Walking like a Saxon of Transylvania

Broadcast from the courtyard of a quaint Saxon Transylvanian property, recently bought by Andreea and Stephen McGrath, a young Romanian – English family who is enthusiastic about their historic house and have started its restoration process, to bring it to its former glory. The dwelling is a time capsule, with many of its original features, furniture, agricultural tools, kitchen implements, and even traditional Saxon clothing still in place. It is located in the village of Kreisch/ Cris, in Mures county, in the immediate vicinity of the famous Bethlen Castle, one of the fiefs of those famous princes of Transylvania in the period of struggle against the Ottoman Empire and Habsburg encroachment, for the cause of Protestantism.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Tour in Piata Victoriei

Dear Readers,

This is an invitation to an architectural history tour in Piata Victoriei area of Bucharest: open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania blog, for two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h, on Sunday 10 September 2017.

I will be your guide through a remarkably rich and architecturally varied area of central Bucharest, where famous public buildings often stand side by side with quaint Little Paris, Neo-Romanian or Art Deco and Modernist style private houses. The character of the local built landscape has been in large part determined by the architecture embellishing two important boulevards that cross the area: Calea Victoriei, the oldest thoroughfare of Romania’s capital, and Lascar Catargiu, an artery opened in the late c19th as a Read more

Tour in Cismigiu area

Dear Readers,

I would like to invite you, in my quality as the author of Historic Houses or Romania – Case de Epoca blog, to an architectural history tour in Cismigiu area of Bucharest. This cultural excursion, open to all interested in Romania’s capital history and identity, is scheduled to take place this Saturday 9 September 2017, for two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h.

I will be your guide throughout this beautiful expanse of Bucharest, which borders and includes the Cismigiu Gardens, the “Central Park” of this town, which is also its oldest surviving landscaped garden. The quarter boasts a balanced mix of architectures ranging from Little Paris, Art Nouveau, Neoromanian to Art Deco and interwar Modernism, and also representative church buildings, various species of neo-Gothic and Read more

Introduction to the Plantelor area architecture tour

The customary introduction for the benefit of my architectural history tour participants, in this instance for the tour which took place Saturday 1 September 2017 in the verdant and architecturally picturesque Plantelor area of Bucharest.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

In front of the former Nazi Germany embassy in Bucharest

The building of the former Nazi Germany embassy is still standing in Bucharest. It is a run of the mill Beaux Arts style building, now empty and derelict, and in many aspects a place haunted by the terrible ghosts of the Second World War. The infamous Nazi ambassador, Manfred von Killinger, a high ranking NSDAP official and notorious antisemite has been headquartered there. He oversaw from the balcony of the building, sporting the Nazi salute, processions organised by the Romanian fascists, or parades of the Romanian army and Wehrmacht.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Tour: Plantelor area

Plantelor Street SignDear readers,

I would like to invite you to an architectural walk in the picturesque Plantelor Street area, located just east of Mantuleasa. It has an alluring residential character, with well presented historic buildings of architectural value, many surrounded by efflorescent gardens. Plantelor area is a sample of how pleasant and stimulative for artistic creativity this town has been in the La Belle Époque and the interwar periods.

The tour is scheduled to take place this Saturday 2 September 2017, between 11.30h – 13.30h. This cultural excursion could be of interest to any of you visiting Romania’s capital as a tourist or on business, looking to understand the character of this metropolis through discovering its peculiar and fascinating old architecture.

The name “Plantelor” (Engl. for Plants’) given to this iconic street, is an echo of the La Belle Époque times, when Bucharest’s houses of its famous Little Paris and also Art Nouveau architecture were provided with gardens and orchards, and the windows were sporting jardinieres full of multicoloured flowers. The local environment was considered healthier than the rest of the town, which made possible the establishment of a sanatorium, where the national poet of Romania, Mihai Eminescu, spent his last days, in the summer of 1889. That verdurous character is still very much around, also imprinting the personality of the Neoromanian, and Art Deco and Read more

Introduction to the early Neo-Romanian style tour

The introductory speech to the participants at my Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour, the August 2017 edition, dedicated to the early phase of the Neo-Romanian style, as seen in the buildings of Icoanei area of Bucharest.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Tour: the early Neo-Romanian style

scf-003The early Neoromanian architecture as seen in Gradina Icoanei area of Bucharest.

 Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a walking architectural tour on Sunday 27 August 2017, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h, in Gradina Icoanei area, on the theme of the exceedingly important for this country’s heritage Neo-Romanian architectural style, in its early phase, how this design peculiar to Romania has been initiated and defined, a period of cultural upheavals and economic prosperity from the 1880s until the mid 1900s. This cultural excursion may be of interest to any of you visiting the town as a tourist or on business looking to find out more about its fascinating historic architecture and identity.

The Neoromanian architectural style is the most visible and amplest body of heritage that this country has bestowed on the world’s culture. Gradina Icoanei area of Bucharest has the highest concentration of buildings featuring this architectural design in its ianugural stages, what I term as the early phase of Romania’s national architecture. The style was initiated by the architect Ion Mincu in 1886 with the Lahovary House, an edifice viewed at  this tour, continued with a series of iconic edifices, such as the Central School for Girls, another objective of the tour, or the Causeway Buffet. The then new national architecture quickly gained popularity and featured in the works of other known architects of that period, such as Read more

Tour in Mantuleasa

Dear Readers,

This is an invitation to an architectural history tour in Mantuleasa quarter of Bucharest, open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania blog, this Saturday 26 August 2017, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h.

I will be your guide in this fabled part of the old city, much talked about in the novels of Mircea Eliade, one of the brightest writers and historians ever produced by Romania, who spent there his childhood and early formative years. The quarter used to be one of the most ethnically mixed areas of Bucharest, endowed with a very diverse and exuberant period architecture ranging from beautiful Brancovan style churches, some dating from the late c17th, picturesque French c19th historicist and Read more

Streamline Art Deco in Bucharest

A multitude of Bucharest’s buildings, erected in the 1930s decade, exhibit streamline, sinuous forms, seen in the shape of balconies, corners of an edifice, windows, marquises, etc. They are inspired mostly from nautical themes, this being the era of ocean liner travel and adventure, and an expression of the dynamism and confidence of that era. Their implementation in building design was made possible by the use of the reinforced concrete technology. The ocean liner theme became, in the decade before the Second World War, a favourite for Bucharest’s house designers and their clients, which is a very interesting aspiration to travel to exotic places via the ocean liner, transposed in architecture, for a town so far away from a seashore. The streamlining is linked in a large degree with the Art Deco style in Bucharest, and much less with the Moderne/ Modernism, as is the case over the Atlantic or in western Europe, where there is usually termed as “Streamline Moderne”. In this video I highlight the specificity of streamline – Art Deco affiliation of the architecture of this town.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.