The Museum of Peasant Art in Bucharest exhibits magnificent specimens of pitchers, bowls and dishes from various Romanian provinces. The Carpathian forests explain the remarkable development of architecture and carving in wood. The Romanian peasant built his house with squared-off trunks. Such wooden buildings nearly always had a terrace or veranda, which was a wonderful place to sleep in the blazing heat of summer. The furniture is very simple and consists of no more than a few chairs, carpets and, occasionally, a cupboard. On the other hand, the wood-carver had a free rein in decorating the wide farmyard gates, and it could run riot on household utensils such as spindles encrusted with mother-of-pearl, or spoons with “bird’s tail” handles. Objects of religious use, being held in veneration, have naturally been better preserved, letting us see further into the past. Such are the doors of the iconostasis, some of which are highly ornate, and the crosses in cemeteries and at crossroads, sometimes fitted with shelters. Romanian peasant dress and carpets have probably done more that wooden-carving and pottery to spread the reputation of Romanian folk art abroad. Peasant furniture The member of a traditional society paid as much attention to the distribution and organization of the house’s inner space as he did to the outer space in which the house was integrated. If the core of a village is the “village hearth” (Romanian: vatra satului), the core of the house is the fireplace (Romanian also vatra). The structure and function of the fireplace followed the evolution of the house itself. In the past, due to its multiple functions – heating, cooking, lighting – the fireplace was right in the middle of the room. In more recent times, the fireplace was placed in the back corner of the entrance hall or near the front door.