Notable figures

– Ecaterina Teodoroiu (born 14 January 1894, Vădeni village, today Târgu Jiu – d. 22 august 1917) also called „The Hero from Jiu”, was a Romanian second liutenant who faught in the battle of Marasesti in the First World War.

– Iosif Keber, painter, (born 30 July 1897, in Târgu-Jiu, died while working on his easel on April 19th 1989, being burried in the family tomb in the Vadeni Cemetery (Sisesti) in Targu Jiu. He was drawn to landscaping, painted landscapes from the places he lived in some of them becoming artistic documents with Targu Jiu rom the first half of the XXth century; his art was original, his paintings used to have a light that ”bit the shadows”; he was concerned by the art of fresco and painted thousands of square meters of church paintings (25 cathedrals in his homeland and abroad); he was a member of the Painting Comitee of the Romanian Patriarchate.

– Alexandru Ştefulescu (1856 – 1910), historian of Gorj county and the city of Targu Jiu, Alexandru Stefulescu was the main initiator of the Gorj cultural movement from the end of the XIXth century and begining of the XXth century. In 1905 Alexandru Stefulescu was awarded by the Romanian Academy for the writings „Tismana Monastery” and „Historic and picturesque Gorj”.

– Elena Udriște (1924 Târgu-Jiu-Gorj-1996), curator and director at Gorj Museum, was involved in organising and increasing the collections, proved a scientific and organisational rigor in mirroring the image of the traditional Gorj village, she distinguished herself by being meticulous and patient in deciphering and processing Cyrillic, Slavonic or old Romanian documents.

– Gheorghe Căldărușe (1878-Bucureşti – 1945), moved to Targu Jiu at a very young age; in 1926 he completes the building of a Theater-Cinema, that would be the only show facility between the years 1940-1949. The first mute movies were played here, as well as the first ones with sound. He supported the cultural activity by setting up a background for shows, and he supported all kinds of cultural activities.

– Nicu D. Miloșescu (1860 Cerneţi – 1924 Târgu- Jiu), sets up the first printing house in Gorj, having an important contribution both in developing printing houses throughout the country and in supporting the development of culture.

– Tudor Vladimirescu (17801821), was one of the great personalities of Romanian history, who faught for social and national freedom in the first part of the XIXth century. The leader of the Revolution of 1821 and of „panduri”, a great heroic figure, great soldier, symbol of sacrifice. In his fight for social liberation, Tudor Vladimirescu reached Pades on January 23 1821 where he read, in front of the villagers and his freedom fighters, the „panduri”, the Proclamation that called the people to fight, motivating the need for the change that was so long overdue. The Revolution of Tudor Vladimirescu represented the end of Fanariot ruling and return to local reign over the land. It was the beginning for building a modern Romania. In Gorj county, Tudor Vladimirescu is a symbol of fighting for independence that lasted over centuries. A few monuments and inttutions bare his name.

– Valentin Bibescu (1880-1941) Prince George Valentin Bibescu will prove to be, throughout his lifetime, a good handler of weapons, but he was passionately attracted to mechanics and especially flight. He was the promoter of bringing the newest locomotion inventions in Romania: automobile, balloon, airplane, initiating the construction of adequate structiures in the Romanian Kingdom. George Valentin Bibescu was a convinced democrat, a pioneer of Romanian aviation and a brave patriot, who faught in the First World War for national unification. His love of his ancesters` birthplaces was very appreciated by the people of Gorj, who allected im senator in 1932. On September 28th 1933, Prince Bibescu travelled to Targu Jiu to give the „Stinson” plane, bought from USA for the sole purpose to open an airline between Gorj and the country capital city. The airline Bucharest – Targu Jiu and return was open on October 2nd 1933, and the duration of a flight was one and a half hours and the price for one ticket being cheaper than for a train.

– Vasile Lascăr (18531907), was born in 1852 in Somanesti, Telesti commune. In 1879 the lawyer Vasile Lascar was ellected mayor of Targu Jiu, being noticed fo his initiative in the management of the city. Between 1879-1883, Vasile Lascar was mayor of Targu Jiu, a period in which the city was modernised with new streets that were aso paved, new beautiful buildings appeared, the health conditions improved, a list of city barriers (entrances and exits) has been set. The legal studies and the organisational spirit brought him between November 21st 1896 – March 30th 1897 leading the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Vasile Lascar organised the central, county and local administrations, proposed the pension law to the clerks, was involved in perfectioning the ellection system and hired legal personnel in administration and police. He was interested in reorganising and modernising the administration, by supporting the need to adopt the communal law, with educated mayors and notaries, and instead of the communal police, to be enlisted state and county police, that would maintain peace and order and would gard the crops and cattle in the villages. For creating health benefits in the countryside, Vasile Lascar proposed that public baths be built and infirmeries, serviced by health personnel and midwives, and in each major city, a hospital and a farmacy be built.

– Ana-Bălcescu-Culcer (1860-1944-from Dolj-Craiova), pianist, composer, translater; moved in 1882 to Gorj-Tg.-Jiu, after her marriage; brought a new and fresh perspective in the cultural and musical life of Targu Jiu; she organised musical and literary reunions in the rooms of her house, even having as guest the famous Franz Liszt in 1874; she was author of the arrangements, the theme and variations of the famous song Steluta (based on a poem by Vasile Alecsandri), a song that was heard in whole of Europe and even in USA; she organised phylantropical concerts at „Milescu Theater”.

– Constantin Stanciovici Brănișteanu (1815 – București ), copyist at the Treasury, Magistrate president, judge, initiator of the theatrical movement in Gorj (1834), first mayor of Targu Jiu (1864), scholar close to the ideals of the 1848 Revolution and to its leaders, he was considered a personality that settled inGorj early, of major importance in the XIXth century.

– Frantz Milescu (originally from Turnu-Severin, Mehedinţi county-settled in Tg-Jiu in 1869, president of the Courthouse (1869), mayor of Targu Jiu (1877-1879), he managed to build the first theater building in the city (before 1877); he was first to propose a statue for the national hero Tudor Vladimirescu in Targu Jiu, initiative that was brought up durng his mayor years, buut which didn`t materialised because of the Independence War; he contributed to the intellectual, artistic but also behavioral education of the people, to ncluding the city in the national cultural circuit, by bringing on stage major names: actors, musicians, politicians, historians, writers, and so on.

– Friederich Drexler The importance of Friedrich Drexler for Gorj county in the first half of the XIXth century is based on his involvment in providing health benefits for the locals (in 1830). He was the apothecary of Targu Jiu and provided a good supply with medicine, helped by his brother Louis, who was the president of the Bucharest Gremio Spiteri. The austrian Friederich Drexler became part of the history of these places when he set the first porcelain manufacturing business, in 1832, the first capitalist type enterprise in Oltenia region.

The building of this first factory in the capital city of Gorj county was possible thanks to the Organic Regulations dispositions.

– Constantin Brâncuși was born on February 19th 1876 in the family of Nicolae Radu and Maria Brancusi, who were agriculturers, dealt with wood manufacturing and cattle. The great sculptor would learn from the skilled men of the village, first of all from his father and grandfather, the art of carving wood, tht would come to life in his hands.

I Hobita Brancusi had landmarks that would guide his steps for this trade that he managed to raise to art, sculpture: from the beautfully adorned houses, to the old wooden church with the front carved and set on pillars that would be the base of the future Infinity Column, to the village cemetery with its carved and flowery crosses. The carpenters from Hobita were everywhere; they always managed to combine the construction skills with the decorator talent.

Willing to know the world that was drawing him to it better, at 11 years old he runs away from home to Targu Jiu, then Slatina and Craiova, where at 22 he graduates in only four years instead of five, the Art and Trades School, moving on to Belle Arte in Bucharest.Then, in 1904 he starts his journey on foot to Paris, where he will work for a while in the workshop of the famous Auguste Rodin.

In 1914 he holds his first personal exhibition in New York, after which the most creative period of his life will begin, and his fame and influence in the art world will start ascending.

He dies at 81 in Paris, with the bitterness that he wasn`t allowed to visit his country once more.

Of his 204 works of art, only a few are still in the country (at Targu Jiu, Craiova, Buzau and Bucharest), most of them being scattered across the Globe, in the lasrgest museums and some private collections