We can find the only place where the sky has been eternally stitched to the earth in the “City of Brâncuși’, a small Romanian town that has become a unique cultural destination. Considered the “father of modern sculpture”, Constantin Brâncuși left the world a priceless artistic heritage, but nothing compares to the treasures he created for its birthplace, where we have a unique chance to see his greatest masterpieces!
The monumental complex known as the Heroes Path is located in the town of Târgu Jiu, in the southwest of Romania, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Carpathians and touched by the Jiu River. The roots of modern art can be found in this small provincial town, where world renowned sculptor Constantin Brâncuși has created its greatest masterpiece, carving his unique artistic vision in stone. Created in the years between the two wars as a homage to the heroes of the First World War, the Heroes Path complex includes several exceptional monuments, the Table of Silence, the Chairs Alley, the Gate of the Kiss and the Endless Column.
The best place to start our visit is from the city park of Târgu Jiu, a small green oasis with secular trees and shaded alleys that also features the first part of the Heroes Path complex. Right on the bank of Jiu River, the Table of Silence marks the beginning of a symbolic journey imagined by the genius of Brâncuși. Going east towards the park’s entry, we walk along the Chairs’ Alley that connects the Table to the second grand monument, the Gate of the Kiss. Crossing the city center along the Heroes Path Street, we can easily reach the final monument, visible from afar. The impressive Endless Column is among the most famous works of art in the world. These fascinating landmarks, although easily exceptional on their own, have to be considered and admired as a whole, a homogenous artistic complex filled with deep meanings and symbols.
The minimalist style of the Table of Silence has been praised for decades. The perfect symmetry and circularity of the table and the twelve surrounding chairs creates a space of deep contemplation. Symbolizing the silence of deep thought and meditation, the table is created from two perfect stone cylinders. Around the table, at equal distance from it and from one another, there are twelve clepsydra chairs. For some, the monument also symbolizes the Last Supper with Jesus at the center surrounded by the twelve apostles. Between the Table of Silence and the next monument of the axis, there is an alley flanked by a series of stone chairs, five groups of three chairs on each side.
Following a charming alley through the park, flanked by two rows of square clepsydra chairs, the second monument is visible a short distance away. The monumental Gate of the Kiss guards the entrance of the park from the city and is considered a symbol of love. The stylization of the kiss symbol has been a lifelong purpose for Brâncuși. The stone Gate of the Kiss is a sort of triumphal arch like many others around the world, but unlike any, it takes a humane scale. Brâncuși managed to create an everlasting testament of love in stone. Some critics have declared that the main element of the gate is the empty space within, the stone embracing the air. Couples that pass through the gate have the custom of kissing under the arch. Leaving the park, we have to cross the city center towards the last monument of the Heroes Path.
I wish my works would rise in parks and public gardens, for children to play over them, like they would play over rocks or monuments born from the ground, nobody knowing what they are and who made them, but everyone to feel their necessity and friendship, like something that is part of the soul of Nature! (Constantin Brâncuși)
On the same axis as the first two monuments but about 1 kilometer away on the other side of the city, the Endless Column is among the most famous and important monuments of modern art. The column was the only monument commissioned by the city to honor the heroes of World War I, but Brâncuși created a whole complex that takes universal proportions. The absolute simplicity and perfect proportions of this masterpiece make it continue upwards for infinity, connecting the earth and the sky, the living and the departed. Made of cast iron, the column consists of 15 full square clepsydra elements and two halves at both ends. It rises almost 30 meters high and weighs almost 30 tons. Inspired by traditional motifs sculpted by peasants into their wooden porches, the Endless Column has to be admired from all angles, taking new forms and meanings each time. Having discovered these superb works of art, we can continue exploring the town of Târgu Jiu, which also features several other interesting attractions.
ACCOMMODATION IN TARGU JIU
RAIS HOTEL 3*
Rating 9.0 from 414 Reviews!
Located just 600 meters from the Heroes Path, this splendid boutique hotel features exceptional design with comfortable and fully-equipped rooms, an excellent restaurant, a bar and free parking for its guests!
Casa Vera Guesthouse 3*
Rating 9.5 from 285 Reviews!
One of the best reviewed and most appreciated accommodation in Târgu Jiu, it is located just 5 minutes from the masterpieces of Brâncuși. Apart from the excellent rooms, it also features one of the best restaurants in town!
ANTIQUE GUESTHOUSE 3*
Rating 9.1 from 317 Reviews!
Located right next to the park that features the first two monuments of the Heroes Path, this lovely guesthouse offers nice rooms with private bathrooms, a charming terrace and a delicious traditional restaurant!