Tour: Art Deco and Modernist Bucharest – Saturday 21 July

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to an after working hours walking tour, this Saturday 21 July 2018, between 11.30h – 13.30h, on the subject of the Art Deco and inter-war Modernist buildings of Bucharest. The tour may be of interest to any of you visiting the city as a tourist or on business, looking to find out more about its fascinating historic architecture and identity.

The Art Deco style, which emerged during the “roaring ’20s” and became a global phenomenon in the 1930s was the first truly international architecture, embraced with gusto by the Bucharest people and the rest of urban Romania. The city became in those years a veritable Art Deco architectural regional “power“, embellished with high quality edifices in this style, many of which are still around, for us to admire and examine, despite the terrible historical upheavals of the last eight decades in this part of Europe. A favorite Art Deco theme in Bucharest was that of the ocean liner, reflecting the longing of the inter-war locals to travel to exotic places in the southern seas, far away from the local harsh, continental winters. The inter-war Modernist style and syntheses with Art Deco are also well represented in Bucharest, with creations signed by talented architects such as Horia Creanga, Duiliu Marcu or Ion si Tiberiu Niga. That great multitude of buildings were developed on a solid economic background when Romania was one of the main oil exporters of the world and also an important agricultural producer. The present tour endeavours to locate and explain some of the representative edifices in the Art Deco and Modernist styles in central Bucharest and give you a well referenced overall image about how these designs imprinted the character of this town and Romania in general.

The tour costs Lei 70 (Romanian currency) per person, book by emailing v.mandache@gmail.com or using the comments section of this post. You will be informed of meeting place on booking.

I look forward to seeing you at the tour,

Valentin Mandache, architectural historian (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

Art Deco Bucharest – architectural tour
Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour: Art Deco 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.

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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.

The 10 best videos for 2017 – Historic Houses of Romania

I have shot over 150 video podcasts throughout 2017, in both English and Romanian, on a multitude of themes related to the architectural history of Romania and Southeast Europe. For me it represents the start of an activity direction, which I would like to culminate, funding and interest from the public permitting, in the production of documentary films on architectural history subjects. Here are what I consider as the best 10 such videos for that period, in English. I am curious if you have a favourite one from this list or from the other videos realised yesteryear (find them according to their publication date, on the Video Reports page)? Please send your views using the comments section of this post.

1. Walking like a Saxon

2. What is the Little Paris style”

3. The architecture of the Muslim community of Romania

4. Ceausescu’s architectural imagination

5. Traces of WWII bombing in Bucharest

6. The kitsch statue of King Carol I

7. Manichaean symbolism in Neo-Romanian style houses

8. From the tower of Deutsch Weisskirch/ Viscri church

9. In front of the former Nazi embassy, Bucharest

10. My first architectural photography exhibition

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Buzau Commune Palace

Buzau Commune Palace (Palatul Comunal, in Romanian) is a beautiful major piece of public architecture in the early Neo-Romanian style. Its designer is arch. Alexandru Savulescu, and was built between 1899-1903. It exhibits particular characteristics, such as a round/ multifaceted tower, enfilade galleries on the ground level and Art Nouveau overtones. It is one of the amplest edifices in the entire country in the early phase of Romania’s national style.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Happy winter holidays!

I would like to wish, to all my readers and those interested in my work at Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca, a very happy winter holidays season, with this early Christian mosaic of the three Magi, represented in Persian attire, embellishing the basilica of King Theodoric, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, in Ravenna, and created sometimes in the 6th century of our era. I photographed the mosaic during my recent study trip to that marvelous town, a former capital of the Western Roman Empire, then the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Theodoric, followed by the seminal period of the Ravenna Exarchate of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known nowadays as Byzantium, all unfurled between the 5th and the 8th centuries.

The Three Magi mosaic, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, 6th century our era

Emptying your chamber pot in the Middle Ages

A description of how the people of the Middle Ages in a crowded town such as Schassburg/ Sighisoara in Saxon Transylvania, without proper sewage, coped with disposing their nightly “waste products”, collected usually in a recipient kept under the bed, known as the chamber pot.

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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.

An iconic Bucharest edifice – CEC building

A short presentation of CEC building in Bucharest, a bank edifice, iconic for the town, erected in 1900, a Beaux Arts style design by the French architect Paul Gottereau. It is one the buildings, which gives weight to the fame of Bucharest as the Little Paris of the Balkans.

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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.

My great-grandfather’s Great War demob order

The paper document issued by the Romanian army in 1918 for the demobilisation of my great-grandfather, who was a soldier in the corps of transport during the conflagration.

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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.

Best wishes for 2017!

Dear readers,

Please receive from me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca blog, the best wishes for the new year! I trust 2017 will mark an improvement in the field of knowledge and education in architectural heritage, compared with 2016, which was a dismal year in many regards. The most dissatisfactory issue that I had to confront was the manifest lack of interest and hostility toward the preservation of the built heritage from large sections of the Romanian public, which made my work difficult and unrewarding. Luckily, all of these were mitigated by the keen interest in my work from the foreign public, expatriates based in this country, tourists or business visitors, and a handful of quality Romanians, who kept me going throughout the past unmemorable year. To them I would like to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude!

I made the photograph illustrating this posting in one of my countless solitary fieldwork forays in Bucharest, no matter the weather, and is a metaphor of my travails. I imagine myself as the cat in the picture, alone, but confident, navigating the wilderness and the desert of ignorance and hostility displayed by the local public. As you can see, I am focused and have a doer attitude, not being in the business of making compromises with the low quality level of architectural commentariat that plagues the Romanian media. In short, I do not take prisoners, and I am pursuing my goals of quality and thoroughness in my activity.

I would like to reiterate here my thanks for following me and for participating at my tours, or interacting with me on this blog or the social media pages with the same name.

Best wishes for 2017!

Valentin Mandache/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca

HHR drinks at The Harp

Historic Houses of Romania drinks event, at The Harp pub, on Thursday 13 August, from 18.30h
Historic Houses of Romania drinks event, at The Harp pub, on Thursday 17 Dec., from 18.30h

Dear readers,

You are cordially invited at the next Historic Houses of Romania – drinks” event, the end of 2015 edition, scheduled to take place this Thursday 17 December at The Harp pub, starting with 6.30pm. This is a get together for those of you who follow my blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter pages, or participate at the architectural tours, thus fostering a sense of community for those appreciating the built heritage of Bucharest and Romania, and continue discussing at such gatherings on old houses, their architecture, history and economic potential and uses, in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

The pub is located in Unirii Square of Bucharest, close by the exit for Unirii Square tube/ metro station, on Cantemir Blvd. By clicking the following links you can access its Read more

Building inauguration years rendered architecturally

Building inauguration year in architectural renderings
Building inauguration year in architectural renderings (©Valentin Mandache, Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca)

The photo-collage above is composed by building inauguration year panels rendered architecturally, encountered by the author of this blog on edifices dating from a multitude of historical epochs in Bucharest and other locations in Romania. I used the illustrations as cover photographs for the Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca’s Facebook page. I usually present to the readers a cover photo per week, and the ones here are those scheduled for the first ten weeks of 2014. To find out details about the significance of those years and the buildings hosting them, you can click the links listed below. The links are arranged in the same scheme as the architecturally rendered years mentioned in the collage.

1900 : 1569

1894 : 1666

1724 : 1857

1908 : 1889

1898 : 1879