Echoes of Maoriland
The 'Maori' Huts of Queen Marie of Romania
Nestled beneath tall firs in the Carpathian foothills above the Romanian mountain resort of Sinaia stands a low wooden hut. To the European eye it is a curious structure: it has three windowless walls of horizontal pine trunks, a fourth side open to the elements and, most strikingly, a wealth of carved surfaces. At the apex of the roof a cartouche of three stylised faces— the upper one smiling and the lower, bearded one with its tongue protruding—receives the visitor. This marks the meeting point of two roughly carved bargeboards that sweep downwards to terminate in finger-like fretwork. Their lower ends are supported by panels bearing schematised carved figures; other upright carvings are spaced regularly round the inside walls, while the central post and front balustrade are liberally decorated with deeply chiseled swirls and faces with outstretched tongues. The unusual nature of the building is further highlighted by its juxtaposition with the imposing mass of Castle Pelihor, which it faces across a lawn. This eclectic palace, with half-timbered walls and steeply pitched, brightly tiled roofs, was built by the Czech architect Karel Liman, between 1899-1902, in the park of the much larger Castle Peleh as a summer retreat for Crown Prince Ferdinand and Crown Princess Marie of Romania.
KAREL LIMAN & BERNHARD LUDWIG Crown Princess Marie’s ‘Maori’ hut, Sinaia c. 1909
A similar wooden hut also used to stand in the grounds of Cotroceni Palace, Ferdinand and Marie’s official residence in Bucharest. It is known from a photograph, bearing the caption ‘The Indian house’, which accompanied Marie’s article, ‘My Dream Houses’, in the Romanian magazine Boabe de Grâu in 1930.1 Its plans, together with large pencil drawings for some of the carvings and interior furniture (undated and annotated in Romanian and German by a number of different hands), are now in the Cotroceni Palace archive. Measuring approximately 7.5m x 8.5m, this hut was larger than the one in Sinaia and also contained a second small room at the rear of the main space which was reached by a couple of steps. This may have served as a little kitchen or bedroom, since the purpose of the ‘Indian house’ was that of a tea-hut and artistic retreat to which the Crown Princess could Title involving Whare The Maori Huts of Queen Marie of Romania 83 retire to paint, write or entertain guests.
Another image of the ‘Indian house’, dated 1926, recently emerged from Marie’s diary in the Romanian State Archives. On it she has written ‘the Mauri [sic] hut’. Closer examination of the carvings for both huts reveal that they are loose approximations of the type of carvings made by the Maori, the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, but clearly executed by non-Maori craftsmen with a variable understanding of the formal features and cosmological significance of Maori art. The same can be said of the huts’ structure which follows the basic lines of the Maori meeting house, or wharenui. The question is obvious: how did these fanciful, pseudo-Maori garden follies come to be built in this eastern corner of Europe? The answer, unsurprisingly, is complex and entails not only an understanding of European attitudes to the appropriation of Maori art in general, but also an examination of the particular cultural and political dynamics underlying the newly created Romanian kingdom.
KAREL LIMAN, Castle Pelisor, Sinaia 1899-1902. The ‘Maori’ hut stands just out of sight under the trees to the left of the photograph
When Crown Princess Marie commissioned her ‘Maori’ huts, in the early years of the twentieth century, Romania was still a relatively young country. In 1859, the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia had achieved de facto unification by electing the same prince; full independence from Ottoman suzerainty only followed Romanian intervention in the Russo- Turkish War of 1877-78. In 1866, in a bid to end internal rivalry and to enhance the region’s international standing, Prince Karl of Hohenzollern- Sigmaringen was invited to the Principalities; in 1881, he was crowned King Carol I of Romania. When his only child with Elisabeth of Wied (the writer Carmen Sylva) died in infancy, Carol’s nephew, Ferdinand, became his heir. In 1893 the latter concluded the dynastic match of the decade by marrying Princess Marie of Edinburgh (1875-1938). As the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, and of Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, Marie had spent her childhood in Britain, Malta and Coburg. This alliance with a granddaughter of both Queen Victoria and of the Russian Tsar Alexander II was a shrewd political move, designed to further international recognition of Romania’s young royal house.
‘The Indian House’, Cotroceni Palace, Bucharest. Architect and date uncertain. The elaborate carved cross in the foreground is a traditional Romanian troita
Marie was to become one of the most glamorous, unconventional and charismatic royal consorts of the early twentieth century, playing a much publicised role in the creation of Greater Romania after the First World War and acting as a lively promoter of Romanian art and culture. While Crown Princess, she developed conscious opposition to the artistic tastes of the royal court, to which King Carol and Queen Elisabeth had brought all the trappings of German ‘high’ culture. With the national art scene in its infancy, Carol had invested the hopes of the young dynasty in the building of an elaborate, German neo- Renaissance summer palace called Peleh in the Carpathian foothills, not far from the border with Hungarian-controlled Transylvania (1875-83; 1893- 1914). Paradoxically, the choice of the German style was considered an appropriate expression for the Romanian royal house, since it was seen to represent the arrival of stability and western civilisation after what were perceived as centuries of Ottoman mismanagement. Indeed, the Romanians’ desire to disassociate themselves from their eastern neighbours by claiming cultural fraternity with the West meant that western models were enthusiastically received and imitated. Schools of Fine Arts were set up in Iahi (1860-61) and Bucharest (1864) to prepare students for further study in Munich, Paris or Vienna, while a series of mainly French architects were invited to design the country’s new public buildings in a variety of Beaux-Arts styles that earned the capital its soubriquet ‘the little Paris of the East’. This deliberate cultivation of links with France, in particular, owed much to the Romanians’ perception of themselves as a ‘Latin’ people, descended from Trajan’s invasion of Dacia, with a Latin language and heritage that set them apart from their Slavic, Magyar or Turkish neighbours.
Queen Marie in the Cotrocentu ‘Maori’ hut. Unsigned, undated. Annotated in the Queen’s hand: ‘the Mauri hut’
By the time Peleh was entering its second phase of construction, in the 1890s, a reaction against artistic academicism and elaborate historicism had emerged elsewhere in Europe. This manifested itself in the respect for medieval values, truth to nature and sense of beauty and quality of the Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts Movements, in symbolism, and in the interest in ‘lost’ traditions and cultures that accompanied the growing antipathy towards positivism and western materialist progress. Crown Princess Marie, who disliked what she termed the ‘German mauvais goût’ of King Carol’s palaces, enthusiastically embraced the new artistic directions which she discovered through her subscription to decorative arts journals like The Studio and through the progressive ideas of her sister and brother-in-law in Darmstadt, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse.(2) They introduced her to the British Arts and Crafts designer Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, whom she employed to design a Pre-Raphaelite- 85 inspired tree-house called Le Nid in the forest behind Peleh in 1898.
Preparatory sketch for the front facade of the Cotrocentri ‘Maori’ hut. Unsigned and undated. (Cotrocenti Palace Archive)
With its rustic wooden exterior and delicately decorated interior, painted with flower motifs and lines of poetry by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Samuel Coleridge, ‘The Nest’ was one of the earliest examples of Marie’s life-long fascination with unusual garden follies.3 Its romanticised rendering of Arts and Crafts ideas also marked the beginning of the Princess’ rejection of academic art and exploration of ‘alternative’ sources of inspiration. In particular, she tapped into the Celtic and Scandinavian revivals, designing furniture decorated with Celtic crosses or modelled on medieval Norwegian chairs illustrated in The Studio. In Pelihor she created a small golden boudoir that was sheathed from floor to ceiling in an intertwining mass of gilded thistles with a large wheel-head cross at the centre of the vaulted roof. Another ‘Norwegian’ boudoir in Cotroceni, designed by Liman in 1910, was inspired by Norwegian farmhouses and by the fantastically carved door-frames of medieval stave churches.
Marie’s interest in the Celtic and Scandinavian revivals was symptomatic of the general European trend towards the vernacular, pre-Christian or ‘primitive’ that re-embraced ‘forgotten’ civilisations and belief systems in a search for alternatives to what were perceived to be the increasingly redundant forms of ‘high’ culture.
Carved faces at apex of bargeboards of Sinaia ‘Maori’ hut
The archetypal ‘primitive’ in western art at the time was Paul Gauguin who left Europe to seek purer truths in the South Seas. Stopping off in Auckland on his way to Tahiti in 1895, he sketched a Maori war canoe that had been restored for a regatta organised in honour of a visit by Marie’s father, the Duke of Edinburgh, to New Zealand in 1869.4 Gauguin’s initial decision to head for Tahiti may have been influenced by the romantic depiction of Polynesia woven by Pierre Loti (Julien Marie Viaud) in his semiautobiographical novel Le Mariage de Loti (1880), which told of the idyllic love affair between the author and a fourteen year-old Tahitian girl. Loti’s influence also ran deep at the Romanian court: Carmen Sylva had translated two of his novels into German and the French writer visited her in temporary exile in Venice in 1891 following her romantic but ill-conceived attempt to engage Crown Prince Ferdinand to one of her ladies-in-waiting.(5) He wrote a soulful book, L’Exilée, based on her experiences which caused no small sensation and was banned by King Carol.
Interior of Sinaia ‘Maori’ hut showing carved marakihau and puhoro patterns
The romantic escapism fostered by Loti and others of his circle helped contribute to the growing interest in so-called ‘primitive’ art. While artists like Gauguin, Picasso and Braque explored the formal and conceptual possibilities behind the new ways of ‘seeing’ embedded in non-western cultures, fashionable society developed a more superficial taste for the exotic ‘curiosities’ emerging from Europe’s colonial empires. The actress Sarah Bernhardt, for example, who visited Romania at the invitation of Carmen Sylva, incorporated into her furniture original Maori carvings which she bought in Auckland in 1891.6 Other Europeans brought back entire carved Maori houses which they re-erected in the parks of their stately homes as picturesque garden follies.
The most famous of these was Hinemihi, the carved meeting house from the Rotorua region purchased by Lord Onslow, Governor of New Zealand, in 1892 and transported to Clandon Park in Surrey where it was used as a boathouse. Dwarfed by Onslow’s eighteenth-century neo-Palladian mansion, Hinemihi, with its complex cosmological symbolism and ceremonial functions, was reduced to the status of an unusual garden collectable. It is possible that Marie was familiar with Hinemihi and that the house may have inspired her to create her own pseudo-Maori teahuts. As open summer-houses, the Romanian huts omit the important dividing wall with single door and window which separates the whare’s porch from its interior. Interestingly, this was also a feature of Hinemihi, wrongly reassembled after its transfer to England, reinforcing the argument for its use as a model.7 The omission by both parties illustrates the incompleteness of the European understanding of the meeting house, since the porch is an important mediating area between the functions associated with the interior and exterior of the house and is regulated by strict rules of tapu and noa.
Carved upright with tiki, Sinaia ‘Maori’ hut
There are several other possible sources for the Romanian huts. Members of the British royal family who travelled to New Zealand were traditionally presented with works of Maori art as gifts. Following the visit by Marie’s father, her cousin, the Duke of Cornwall and York (the future George V), made an official tour of the country in 1901 and brought back an important collection of Maori objects which were displayed at the Imperial Institute in London in 1902 and lent to the British Museum the same year.
It is also possible that Marie was familiar with the growing wave of publications devoted to Maori culture and art, including two articles on Maori woodcarving and houses published in her design bible, The Studio, in 1900 and 1901.(8) Just as her Norwegian boudoir relied heavily on Paul du Chaillu’s The Viking Age (1889), it is likely that her carvers had access to one of a range of internationally distributed works, such as George French Angas’ The New Zealanders Illustrated (1847)—dedicated to Marie’s grandfather, Prince Albert—or Augustus Hamilton’s Maori Art (1896-1900). Marie may also have been aware of the popular collections of photographs produced by the Burton Brothers from Dunedin which were brought back to Europe in large quantities by scientists and tourists.
Detail of Cotrocentri ‘Maori’ hut showing animal skull attached to central post
From this range of likely sources, Marie’s carvers made their own free improvisations. Several carvings in the Cotroceni hut, for example the figure at the base of the central post or the squatting figures of the stair rails, show vague similarities to certain drawings by George French Angas.(9) Marie could also have known some of the many photographs taken of the Duke of Cornwall and York in front of Rauru, a meeting house carved for the Swedish hotel manager Charles Nelson in Rotorua in 1900 which was subsequently sold to Hamburg Museum in 1904. Hakiwai has suggested this might have served as a model for the cartouche of carved faces and central post of the Pelihor hut and believes the blocked and squared tiki of the uprights supporting the bargeboards of both huts have loose affiliations both with Rauru and with Hinemihi.(10)
Some of the carved side panels inside the Pelihor hut present a fairly accurate attempt at marakihau, a fabulous, semi-human sea-monster with a curled fish tail and long tubular tongue. This does not feature in Hinemihi, but was popular in the meeting houses of the eastern Bay of Plenty, suggesting Marie’s craftsmen had access to reproductions of a broad range of examples. One possible source is the marakihau panels in the porch of Te Tokanganui-a-Noho at Te Kuiti, carved in c.1873 by carvers from the Bay of Plenty and extensively photographed by the Burton Brothers and by Hamilton. The carved and painted epa of the rear interior wall of Te Tokanganui-a-Noho may also have provided the inspiration for the narrow, obliquely angled tiki inside the Pelihor hut. Another interesting feature of the Pelihor interior is the low relief carved rendering of kówhaiwhai painting which copies the puhoro pattern of interlocking chevrons characteristic of the Arawa tribes from around Rotorua in the central Bay of Plenty.(11)
Detail of front rail of Sinaia ‘Maori’ hut
In both huts there are also elements that derive entirely from the imagination of the carvers, such as the grinning faces at the end of the front rails of the Pelihor hut. In the Cotroceni structure, there is a very un-Maori use of animal imagery, including the stylised head of a deer or calf hanging from the joint of the main cross-bar and rafters and the skull of what is possibly a zâmbru or Romanian bison attached to the central post under a carved bird with a long beak. Animals rarely featured in Maori carving and, if so, only ever consisted of whales, lizards, fish, birds or dogs. Further fanciful invention characterised the interiors, furnished with wooden tables and chairs where traditional whare had only sleeping mats laid on top of a plaited floor covering. A preparatory sketch for a table decorated with pseudo-Maori spirals shows that there were even efforts to design furniture with a ‘Maori’ flavour. Surviving benches in the Pelihor hut, carved into comical cat and bear faces, carry the Maori pretence into the realm of pure artistic fantasy.
The exact dates of construction of the two huts, together with the names of those that carved them, are not yet known, although they would seem to fit in with Marie’s ‘exotic’ phase of Celtic, Scandinavian and Byzantine interior design projects in the first decade of the twentieth century. The Pelihor hut was certainly complete by 1909 when Liman, the palace architect, and the Viennese furniture designer Bernhard Ludwig were photographed sitting proudly outside it. Liman and Ludwig were deeply involved in Marie’s more unusual design schemes of the period and it seems very likely that they were also responsible for the huts. Liman (?-1929), a talented and highly versatile architect from Bohemia, who had designed the Modern Style interior of Pelihor as well as the Norwegian boudoir in Cotroceni, demonstrated a flair for fanciful garden follies in Marie’s country retreats of the 1920s. Ludwig (1866-1939) had worked with cutting-edge architects like Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich in Vienna; he collaborated closely with Liman in the execution of the carved furniture and interior fittings for the Romanian palaces. Both were used to finding practical solutions for Marie’s design whims and possessed the vision and skill necessary to create the huts.
Detail of bench in Sinaia ‘maori’ hut decorated withcarved bear faces
Marie was not the first non-Maori to build her own ‘Maori’ house, although she indulged in extremes of artistic licence unknown elsewhere. At the 1906 International Exhibition in Christchurch, New Zealand, a model Maori village was fabricated by pakeha experts from borrowed and newly commissioned carvings. Other pakeha commissioned a range of European objects, including ‘Maori’ fireplace surrounds, jewellery boxes, tobacco pipes and rifle butts. Marie’s huts, however, offer a rare instance of ‘Maori’ carvings actually made by European craftsmen, following the European method of detailed sketches transferred to wood (Maori carvers tended to work out the configuration in their heads with few marks on the timber prior to cutting).
The craftsmen’s lack of understanding of the formal and cosmological significance of Maori art is unsurprising: as Neich has pointed out, even ‘enlightened’ Europeans in New Zealand still viewed it through the Romantic filter of the ‘noble savage’ who produced aesthetically pleasing ornament but had not yet evolved to an understanding of proportion and perspective. They failed to recognise Maori work as a conceptual art based on a wholly different notion of time, space and spiritual reality.(12)
Of all the examples of Maori houses appropriated by Europeans—what Neich terms the ‘Maori house down in the garden’—Marie’s huts appear to have been unique.(13) Created by Europeans, they differ from the genuine meeting houses—such as Hinemihi, Rauru or Mataatua (formerly in the South Kensington Museum)—that were shipped to Europe as curiosities or museum objects. Studies of the impact of colonialism on the production and consumption of material objects have dwelt extensively on the way in which the removal of objects from colonial periphery to imperial centre alters the way in which they are understood.
Preparatory sketch for carved upright of Cotrocenti ‘Maori’ hut. Unsigned, undated. (Cotrocenti Palace Archive)
The transfer of Maori meeting houses to Europe, in particular, and the interpretative frameworks through which they were integrated into the culture of the ‘coloniser’ have highlighted, according to Hooper- Greenhill, how ‘disjunctions and dislocations’ in perception of the houses ‘are rooted in different ways of knowing’.14 While, to the European, the house is an inanimate object, the Maori revere it as a living person, the ever-present ancestor figure, imbued with emotional and spiritual potency. This explains the tellingly different language that was used by British and Maori participants in the ceremony for the blessing of Hinemihi’s restored carvings in 1995: National Trust officers referred to the house as a ‘work of art’, while Maori elders spoke of it as ‘she’.(15)
The Romanian huts enter into a different discourse of meaning. Firstly, as fanciful, European interpretations of an incomplete idea of Maori prototypes, they do not engender the sense of bereavement or loss of mana that accompanied the removal of real meeting houses. Secondly, they have an oblique relationship to post-colonial notions of the central ‘coloniser’ and the peripheral ‘colonised’. Romania, seen at the time to be on the periphery of Europe, was after all not a colonial power. Indeed, when the huts were constructed, Romania had itself been independent from the Ottoman Empire for barely thirty years. Although built for a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, it seems significant that these symbols of a far-off society were erected in a newly unified nation that was then struggling to define its own cultural identity at the precarious geographical junction of the huge Austrian, Russian and Turkish empires. In a period heavy with national awareness and growing regional agitation, a willingness to embrace alternatives to European ‘high’ culture was vital for the emergence of what was perceived to be a truly ‘Romanian’ form of art.(16) Marie seems to have understood this: in her lively rejection of academic historicism she established herself as a champion of new directions in the country’s fledgling art scene, promoting the applied arts and helping to allay King Carol’s suspicion of progressive artistic societies such as Tinerimea artisticà (Artistic Youth) of which she was patron.
In this context, the world-wide dissemination of Arts and Crafts ideas is particularly relevant. By the end of the nineteenth century, ethnographers and commentators on Maori art, including Hamilton who was a likely source for the Romanian huts, began to phrase their observations in a way that would appeal to the European sense of ‘good design’.(17) The act of hands-on craftsmanship, together with a fine appreciation of ornament, were seen as essential qualitative factors in the assessment of Maori art. This approach was particularly evident in accounts of the Maori village at the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition (at which visitors could see ‘real’ English Arts and Crafts principles in practice in Walter Crane’s walldecorations for the exhibition of British painting). The same year witnessed Romania’s first major national exhibition, held in Bucharest. Here Arts and Crafts echoes were felt in the model village composed of vernacular buildings from across the Romanian regions, as well as in the examples of peasant craftwork exhibited under the auspices of craft societies patronised by Marie and Carmen Sylva. Bearing in mind the Princess’ strong affinity with certain aspects of the Arts and Crafts movement, it is not unreasonable to suggest that she may have conceived of Maori art (supported, after all, by journals like The Studio) as a further exercise in ‘good’ ornament and dedicated craftsmanship.
Hence, as well as offering a new angle for discussions of the European use of Maori art, Crown Princess Marie’s tea-huts also provoke reflection on the particular nature of artistic self-perception in Romania and on the potpourri of national and international impulses that shaped the young country’s identity in the early years of its existence. As the locus of the independent kingdom, the country’s non-Romanian royal family, in whom matters of taste and artistic patronage were frequently invested, played a prominent role in the creation of a national art scene. Marie’s flawed appropriation of a symbol of the Maori cosmos can be read as a microcosm of her own artistic cosmos, embodying the elements of romance, otherworldly escapism and pagan mysticism with which she infused her living environment during her years as Crown Princess. Created as a reaction to established taste, her exploration of a range of cultures not only offered alternatives to those seeking a new direction in Romanian art, but also anticipated her later interest in the Bahá’i faith when, as Queen of Greater Romania, she sought to reconcile the different peoples of her vastly enlarged country.(18) Marie was introduced to Bahá’ism in 1926, the year she pasted the photograph of her Cotroceni ‘Mauri’ hut into her diary. Yet, one might argue that the roots of her religious and artistic synthesism reached back much earlier, to the first decade of the century and her fascination with a diverse array of international cultural sources. That her tea-huts constituted a colonialist response to the dissemination of Maori art is unquestionable; however, to view them merely in post-colonial terms of imperial ‘coloniser’ and peripheral ‘colonised’ would be not only to ignore Romania’s peripheral status, but also to misunderstand the broader artistic aims of the Crown Princess of Romania.
1. Marie, Queen of Romania, ‘Casele mele de vis’, Boabe de Grâu, anul I, nr. 9, 1930 2. Marie, Queen of Romania, The Story of My Life, vol. II, Cassell & Co., London 1934, p. 15. 3. See Shona Lowe, ‘A Romanian Royal Folly: Baillie Scott’s Tree- House for Crown Princess Marie’, Follies. The International Magazine for Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings, Vol. 10, no. 2, autumn 1998. 4. Details from the canoe, together with other carvings Gauguin sketched during his visit, appear slightly modified, but still recognisable, in several of his later paintings. See: Bronwen Nicholson, Gauguin and Maori Art, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland 1995. 5. Queen Elisabeth’s fanciful support of Ferdinand’s dalliance with Elena Vàcàrescu, threatened a scandal of international dimensions as morganatic marriages were forbidden by the Romanian constitution. 6. She bought these carvings during a brief stopover in Auckland in 1891. See D. R. Simmons, ‘The Sarah Bernhardt Collection and Maori Art’, Connaissance des Arts Tribaux. Bulletin publié part l’association des amis du Musée Barbier-Müller, Genève, no. 21. 7. A 1976 study of Hinemihi before its restoration showed that the house had been foreshortened, that the doorway, window, front wall and their associated carvings were missing, and that it had been incorrectly assembled (Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, ‘Perspectives on Hinemini. A Maori meeting house’, in Tim Barringer and Tom Flynn [eds.], Colonialism and the Object. Empire, Material Culture and the Museum, Routledge, London/New York 1998, p. 131). 8. C. J. Praetorius, ‘Maori Wood Carving’ and ‘Maori Houses’ in The Studio, Vol. 21, October 1900 and Vol. 22, February 1901. 9 In particular, Plate XLII; I ‘Carved image of Rauparaha, in one of his war cameos, at Kapiti or Entry Island’; and Plate XLVI; I ‘Rangiheata’. George French Angas, The New Zealanders Illustrated, Thomas McLean, London 1847. 10. Arapata Hakiwai, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, personal communication with the author, 19 November 1999. 11. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Roger Neich, Curator of Ethnology at Auckland Museum, for his comments concerning these carvings, as well as for general advice and documents relating to this article. 12. Roger Neich, Carved Histories. Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai Woodcarving, Auckland University Press, Auckland 2001, Chapter Ten, ‘Nineteenth-Century Concepts of Art in New Zealand’. 13. Roger Neich, ‘The Maori House Down in the Garden: A benign colonialist response to Maori art and the Maori counter-response’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 112, no. 4, Dec. 2003. 14. Hooper-Greenhill, 1998, p. 130. 15. ibid., p. 129. 16. The so-called ‘neo-Romanian’ movement, led by the architect Ion Mincu, turned from western Beaux-Arts forms to seek the roots of a ‘national’ style in Romania’s eastern, Orthodox church tradition, in the architecture created by the great Wallachian prince Constantin Brâncoveanu at the turn of the eighteenth century, and in vernacular culture. 17. Neich, 2001, p. 141. 18. The idea of an all-encompassing global religion was rather appealing to an Anglican queen, married to a Catholic king, whose children were being brought up in the Orthodox faith of a country that was also home to Saxon Lutherans, Hungarian Unitarians, Jews and Turkish Muslims.