The Hen with Golden Chicks treasure trove

A short evocation of the place where the Goths buried in a hurry their treasure in 376 CE, when threatened by the marauding Huns, in what is now Pietroasele, southeastern Romania. They left in haste dashing towards the safety of the nearby Roman Empire frontier, burring there one of the important golden treasure troves found in Europe. It was discovered by local peasants in the 1830s, with a dramatic and checkered history afterwards, including a stint in Moscow during the Great War and the Read more

The Roman fort of Pietroasele

This is a video from my recent visit at Pietroasele, in Buzau county, southeast Romania, famous for a large Gothic treasure trove find, which it is now the main exhibit of the National Museum of History in Bucharest. The place also hosts a castrum/ fort, of no lesser historical importance, which was part of the advance warning outposts of the Roman Empire in the early 4th c CE, watching the corridor between the Great Bend of the Carpathian mountains and the Danube bend at Galati, a geographical feature linking the frontiers of the empire with the highways of migratory peoples roaming in the Pontic Steppe, the north Caucasus and Central Asia. Through this corridor fearsome peoples like the Goths, the Huns, the Avars or the Bulgarians will emerge like a Read more

Heralding a new century

The old houses of a town like Bucharest offer interesting clues about the social history, architecture, expectations and aspirations of those who built those houses, all of those decades and centuries ago. In this video I will discuss how the rendering of the inauguration year of a Little Paris style house encompasses those feelings at the passing between the c19th to the c20th.

Brancovan vs. Neoromanian

There is a great confusion between two of the main architectural styles peculiar to the territory of Romania, Brancovan and Neoromanian. This video brings the necessary basic tools to equip you into making an informed distinction between the two, using historic and architectural aesthetics elements characterising these architecture designs and artistic currents imprinting the identity of the built landscape of this country in Southeastern Europe.

The stair spur

Due to mud and dust prevalent on the streets of Bucharest and other towns of Romania of the La Belle Epoque period (the last quarter of the c19th, until the Great War), people, especially those from the richer strata of the population had to find ways to keep their clothes clean and look smart. One of those devices was the stair spur, helping ladies in elaborate long skirts , and also some gentlemen with expensive shoes, to step down from horse drawn carriages straight onto the stairs of a house and then enter it without having any contact with the dirt on the street or courtyard. This video shows some of those still surviving stair spurs of central Bucharest.

Antique Booksellers House

The Antique Booksellers House has been one of the iconic buildings of old Bucharest, unfortunately demolished during the fascist period. This video analyses its architecture, a mix of La Belle Epoque Art Nouveau and post-Great War Neoromanian, examining it in its topographical and architectural context. The conclusion is the Antique Booksellers House (Casa Anticarilor) was probably an edifice and institution that started in the 1900s and re-established after the war in the 1920s.

The Rule of Three of the Art Deco style

The Art Deco style has been popular in the 3rd and the 4th decades of the 20th century and influenced by motifs of the ancient Egypt, because of the discovery in the early 1920s of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The number 3 was a magical number of the ancient Egyptians and was used extensively in Art Deco design, shown in decorative elements grouped/ reverberating in three. This door design from the 1930s Bucharest shows wonderfully the popularity of that “rule”.