Historic Houses of Romania checking out the forts of Bucharest

I undertook, some month ago, an exploratory trip around Bucharest, visiting a number of the more accessible forts and batteries built in the late c19th in the reign of King Carol I. That was in the perspective of organising there a specialist history and architecture tour (by appointment only) in one of the week end days next month (October ’11). The designer and supervisor of those huge military works, some of the largest in late Victorian Europe, is the Belgian general Henri Alexis Brialmont, famous also as a designer and builder of the first modern fortifications that defended Liège and Antwerp in his home-country. The remarkable defence complex surrounding Romania’s capital, now disused and left unmaintained, stretches over a circumference of 72km, containing a series of 18 forts placed at a distance of 4km from each other with another 18 batteries placed in between the forts. Bellow is a gif composition photograph of me posing inside Popesti fort in the south-east of Bucharest’s fortification ring, location marked with a red circle in the second image. The third image is a Google Earth satellite view of the city, on which the fort ring is marked, while the last image is a scheme of one of those forts.

You are invited to register your interest in visiting some representative examples of these forts and batteries in the comments section of this article or by email-ing me (v.mandache@gmail.com). VM

The forts of Bucharest: the author in the underground of Popesti fort, SE Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)
Bucharest forts sketch map (source: “Fortificatia Permanenta Contemporana”, by D.I. Vasiliu, Revista Geniului, Bucharest 1934) – location of the above photographic composition is marked in red.
The ring of forts and batteries that once were meant to protect Bucharest: masterpiece of general Henri Alexis Brilamont. View from 35.0km altitude.
Bucharest fort type I (source: “Fortificatia Permanenta Contemporana”, by D.I. Vasiliu, Revista Geniului, Bucharest 1934)

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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 Contact page of this weblog.

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