fanfare, a cinema (1919),  a public library ( 1924), a burlesque theatre, balls and carriage rides to Vulcana Spa and even to Sinaia.             “The source” (1922) was the special place , next to the springs of the mineral waters , equipped for  medical treatment and relaxation.                 The Spa created even a special job , that of the people who used to offer special treatment with  mineral waters in their own houses.                  The fact that the town is very close to the Bucegi Mountains offered several possibilities for  tourism and sports which were continuously developed later.                During the communist period , Pucioasa knew several discontinuities in its development , but now  it has found a new rhythm meant to facilitate an international acknowledgement.                 At present the specialized treatment is offered in two hotels , “Ceres”, a public property and  “Turist”, a private property,  both being appreciated for the high standards of their medical services and their  therapeutical results . The treatment is provided by a specialized medical staff, using different procedures  and medical devices . The accommodation is excellent , too.                 To provide the social needs of a permanent growing number of inhabitants , new industries were   created : several  mills: “Stan Rizescu” (1885), for cotton, “Trainica” for linen, and another one ,  “Casassovici”(1937), for cotton and also a tin food factory, craft workshops, etc.                We can talk about four clear periods in the development of the town , all of them having negative  and positive influences in its evolution:        -    the Middle Ages ( 1538- 1821), the period of the mixed village structures;        -    the capitalist period ( 1821- 1947);       -    the communist dictatorship period ( 1947- 1989);       -    the period of transition from communism to the market economy (1989 up to present).       Having different aims , knowing an alternation of progress and regress these periods were influenced by numerous , objective and subjective factors , not always predictable.                  From all these four periods the one with the most visible tracks , some of them with important  effects during the period of transition , was the communist period. The radical change of the economic ,  political, social, cultural and ideological structures , meant a very difficult background for that period.  Through well planned actions on long or short terms, through brave and responsible actions, the local  administration , represented by Mr. Mircea Simion, the Mayor of the town ( 1989 up to present) and the  Local Council managed to solve all the difficulties appeared in the permanent evolution of the town.                  The Mayor Mircea Simion , a good organizer , with a deep vision upon people and facts, a fighter  and also a dreamer, beneficiary of a decisional role for more than 16 years, supported by the local counselors  and the inhabitants of the town, managed to give to Pucioasa the status of a town in a permanent evolution  and signed valuable and lasting achievements.                  Some of the old factories , built before 1989, disappeared , some others were bought by private  investors , thus becoming a part of a new economy. Some other new small factories appeared , the trade and  services experienced a new progress, using a great number of the workers affected by the disappearance of  the old factories.                  Thus , the Revolution of  1989 created a  new social category , that of the businessmen who gave a  new and high standard to the town.                 Efforts are also made , and some of them even successful , to attract foreign investors.                  There is a permanent preoccupation for giving Pucioasa Spa and its tourism solutions for a future  development.                 The spa has suffered visible changes from an architectural , town-planning and cultural point of  view , due to the private constructions of the new managers, to the new houses for the inhabitants or to the  new official buildings, for education and culture . New miniparks , monuments , gyms, schools, hospitals,  churches, restaurants, markets, bazaars, modern shops, sanatoriums (like that of the pensioners and “ The  Old People House”) have been arranged or properly equipped.                  The care of the local administration to present to the visitors a nice town , can be noticed in the  modernization of the streets and their floral decoration, in the public lighting, in the improvement of  facilities like: non-stop running water, sewerage, gas, modern urban transport, etc.                  All these have created a material basis for expressing the cultural values in order to satisfy the  citizens’ needs.                 Despite all the hardships and troubles they had to face , the inhabitants of this to town have kept their Christian faith , building here several churches ( 7 churches being in use  today ) . They also fought for guarding our borders, territorial integrity and independence , scarifying their  lives: 2 during the Independence War , 134 during The First World War and the same number during The  Second World War.                The citizens’ patriotic feelings urged them to build two monuments , two triptychs , two  mausoleums , a memorial stone and a cemetery , as a symbol for the people who died during the war against  Bolshevism.                  These wonderful citizens sent their sons to study during the short period of peace between wars  and misfortunes.                Education ,started in a public school in 1838, has reached now a very high standard.                  Starting with a few primary schools , a secondary school ( 1925-1938) and a highschool (1945) ,  “Nicolae Titulescu Highschool”, for a permanent increasing population ( 1595 inhabitants in 1928 to 15,225  inhabitants in 2002) , the nowadays education system of the town comprises 7 kindergartens , a primary  school, 5 secondary schools , 2 highschools and a Children’s Club , attended by 3832 pupils and students  taught by 267 teachers in 2002-2003 school year.                It is worth mentioning the fact that 2005 is the year when “ Nicolae Titulescu Highschool “  celebrates its 60th anniversary.                The schools in our town take pride in having prepared a great number of famous professors, artists,  sportsmen, doctors, teachers, engineers and other specialists.                  The cultural life offered and it  is still offering a lot of special and valuable events, organized at  first by the House of Culture created in 1925 and later by “Ioan Alexandru Bratescu-Voinesti” Cultural  Centre.                A pleiad of local writers enriched the cultural life of the town due to their literary and especially  historical works which introduced the history of this town , signed by Dumitru Stancu, in the national  history.                The proof of a rich cultural life is represented by: a public library, bearing the name of a famous  teacher, Gh. N. Costescu, four museums ( “The Ethnography and Folk Art Museum”, “ Romanian Wings-  Dumitru Prunariu Museum”, “ The Cultural Museum of New Jerusalem Church”, and “The Open-Air  Museum “ of the same church in Glodeni), painting and graphics exhibitions, local writers books releasing,  theatrical performances offered by famous theatre companies, a folk dance group, “ Junii Valahi”,  “Armonia’ choral group , conducted by Gabriel Teodoroiu, with shows even abroad, national song contests –  “Stelutele Pucioasei”, etc.                  Pucioasa Spa , situated only 100 km away from Bucharest, Ploiesti, Brasov and Pitesti has been  the beneficiary of the presence of a great number of visitors but, at the same time, has become the place  where a lot of cultural personalities meet and create.                  We have been honored by: the Academician Matei Draghicescu, Ion Heliade Radulescu,  Alexandru Vlahuta, Nicolae Grigorescu, who painted the 9 muses on the ceiling of the Pavillion from the  Independence Park, I.Al. Bratescu Voinesti, Nicolae Iorga, Elena Vacarescu, Mihail Sadoveanu, Liviu  Rebreanu, Vladimir Streinu, Serban Cioculescu, George Enescu, , N.Cartojan, I.Petrovici, Dr. C.I.Parhon,  Radulescu Motru, Dr. C.Angelescu, Alexandru Rosetti, Tudor Arghezi and Radu Cosmin, the composer Dan  Constantinescu, Constantin Tanase, Elena Burmaz, Costache Antoniu .                The inhabitants of Pucioasa enjoyed twice the presence of King Carol I on these lands.                 Six Presidents of the Romanian Academy have honored us with their presence , the latest being  Eugen Simion.                 The economic and cultural relationships have made Pucioasa known all over Europe , enjoying the  presence of several ambassadors ( from USA, Portugal and Morocco), of Johannes Linn , Vice-President of  the World Bank, of Marcel Corneloup, French conductor and composer , of Doris Iacobi and Christiane  Dretis from Luxemburg, who supported the construction of “Anatolie Erhan” Gym , of Giron, from the  University of Paris ,of a group of intellectuals from the Republic of Moldavia, etc.                 Pucioasa and Cartaxo from Portugal have become twin-towns , this event facilitating mutual visits  in order to get to better know each other. We also mention other connections with the Italian towns :Vinci,  Montevago, San Margherita, Menfi and Sanbuca di Sicilia.                  Pucioasa celebrates the 6th edition of “Pucioasa Spa Festivities”, an event which is expected and  tasted by the audience, with a lot of cultural and sport competitions, in which during the previous editions  took part and maybe will take part again , this year , the representatives of Cartaxo as well as a group of  Italians. This event also symbolizes a linking bridge between past and present, following traditions worthy  to be kept.                The releasing of this Album in its second edition , revised and improved , is part of the programme  of this great and expected feast.                 The photos in this Album are documents meant to strengthen the history of Pucioasa Spa.                                                                         Dumitru Stancu                                                                         History Teacher        English version : Daniela Mircea and Veronica Vlasceanu