The Art Deco tower clock of Bucharest’s police headquarters

The Art Deco clock tower detailed in the images bellow adorns the Eforie Street façade of Bucharest’s police headquarters, an edifice built in 1935-1938 on the place of an older and smaller Beaux Arts style building used for the same purposes. The clock, although is not working nowadays, is probably one of the best preserved timepieces from that era in Romania’s capital, a legacy of the fact that the building is government property, and therefore less vulnerable to the uncouth renovation frenzy that disfigured, in the last property boom, many of the privately owned historic buildings of this city. I like  the aspect of the clock face and arms, which resemble at a larger scale that of a wristwatch from the inter-war period. The interesting Art Deco architecture of this edifice hardly gives any clues to the casual passer-by that this is one of the most infamous places in Bucharest. Its cells and rooms have witnessed many dreadful cases of torture and even judicial murder during the fascist rebellion of 1941, when at least one case of defenestration is documented, and the long decades of communist totalitarianism. Some of the darkest hours of this public edifice were during the anticommunist revolution of 1989 when many protesters were imprisoned there and savagely tortured.

Art Deco style clock (1935), Bucharest police headquarters (©Valentin Mandache)
Art Deco style clock (1935), Bucharest police headquarters (©Valentin Mandache)

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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 advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

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