Comana Summerhouse (near Bucharest)

Gellu Naum, recognised as one of the foremost Romanian Surrealists, moved to the village of Comana, spending most of his final years in a charming summer house there. Comana is situated in a commune of the same name, approximately 20 miles south of Bucharest. The area also boasts the delightful Comana Nature Park.

The house is now a memorial to Naum and has been left exactly as it was when he resided there. Apple trees are scattered across the yard, and the entrance is guarded by carved cats heads; Inside this unique house, the rooms are filled with traditional woven rugs and wooden furniture. Many cultural events have been held there, including talks by Tanti Marioara, who shared some personal memories and stories about the celebrated poet’s life.

Gellu enjoyed retreating to the summer house, into a ‘universe of his own creation’, isolating himself from the external social and political context of the period. He is known not only for his links with the Surrealist movement, but also as a prominent poet, dramatist, novelist, children’s writer and a translator. Although Socialist Realism had become Romania’s official cultural policy, he never stopped writing Surrealist poems, many of which were published years after he composed them.

The house at the Comana becomes the scene of a new play by Maria Manolescu, ‘The Ivy Door’. The play has been adapted for performance by GoodDog Theatre Company.