December 1 marks a national holiday in Romania, celebrating the Great Union Day. This date was created to remember the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom to form The Greater Romania in 1918. Nowadays, The Greater Romania is used only as a historical reference. This large territory existed until 1940 when Romania lost Bessarabia to the Soviet Union and later other regions during the Second World War.
In our digital collections you can research objects related to this important historical event such as the sceptre and mantle used by King Ferdinand during his coronation as King of Romania in the Orthodox Cathedral of Alba Iulia on 15 October 1922.
The coronation marked the consummation of the Romanian National State. There is an inscription on the sceptre: “To His Majesty King Ferdinand of All Romanians, given this in remembrance of the 1916-1919 war for the liberation and unification of all Romanians”. The eagle head is a symbol of the Latin and Christian roots of Romania.
Another symbol of the Great Union is the crown of Queen Maria of Great Romania. The design of the crown took into account the queen’s desire to give an aura of medieval appearance and also to relate to the Byzantine past of the Romanian people.
*Written in collaboration with CIMEC.