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Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

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Romanian Door Locks

Click on the photos to see an enlarged version



Patru's Valley
Pătru's Valley (Valea Lui Pătru) is a small village surrounded by forest, situated about 20 km south of Filiaşi, foggy and covered with snow in this winter photo. This name, "Pătru" is a very old word, derived from "Petre" (or "Peter" in english) in a folk form, as are many words used in this area

Pătru was an outlaw, a bandit of the 18th century, who had a house hidden underground in the area of the future village, in a forest on a hill. Eventually he had a family, and when a village was built in a valley nearby, the village took the name Valea Lui Pătru which it bears to this day.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st January 2004




Patru's Valley
At Alina's grandmother's house in Valea Lui Pătru is a small wooden door with a simple but effective lock, as can be seen in the Hobita house of Brâncuși. It is a common system used in Oltenia, and in some ways is better than the key system of modern locks.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st January 2004




Patru's Valley
On the inside of the door is a horizontal piece of wood with many slots cut in its upper part. The blade of the key falls down when the key is pushed through the hole, and by rotating the key, the wooden bar can be moved to lock or unlock the door.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st January 2004




Patru's Valley
A hole is made in the door. In some houses many holes are drilled, but only one is the correct hole! Through this hole, one puts an iron key made of two pieces, hinged in the middle. The inner piece, shaped like a blade, falls down at a ninety degree angle from the iron rod held by the owner. As this iron rod is twisted, the blade moves the sliding bar across, locking or unlocking the door.

Since the blade is made a variable length, every key is made for a particular door by the owner. If a smaller or a longer blade is used, it will not open the door.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 1st January 2004




BrancusiBrancusi
In Brâncuși's house in Hobita is the same curious key system. As before, the steel key has a moveable bar on it. The user pushes the key through the small hole in the door, and the bar drops down because of gravity. It then engages with one of the slots on the wooden bar, and the user is able to twist the key and thus slide the wooden bar to one side, allowing the door to open, or to lock behind them.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe










Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com




If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am


Webmaster: Don Hitchcock

Email: don@donsmaps.com


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