Melik House

Situated on 22, Spătarului Street and built somewhere between 1750-1760, Melik House (Romanian: Casa Melik) is the oldest civilian building from Bucharest that was preserved in its original form.

Nobody knows who the first owner of the house was, but it was sold in 1815 by its heirs to an Armenian merchant named Chevorc Nazaretoglu – his real name being Nazaretian. Chevroc Nazaretian and his wife moved in the house in 1822. Agop Nazaretian, Chevorc’s son, dowered the house to his daughter Ana,at her marriage with the architect Iacob Melik. Melik, who studied in Paris and participate actively in the revolution of 1848, wass bound to go into exile in France and Turkey. In return, after nine years of exile, he found the house in ruins. After repairs in November, will live here with his wife. The name of the house comes from Iacob Melik who lived here together with his family and who repaired the house many times.

Ana Nazaretian Melik, who died in 1913, bequeathed the house to the Armenian community from Bucharest, with the wish to found an asylum for the poor widows of the community. Eugen Melik, descendant, attacked the will and got the property for a short period of time, but the Armenian community won the trial and an asylum was arranged that functioned between 1921-1947. During this period, different tenants lived in the house and it suffered modifications and degradations.

Towards the end of the 1960s, Gheorghe and Serafina Raut, husband and wife, negotiated with the authorities of Bucharest the donation and partial redemption of the art collection they owned. While a student in Paris, Theodor Pallady lived in one of the Raut family apartments, in Place Dauphin. Raut family maintained a special relationship with the painter and the main condition of the donation was to provide a valuable display space for their art collection, who included many Pallady's works, and to host the Pallady Museum. Casa Melik was thus selected to house the valuable collection.

Last renovation of the house was in 1979. Between 1970-1994, the National Art Museum from Bucharest used it as a place to deposit valuable works of art that were going to be restored or those being in transit. In 1994 it has gained its final destination – Casa Melik, Serafina and Gheorghe Raut Art Collection and Pallady Museum – museal complex.

The size of the rooms, the breadth of the windows and the width of the doors were preserved inside the house, the pieces of furniture are entirely pieces of collection. The closed veranda hosts every Saturday morning courses of initiation for children in the art of drawing and color.

Ideea and images: Jurnal Românesc. Infos: Romania Explorer. Thanks!