A ballad brought to life - Miorița fountain Bucharest

Eva Poteaca | Live the World

November 23, 2022

While traveling to different parts of the world, I have noticed that many cities place the symbols that represent them at their entrances. The cities with ports place the sea creatures or boats, while the cities containing ancient churches bring them to the forefront. This happens through the road signs, for all to see. The things are a little bit different in the capital of RomaniaBucharest. There are no visible landmarks to see on the road signs while entering the city. What people encounter is much more special. A famous Romanian ballad has been brought to life and turned into a fountain, that is situated at the entry of Bucharest. Both the ballad and fountain are named Miorița

Picture © Credit to: Mister No

The story of Miorița

The ballad upon which the fountain is based on was written by a Romanian poet, Vasile Alecsandri. Miorița means lamb in Romanian. The story goes that once there were three shepherds working together, each of them having their own sheep flock. One day, two of these shepherds decided to kill the third. What was the reason for this? The envy! They believed that their fellow shepherd had a greater flock than theirs, so they decided to kill him out of greed. 

Picture © Credit to: HasseChr

Before they could act out their plan, a lamb of the victim to be started to refuse to eat. The shepherd asked it what was wrong, and the lamb told him what would become his fate. Even though the shepherd could have fled and abandoned his flock, he did no such thing. He gave the instructions to the lamb on what to tell to his flock and his mother after he dies, and where to be buried so that he could always be with them. The sheep and his mother should know that he met a fair maiden and wed her.

This ballad shows the love of a Romanian shepherd towards his calling and his flock. The shepherd didn't see the death as the end but as a mean to continue being near his flock even after the death. 

The fountain as a symbol

The Miorița Fountain was built as a symbol of what Romanians love and cherish. The Romanian people have always taken pride in their work and love for nature and animals. What better way to represent the Romanian people, then placing this fountain at the city's entrance?

This Romanian symbol was created in 1936, by the architect Octav Doicescu. Its mosaics were made by Milita Petrascu. Placed on the fountain made out of granite, the mosaics reproduce the entire tale of the shepherd and its lamb. All three shepherds and their flocks are shown on one side of the fountain, while the other side depicts the victim at his wedding and the scene of his death. Water pours out of the fountain through ten sculpted sheep heads, five on each side of the fountain. 

Picture © Credit to: Dahn
Picture © Credit to: CristianChirita

Even though this fountain is being used as a roundabout in traffic, there is one way you can get to enjoy it properly. On the side of the road that leads to the city center, the tourists can find an old bench made out of stone. This bench is known by the locals as the Miorița Bench. Here, you can sit and relax while enjoying the fountain and its surrounding area. The fountain was renovated in 2016 and is close to museums and the Arch of Triumph. There is no way one can miss this inspiring fountain when entering or leaving the capital of Romania. Bucharest has many fountains, but none of them inspires like Miorița, a ballad brought to life and turned into a fountain

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