Organised on the occasion of the 170th aniversary of the the founding of the Romanian Gendarmerie, the exhibition wishes to promote to to public the history of this institution, which was founded on the 3rd of April 1850, by the order of Grigore Alexandru Ghica, the Prince of Moldavia.
In the exhibition the public shall be able to see o series of historical objects, military awards, photographs and patents from the collections of the National History Museum of Romania, the Museum of the Romanian Gendarmerie and the National Military Museum „King Ferdinand I”, together with numerous replicas of uniforms, which were realised for the project „Nations live and become eternal through the safeguarding of the memory of the deeds of their heroes – Nicolae Iorga – In memoriam The Heroes of the Gendarmerie 1918-2018”.
The uniform of the Prince of Moldavia, Grigore Alexandru Ghica, 1850
Grigore Alexandru Ghica was the ruler of Moldavia (1849-1853, 1854-1856), who through the Royal Office of April 3, 1850 had strengthened the „Legislation for the reformation of the body of Gendarmes”, law passed by the Public Assembly on March 22, 1850. Thus, his name is related to the establishment of the Gendarmerie. In the XIXth century, the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia, and later the Kings of Romania (until 1948, when Romania became a republic), wore a military uniform everyday, since they had the rank of General and later of Marshall. Paintings and photographs rarely show them in civilian clothes.
The present uniform is generally of the Principality of Moldavia. At the bicorne the cockade displays the blue and red, the national colours of Moldova. The bicorne was also worn during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866), by generals and even by the Prince. Subsequently, this will be an element present only in the navy. We recall that at the time, the Roumanian Principalities were under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. The Prince of Moldavia received the inauguration ensigns from the Sultan, with the sword included. In all known portraits, the ruler wears the Ottoman Order Nișan Iftihar (Order of Glory), on the right side of the chest, the Sultan’s portrait, his personal order; the ribbon (diagonal) and the first plate on the left side of chest are from the Order of the Savior, Greek, in Grand Cross grade.
Uniform model of 1930 for a captain, a rural gendarmerie or one from the training battalions, in service
In the year 1930, all divisionary officer’s uniforms were radically changed. Probably the initiator of these changes was King Carol II himself. Officers in all ground divisions, including gendarmes, had (in addition to the mantle, cape, etc.) three uniforms: one khaki, one of various colors and a white one. However, by combining accessories (belts, decorations, hats or other helmets, shoe or boot pants, etc.), it was possible to reach about 20 outfits, between 1934 and 1941 (21 for cavalry). The outfits of various colours, used at ceremonies or as a daily outfit outside service (on the street, during visits) were reminiscent of the uniforms during the reign of King Carol I. These uniforms were produced until 1941, when the uniforms were radically simplified, remaining only khaki for ground divisions, including gendarmes.
Until 1941, the service outfit represented more of a small ceremony attire. Since 1941, the old service outfit disappeared, and the old daily outfit became the new service outfit, that is, the uniform worn daily. This uniform was worn on duty, at times when the band was present (which is why the officer has boots). If the band had not been present, they would have had long, straight pants and boots (shoes). The “dolman” replaced the mantle for the respective outfit. The leather helmets, next to the aglets, were already traditional for the gendarmes.
Uniform model of 1895 (with changes from 1905) for sergeant / sergeant major re-employed, rural gendarmerie, daily outfit
The rural gendarmerie was established in 1893. From then until the disbanding of the Gendarmerie, in 1949, most of its personnel were rural gendarmes. In the rural area there was no Police, it carried out its activity only in the urban environment, while in the rural one its duties were being carried out by the Rural Gendarmerie. In the first two years of existence, the Rural Gendarmerie did not have a distinct uniform. It will be adopted in 1895, slightly modified in 1905 and in the following years. The tunic, mantle, and chapel will have a blue-gray color, which will take the name of „bleu-gendarme”, a light blue shade with shades of gray, which will identify with the division.
Between 1895-1908, the lower ranks (not the officers) of the Rural Gendarmerie carried an extra rank than the one they held, a unique case in the military history of Romania. The reason was that when they worked with the soldiers of other divisions, the rural gendarmes were considered above those of same rank from the rest of the divisions. Thus, a sergeant of rural gendarmes bore the marks of the sergeant major (in this case), although he was a sergeant. Between 1893-1908, the Rural Gendarmerie did not have active military personnel serving their term; the whole staff was made up of re-employed personnel and officers. The present uniform was also worn during the peasants uprising of 1907.
Uniform model of 1941 (with plate model 1944), for corporal, gendarmerie, campaign outfit
In 1940, the ribbon from the companies uniforms was removed, and in 1941, a generalized simplification of all divisionary and rank uniforms took place: various colours uniforms (implicitly the blue-gendarme ones) and the white ones were removed, while the khaki ones were modified. The colours of the division (the soldiers will keep the stripe of the cap and the twine in their respective color) were simplified – all the gendarmes will have blue-gendarmes, without the distinction between the rural and the city gendarmes.
The gendarmes will keep the white, unstitched aglets, worn with gowns, by all ranks, although vintage images show us that they were not worn during the campaign. The gendarmes also wore other special emblems, such as the ones in the shown uniform, which are specific to the groups that were guiding the traffic (either in the territory or on the front). As it is known, during the war, police (military) subunits were formed, besides the large units of the Army, consisting of gendarmes. Thus, the Gendarmerie is the predecessor of the military police today. The mark worn around the neck has its origins in the epaulettes used by the Moldavian army, in the middle of the 19th century. Of course, gendarmes (especially those in the country), like other divisions, will also wear old uniforms, from the interwar period, from the inventory.
Access is prohibited for groups of over three visitors, exception being made for families who arrive with two or more children.
Group access shall be allowed once in five minutes.
Priority is given to visitors and groups who have scheduled their visit via phone(021 313 19 25 ) or email(firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the exhibition space there may be present at the same time a maximum of 100 visitors. Entry for other visitors will be allowed gradually, as soon as the other visitors end their visit and leave the building.
Between the hours 13.30-14.00 the exhibition space shall be cleaned and disinfected for the protection of the visitors. Please excuse the discomfort created.
Exhibition organizers: Adrian Nicolae Alexe, dr. Cornel-Constantin Ilie, Andrei Grumeza, Andrei-Marius Trifu, lt-col. dr. Constantin Păun, plt-maj. Adrian Nica, plt-adj. Șuleapă Rodica, Adriana Maria Popa, Andrei Vasile, Roxana Ioana Pătrașcu, Flavius Nicolae Roaită
Partners: Dragoș Diaconu, Marius Diaconu, lt.-col. dr. Luiza Rotaru, lt.-col. Cristian Căruntu
Photos: Ing. Marius Amariei
Exhibition graphics: dr. Cornel-Constantin Ilie, Bogdan-Petre Opreanu