Art Nouveau Beer Restaurant in Provincial Romania

Art Nouveau style beer restaurant, Alexandria, Southern Romania (1900s postcard, Valentin Mandache collection)

The boom years of late 1890s until the great recession of 1907, have been very beneficial for Romania, which profited from its large grain exports to the industrial countries of Western Europe. The old small markets towns throughout the country, especially those from the wheat and maize producing areas where expanding at a fast rate and numerous new flamboyant private and public buildings in the then fashionable French c19th and also Art Nouveau styles were being erected. The town of Alexandria was one of those prosperous cities, located in the fertile plains of the Teleorman county, close to Bucharest and to the Danube ports that greatly facilitated the grain exports of the surrounding region. The bold Art Nouveau style beer restaurant from Alexandria’s public gardens, depicted in the old postcard above, is a reflection in architecture of that new found confidence and economic well being in fin de siècle Romania. The edifice is quite remarkable with its entrance modelled as a grandiose round window and audacious flowery roof eave edge ornaments. It would have been an imposing and unmissable presence in that provincial town and region of Ottoman Balkan tradition, the herald of the globalisation taking place in the Victorian era through commerce, industry and also architecture, where the Art Nouveau style was the last word in terms of modernity.


I endeavor through this daily series of images and small 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 a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.