September 25, 2017

3155 ROMANIA (Bucharest) - The 5th Meetup of the group Postcrossing & Philately, Bucharest, 16 September 2017

The 5th meeting of this group of collectors passionate by postcrossing and philately alike had in teh program a visit to a less common place: the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest. Officialy named Şerban Vodă cemetery (because it is located on the Şerban Vodă Avenue) is the largest and most famous cemetery in Bucharest, and an authentic cultural attractions, especially because of the many notable Romanian personalities in all fields who have found eternal rest here.

It has been in use since 1858, on a plot of land (back then an orchard of orange trees) donated to the local administration by Baron Barbu Bellu (1825-1900), of Aromanian origin. There are over 300 historical monuments in the Bellu Cemetery and almost all of them hide a story. One of these, in several variants, never confirmed, is related to the funeral monument in the picture (made by Italian artist Raffaello Romanelli), which guards the Poroinianu family's burial vault and represents a kneeled man crying next to a woman's inanimate body.

The story says that at the end of the 19th century, Constantin Poroineanu, son of a great landlord,  went to study in Paris. After an amorous adventure in the French capital, he had a daughter, but he didn't recognize her, because his father threatened to disinherited him. Years passed and Constantin Poroineanu became a very wealthy landlord and an important politician (was elected for ten parliamentary legislatures from Romanati County).

One of his sons went to study, also in Paris, where he fell in love with a girl whom he had secretly married. When he returned to present his wife to his father, the old man remained dumbfounded, for he realized that his son's wife was his daughter, the fruit of his passion from his youth. The two youngsters committed suicide, and shortly afterwards, on 15 September 1908, after he had made the testament and leaved all his wealth to the city of Caracal, Poroineanu committed suicide in turn.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Love Nature! Ceahlău National Park, about which I wrote here.

Bellu Cemetery - Wikipedia
Bellu Cemetery - Things to do in Bucharest
Tragedia moşierului Poroineanu din Caracal: copiii lui s-au căsătorit fără să ştie că sunt fraţi (rom) - Adevărul
Tulburatoarea poveste din Cimitirul Bellu! (rom) - Cancan

Sender: Dragoş Diaconu
Sent from Bucharest (Bucharest / Romania) on 17.09.2017
Photo. Eugen Mihai

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