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Photographer's Note

The Maldaresti village in Romania, located in Valcea county, Oltenia region, is home to some of the most charming fortified mansions in the country, known as the fortified mansions of Maldaresti. These are fortified houses generically called ‘cule oltenesti‘.

Local nobles built the fortified houses, as both residences and to defend themselves against Ottoman and outlaws’ invasions.

They are all highly valuable monuments in Romania’s architectural patrimony, combining folk elements from the area with elements characteristic to fortifications.

They’ve been well preserved and now form the Maldaresti Museum Complex, an important touristic location in the area. The complex brings together three unique buildings: the Greceanu and Maldarescu Mansions (Cula in Romanian), and I.G. Duca Memorial House. Many other cule however are still derelict and in need of renovation all through the Oltenia region.

The name cula derives from the Turkish Kule, which means tower. This type of building is widespread in the Balkan peninsula, mainly in SErbia, Albania and Bulgaria. In Romania, it can only be found in Oltenia and Western Muntenia regions.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5665 W: 83 N: 11187] (75424)
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