Anton Pann House

20 Anton Pann St., Bucharest

The house at 20, Anton Pann (formerly Taurului) Str. is the first and only one that the composer owned and was purchased, with the land underneath it, on February 20, 1848. In walking distance from Saint Stylianos – Lucaci church in whose right choir Anton Pann sang, and provided with a wide courtyard which accommodated his printing press, it was here that he penned two of his masterpieces, Povestea vorbii [The Story of the Word] (the second edition), and Nezdrăveniile lui Nastratin Hogea [The Mischiefs of Nastratin Hogea] as well as O șezătoare la țară sau Călătoria lui Moș Albu [ A Countryside Gathering or Father Albu’s Trip]. (


The old Bucharest is still visible in the irregularity of many streets and in the occasional specific architectural typology. Close by Saint Stylianos – Lucaci church, street layout and property limits bear the imprint of the 19th-century model: small houses, with plaster decorations, rather hidden behind their green gardens, taking us back to what once was the suburbs, that amalgam of rural and urban landscapes.

Although the houses were owned by townsfolk (tradesmen and merchants) and although many of them served as pubs, the gardens were used for domestic agriculture, people growing in them everything from vegetables to fruit trees and grape vines, and the streets resounded with animal noise: dogs, poultry, donkeys, horses, cows… Anton Pann’s house is no exception to the rule: small and simple, with unpretentious decorations and a cosy courtyard, it would only be distinguished for the composer’s printing press. Small, compared to those operated by more well-to-do contemporary writers such as Ion Heliade Rădulescu or associates C. A. Rosetti and Enrich Vinterhalder, and rather improvised, it would nevertheless help Anton Pann print his most important works. The printing press occupied the courtyard and the ground floor, while on the upper floor, with two small rooms of some 7m2 each, the composer arranged what was designed to be a modest bedroom, but which he used more as the place where, in the quiet of the night, he would write, and on whose balcony he would often play his guitar.

Anton Pann was quite a character in his part of town, given his talents and line of work so different from his neighbours’: he spoke in verse, sang in church – Saint Stylianos and many others, at parties or wandered the streets, entering the various pubs, making friends and joining with the customers’ fête. He also stood out as a friendly, voluble, intelligent man, radiating a special energy.

In addition to Anton Pann’s house not being, architectural-wise, in any way particular, his way of living – always thinking about his poetry, his writing, his music or his printing, and not really caring about his own comfort – led to a scarcity of future material traces, and to no personal objects that survived. Instead, he did leave us with a language as rich as it is full of vitality, articulated in a poetic, particular manner in his thousands of poems and other writings as well as in his many musical compositions.

Rebuilt over the years, the house was at one point the headquarters of an institution. Since 2018 a National Museum of Romanian Literature heritage site, it is now the Anton Pann House.

                                                              ( Author: Constantin Goagea)