Ghergani - Ion Ghica Contribute to this monument

HML CODE
DB-II-a-A-17516
COUNTY
DAMBOVITA
ADDRESS
localitate componentă GHERGANI; oraş RĂCARI, DN 71
SETTLEMENT
Ghergani

FAMILIES
ARCHITECT
CRAFTSMEN
CURRENT USE
no current use, the chapel is under restoration works
ACCESSIBLE
CONTACT
TEAM
2012-2013 : Corina Stoianovici, 2014: Anca-Raluca Majaru
OWNER TYPE
Privat
STATE OF CONSERVATION
Ongoing restoration
The story of the Ghica domain of Ghergani began in the 18th century, when Maria Văcărescu, the daughter of the great ban Barbu Văcărescu and relative with Ienăchiță Văcărescu, married Dumitrache Ghica (1718-1807). With this alliance the domains of Ghergani and nearby Gămănești, partially became the possession of the Ghica family. Later during the century plots of land were bought to complete the whole local domain.
 
The domain was inherited in turn by the descendants of the Ghica family: Scarlat Ghica (1750-1802), Dimitrie (Tache) Ghica, founder of the church of Gămănești and Ion Ghica (1816-1897) 
 
The latter, writer, engineer, politician, prime minister before the First World War and member of the Romanian Academy, started frequently using the family’s country residence when he came back to the country after the Union of the Romanian Principalities. There are written accounts from this period of the building intentions on the Ghergani domain. In 1869, Ion Ghica already had a sketch of a plan for a residence and a chapel which he forwarded to architect Dimitrie Berindei. There is no clear evidence of the architect being involved in the design of the residence, however there is proof of him having designed the chapel.
 
From Ion Ghica’s correspondence with Vasile Alecsandri we learn that the palace of Ghergani was almost finished in 1886. Furthermore from the INP’s Photographic Archive we find out that the castle’s neoclassical architectural style was the work of architect Gh. Mandrea. The photo in question is a copy from a family album original taken by Ion Ghica himself in 1896.
 
During the interwar period, news of the palace are scarce. The chapel is mentioned quite frequently, though. There is no data referencing the evolution of the domain during this time period.
 
As a result of the 1940 earthquake the mansion sustained substantial damage of the roof and first floor. Consequently the first floor was demolished and never rebuilt again. During the period shortly before nationalisation, the Ghica heirs began the process of listing the domain as a historical monument. Their request was dismissed by the National Comission of Historical Monuments.
 
After nationalisation the mansion was used as GAC Ghergani (local communal agricultural complex). The utility was changed shortly after to local hospital in 1950. Ten years later the hospital will have become exclusively a children’s hospital. This improper use of the building generated major changes of the plans’ layout.
 
After 1990 the Ion Ghica Foundation was created, which in turn wanted to restore the domain by leasing it from the state. Unfortunately their actions didn’t yield any results. In 2004 the legal heirs having sued the state received the domain back.
 
The chapel of the domain is designed by arh. Dimitrie Berindei and is the resting place of Ion Ghica and his wife Alexandrina. Built in a typical but early form national style, it differs greatly from the architectural style of the mansion. The chapel, as well as the mansion, survived the 1940 and 1977 earthquakes with serious damages having been inflicted upon them. These in turn required consolidation. Outside the chapel there are the burial grounds of other members of the Ghica family.