Târgu Jiu became a cultural landmark owing to the masterpieces exhibited here of the pioneer of modern abstract sculpture Constantin Brâncuşi (1876-1957).
A unique tourist destination on the Romanian map, it has four famous works of the master displayed in open-air: Table of Silence, Alley of Chairs, Gate of the Kiss and the Endless Column. They will enchant you with their simplicity and symbolic depths. A walk down the street connecting Coloanei Park with Central Park, and down the side streets will present you not only with numerous monuments and architectural ensembles typical of the 18th and 19th centuries, but also special religious edifices.
The city at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains is perfect for a cultural escapade in the heart of Oltenia.
Found at the foot of the Carpathians, on the river Jiu - from where it also takes its name- Târgu Jiu is the seat of the Gorj county, and is one of the most important urban centres of the historical region of Oltenia. Even though it was first mentioned in documents from the Middle Ages, the settlement has been known since Antiquity and was the battleground for many wars. Two prominent historical figures are tied to this place: Tudor Vladimirescu (1780-1821) a symbol of the fight against the Ottomans, and Ecaterina Teodoroiu (1894-1917) a national hero of the World War I. Today, the city with a population of over 80,000, is a cultural must for anybody visiting Oltenia.
The tourism of Târgu Jiu gravitates around the works of Brâncuşi, treasures left as a legacy for the city where he started his career. The monument ensemble found here was inaugurated in 1938 as homage to the fallen heroes of the Wold War I. The monuments are placed on an imaginary axis that starts in Central Park with Table of Silence, Alley of Chairs, Gate of the Kiss and continues with the most important piece of the ensemble: the Endless column considered the „spiritual testament” of Brâncuşi. The meaning of his works are tied to war preparations, recollection, farewells and ultimate sacrifice. You need only walk down the Heroes Way to charge yourself with the energy of the impressive masterworks of Brâncuşi.
While you are in Central Park, you can also visit the Museum of Art that houses many artworks, both old and new. You can also admire sculptures and old religious icons.
Another special museum is the Gorjului Museum, where you will find historical vestiges from the Paleolithic, Roman-Dacian and medieval eras.
At every step you will discover many historical monuments, such as the statue of Tudor Vladimirescu and the Mausoleum of Ecaterina Teodoroiu or other interesting buildings from the citiy’s patrimony like City Hall, the Administrative Palace, the House of Dumitru Măldărescu or the Elvira Godeanu Theatre.
One of the most beautiful buildings in the city is the St Peter and Paul Church on the Heroes Way, symbolically integrated into the works of Brâncuşi. The Princely Cathedral (1748–1764) with its exterior paintings and the St Nicholas Church- built in a Neo-Byzantine style- are also worth visiting.
From Târgu Jiu you can easily get to the Jiu Gorge National Park where you can continue your adventure on one of the many mountain trails, explore caves and wild gorges or visit famous monasteries like Tismana, Polovragi or Lainici.
- Travel along one of the many cultural trails, guided or alone. You can find more information at the Tourist Information Centre.