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Constantza


Cultural clubs’ history    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

After the Romanian occupation of Dobrudja, several societies were established at Constanţa with the aim of strengthening and spreading cultural values. Already in 1881, at the initiative of prefect C. Ciocîrlan, a club, active at the “Panaiote” hotel, was equally involved in culture (lecture and music) and trade[1].

One of the most important cultural institutions was the “Ovidiu” (Ovid) Literary Circle, established in 1897 from the initiative of a group led by Petru Vulcan. They edited a literary journal, “Ovidiu”, published bi–monthly and then monthly between September 1898 and July 1910. It featured articles on the history and archaeology of Dobrudja, local geography, original literature and translations, folklore, reviews etc. “Ovidiu” Literary Circle supported the cultural development of Dobrudja, also by the establishment of cultural clubs, libraries and museums. It attracted cultural personalities from Romania, and appointed as honorary members scholars and statesmen such as I. L. Caragiale, Spiru Haret, Nicolae Iorga, Ioan Kalinderu. The Circle organised a local library, opened in September 1898 [2].

Similar initiatives were advanced by others cultural pioneers. 101 persons supported in 1899 the foundation of an Athenaeum [3]. The
“Cultura” (Culture) Lecture Circle was inaugurated in 1904 and proved extremely active in the following years equally in terms of culture and philanthropy [4]. The Society of Arts, Letters and Sport was as important for its cultural and sporting activities after 1905 [5].

“The Society of the Didactic Staff” from Constanţa County, founded in 1912, gathered the local cultural elite and aimed to cultivate solidarity sentiment, and to raise the intellectual, moral, social and cultural situation of its members and of their families [6].

There also existed private clubs for the local elite, such as “Yacht Club”, established in 1911, whose purposes were both social and cultural [7].

The Romanian national cause was defended at Constanţa especially through “The Cultural League for the Unity of All Romanians”. Founded in the 1890s, it was very active after 1910 under the leadership of its secretary, N. Orghidan. In 1912 the national congress of the League was organised at Constanţa [8].

The Macedonian and Albanian Romanians also had a cultural society established in 1897 [9], whereas most foreign communities organised their own cultural, national, social and philanthropic societies.

 


[1] Stoica Lascu, Mărturii de epocă privind istoria Dobrogei (1878–1947), vol. I (1878–1916) (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1999), 137; Aurelia Lăpuşan, “Forme ale culturii de masă şi educaţie populară în Dobrogea”, in vol. Dobrogea 1878–2008. Orizonturi deschise de mandatul european, edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2008), 264.

[2] Lascu, Mărturii, 244, 371–373; Dumitru Constantin Zamfir, “Un templu al cărţii la Pontul Euxin”, Analele Dobrogei, new series, 1:1 (1995), 135–136; Lăpuşan, “Forme ale culturii de masă”, 264–265.

[3] Lascu, Mărturii, 267.

[4]Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988), 309–310, 314–315; Lascu, Mărturii, 339–341.

[5]Din tezaurul, 301.

[6] Lascu, Mărturii, 553.

[7] Doina Păuleanu, Constanţa. Spectacolul modernităţii târziu. 1878–1928 (Constanţa: Muzeului de Artă Constanţa, 2005), vol. I, 176.

[8]Din tezaurul, 366, 379–380; Lascu, Mărturii, 173, 613–614; Angela Pop, “Contribuția cadrelor didactice la viața culturală a Dobrogei între anii 1878–1916”, Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei [Papers on the History of Dobrudja] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1980), 146; Lăpuşan, “Forme ale culturii de masă”, 268.

[9] Lascu, Mărturii, 224–226.


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.

Bibliography:

Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu [Treasure of Documents from Dobrudja] (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988).

Lascu, Stoica, Mărturii de epocă privind istoria Dobrogei (1878–1947) [Contemporary Evidence on the History of Dobrudja], vol. I (1878–1916) (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1999).

Lăpuşan, Aurelia, “Forme ale culturii de masă şi educaţie populară în Dobrogea” [Forms of Mass Culture and Popular Education in Dobrudja], in vol. Dobrogea 1878–2008. Orizonturi deschise de mandatul european [Dobrudja 1878–2008. Open Horizons by the European Mandate], edited by Valentin Ciorbea (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2008), 260–278.

Pop, Angela, “Contribuția cadrelor didactice la viața culturală a Dobrogei între anii 1878–1916” [The Contribution of the Teaching Stuff to the Cultural Life of Dobrudja between 1878 and 1916], in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei [Papers on the History of Dobrudja] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1980), vol. I, 125–147.

Zamfir, Dumitru Constantin, “Un templu al cărţii la Pontul Euxin” [A Temple of the Book at Pontos Euxeinos], Analele Dobrogei, new series, 1:1 (1995), 135–143.


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