Cutui Kula

01-Cula_Cutui 02-Cula_Cutui 03-Cula_Cutui.JPG 04-Cula_Cutui.JPG 05-Cula_Cutui 001 002 003 004 005 006
  • LMI (Historical Monument List) Code: MH-II-m-A-10272
  • Location:

    It is located on the outskirts of the village, towards the Motru River, Broşteni Village, Broşteni Commune, Mehedinţi County.

  • Access:

    The Commune of Broşteni is located at the crossroads of the Drobeta Turnu Severin – Târgu Jiu road with the road to Strehaia. The monument is accessed by taking a paved road from the mayor’s office to Motru River (approx. 400 metres of the county road).

  • References:

    For the moment, this is not a public building.

  • Original/current function: kula-type fortified dwelling/ ethnographic museum
  • Date: 1815
  • History:

    According to word-of-mouth information, the kula was built by Ghiţă Cuţui, a pandúr captain and his son Constantin, around 1815. According to a very beautiful legend, a group of Turks from Ada-Kaleh Island kidnapped Ghiţă Cuţui’s wife. The pandúr sold part of his land to pay the ransom claim and then he built the kula. Constantin Cuţui started building “Sfinţii Împăraţi’’ Church located in a nearby area around 1836. The painting was finished in 1840 at the expense of his son, Mihalache. The kula was wrecked by the German occupation troops in 1916, and after 1930 Constantin I. Cuţui and Ioana Cuţui tried to restore the building, but failed. Cuţui kula remained ruined after 1954 and up until 1963, when architect Iancu Atanasescu designed the restoration project. The project was taken over by architect Rodica Manciulescu in 1965 who continued the works until completion, in 1968. The kula was home to an ethnographic museum until 1965.

  • Description:

    The brick building has a rectangular form on two floors. The cellar, found on the ground floor, has very thick walls that support a “barrel” vault that stands on five transversal arches. The upper floor is reached on an oak ladder, the staircase walls being penetrated by ramparts, through which the access into the kula was protected. The floor, where the porch is located, has several rooms whose partition underwent several changes over time. The ceilings are made of plastered beams, and the flooring from wide oak planks. The porch has trilobate arcades, six on the main side and one at the north-western free end. Outside the building, the facades are decorated with small panels located irregularly from the arcades, and large panels on the other surfaces of the floor.

    “Sfinţii Împăraţi Constantin şi Elena” Church of Broşteni - Mehedinţi.

    The church was built in 1836 by Constantin Cuţui, the son of the pandúr captain Ghiţă Cuţui. Since the founder died in the meantime, the church was painted at the expense of his son Mihalache in 1840. Subsequently the church underwent small changes; it was being fully paved in cement and a new door was installed. The brick church has the shape of a nave with a porch, nave, narthex, and altar with two towers. On the Northern side, a circular little tower was erected to protect the stairs towards the steeple tower.

    An inscription is written in Cyrillic letters on the porch wall:

    This holly and Godly church celebrating patrons Saint Emperors Constantine and Helen was founded by boyar Constandin Cuţui in 1836 and was painted at the expense and due to the effort of Sir Mihalache, son of Constandin Cuţui, in 1840, under the rule of emperor Nicolae Pavlovici, in the 10th day of the month of August, painter Constandin”.

    The painting is made as a fresco by painter Constantin. In the founders’ section, the whole family of Constantin Cuţui is painted, men wearing the old boyar’s suit, while women are dressed in the Western fashion. A peasant woman dressed in the traditional costume is painted on the North wall. The text explains the fact that she is “aunt Iţa who cooked food for them at the holy church”. It seems that this portrait was meant to show the painters’ gratitude to this peasant woman who cooked food for them. This theme is also found in the churches in the Voloiac and Jirov Villages, found near the Broşteni settlement. Nowadays, the church is in an advanced state of degradation, and needs urgent intervention.

  • IMG_9730 IMG_9738 IMG_9739
  • Conservation status: good
  • Bibliography:

    Atanasescu, Iancu & Grama, Valeriu, Kulas from Oltenia, Scrisul Românesc Publishing House, Craiova, 1974

    Creţeanu Radu, Masonry Churches from the Valley of Motru river, in Bishopry of Oltenia nr.5-6/1957

    Creţeanu Radu, The ones who raised churches with their own hands, painted in Churches from the Valley of Motru river, RMM, Bucharest, 1958

    Crețeanu Radu, Kule houses and fortified houses from the Valley of Motru River, RMM, Bucharest, 1958


    Creţeanu, Radu & Creţeanu, Sarmiza, Kulas from Romania, Meridiane Publishing House, Bucharest, 1969

    Zamora, Luiza, Kulas, fortified boyars’ houses of Romania, Igloo Publishing House, Bucharest, 2007

    The archive of the National Institute of Heritage

Institutul Național al Patrimoniului         Administrația Fondului Cultural Național