World War I. At The Museum - From The Railway To The Battlefield
At the beginning of the month I had the pleasure to visit a museum that got printed in my memory forever I think. It is the Folk and Folk Art Museum from Targu Mures. The way the museum is organized is absolutely impressive.
The first part is about Romanian folk costumes and lifestyle I've written about it in this post. Then there's a transitioning area, a very interesting one I may add, to the next section, which is World War I.
This is a reproduction of a coffee house from 1914. Back in those days coffee houses were a place to meet for intellectuals, nobles. They were reading the newspaper while having a coffee, a cigarette or smoking a pipe or enjoying a drink and discussing important matters of those times. It was an important place to meet and socialize.
Two newspapers, one in Hungarian, the other in Romanian, from the day Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, on 28 June 1914, which led to the start of the First World War.
Please note, these newspapers are the size of the table, so keeping one in your hand while reading was a very trying task, so there were these newspaper holders, made of wood and covered by straw. I've seen these in the movies and on old postcards but have never seen any in real life. Obviously this is new and has been made for the museum, but still, it's very interesting. Imagine yourself holding one, instead of a tablet or phone.
Another necessary item those days, the wooden hanger for coats and silk hats, or cylinders. Gentlemen would not leave their home without those items, plus the umbrella and/or the walking stick.
Stepping Into The War Zone
Modern technology makes it possible to experience things in a different way. In this room there were maps, photos and descriptions about how the war zone evolved in Mures county, along with video footage about the actual territories.
I suppose school kids are brought here, when they are learning about those times.
There's no better way to learn, then to witness everything with your own eyes.
These images can stay printed in your memory for a long time ago. It's the best way to teach history.
Bullets, missiles, whatever are called, from the war.
The bullets have been collected from Ibanest, a village in Mures county. The ones on the right side are parts of a hand grenade.
Barded-wire, flasks, grubber, knife and spoon, these were all a must for soldiers fighting in the war.
A map of Hungary, containing Transylvania as well, which was later given to Romania.
This is one side of a railway carriage. Back then the railway was new and not only highly appreciated, but also pretty much the fastest means of transport. That's the reason why the enemy was always targeting railway stations, railroads crossing bridges and any key transportation points. Unfortunately there was not much space there, so I had to take several photos to capture it.
Back in those days carriages were not as developed, as you can see there were wooden stairs to the door and comfort was definitely lacking. Later obviously there were so called luxury carriages, especially for nobles, but during the war, luxury was definitely not a priority. Also it is interesting to note that every compartment had an outside door.
And now comes the coolest part. As I was going up on the stairs and approaching the carriage, I could hear the noise of a train station. I could hear the steam locomotive speeding up to leave the station, the station manager whistling, passengers talking etc. I absolutely loved it. Most likely it is sensor-activated.
M.Á.V. means Magyar Állami Vasút, Hungarian State Railway. Back in those days Transylvania was part of Hungary, that's the reason why.
Two wooden suitcases, very common in those days, especially for the poor and in the army.
A trunk that was also widely used to carry things. There were locks on it to keep things safe.
This is a scale that was used in those days but I'm not sure if it was for luggage or something else.
Joining the army was mandatory and those eligible had to go through a process of which taking the measurements was part of.
Clothes, uniforms and boots that soldiers were wearing in the army.
In the way up to the next level, the walls were full of drawings representing soldiers.
On the floor and on every step there was a sticker with important dates of the war. Each of these represents a battle, a combat, an event, that happened in that region. Reading all these dates is basically a trip back in time.
Once you step in this room, the war starts. Bullets are flying around your head, you hear bombs blowing up next to you, soldiers shouting. Exactly like in movies. It's terrifying honestly, but still very cool.
In my next post I'm going to show you what life was in the war zone. Stay tuned as it's going to be an interesting journey.