Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
|Peasants  961|Roumanians      1,394|Above twenty years of age    1,303|
|Artisans  186|All other nations  99|Above sixteen and under twenty 153|
|Traders    54|                     |Under sixteen                   11|
|Officials  60|                     |Age unknown                     26|
|Sundries  232|                     |                                  |
|             |                     |                                  |
|        _____|                _____|                             _____|
|        1,493|                1,493|                             1,493|

In looking over the statistics given to us (by authorities) we found several small errors.  In the main, however, they appear to be correct.]


One of the most remarkable phenomena in the eyes of a stranger visiting Roumania is the application of monastic edifices to lay uses.  The monastery of Sinaia is, for the present at least, a royal palace; the Coltza Hospital at Bucarest is an old convent.  At Brebu (or Bredu), near Campina, is a monastery apportioned to the Asyle Helene as a holiday residence for the girls; the State archives are deposited in the monastery of Prince Michael in Bucarest, which has been set aside as the residence of the learned philologist Professor Hasdeu, in whose charge they are placed; and so, too, the ‘intermediate’ prison of Vakareschti is a large monastery close to Bucarest, of which the towers are conspicuously visible as one enters the city by rail from Giurgevo.  On approaching this building, which stands upon a considerable eminence, by road from the capital, the only feature which attracts attention, and shows that it is not an ordinary monastery, is the sentinel pacing to and fro outside, but the moment you enter through the portal its real character becomes apparent.  You find yourself in a large square curtilage, or, more correctly speaking, an extensive quadrilateral, in the centre of which stands a church of the usual Byzantine order, the four sides of the quadrilateral being the old monastery buildings, two stories high, converted into prisoners’ cells and dormitories, kitchen, a workshop for making paper-backed books (cartons), and the quarters of the prison officials.  The scene as one enters the place is a strange one indeed, and resembles what the Fleet Prison must have been in its palmy days, with certain very significant modifications.  It is the receptacle of various kinds of prisoners, men and women awaiting trial and others undergoing short sentences.  All those were, on the occasion of our visit, at large in the court, and some of the first-named who were accused of homicide were chained at the ankles by order of the ‘Juge d’Instruction.’  There were about a dozen of them so manacled, and before we left (the Chief Inspector of Prisons being our guide) these men complained bitterly of the hardship of being chained when, as they asserted, they were innocent.  All

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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