Walking like a Saxon of Transylvania

Broadcast from the courtyard of a quaint Saxon Transylvanian property, recently bought by Andreea and Stephen McGrath, a young Romanian – English family who is enthusiastic about their historic house and have started its restoration process, to bring it to its former glory. The dwelling is a time capsule, with many of its original features, furniture, agricultural tools, kitchen implements, and even traditional Saxon clothing still in place. It is located in the village of Kreisch/ Cris, in Mures county, in the immediate vicinity of the famous Bethlen Castle, one of the fiefs of those famous princes of Transylvania in the period of struggle against the Ottoman Empire and Habsburg encroachment, for the cause of Protestantism.

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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 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.

Introduction to the Plantelor area architecture tour

The customary introduction for the benefit of my architectural history tour participants, in this instance for the tour which took place Saturday 1 September 2017 in the verdant and architecturally picturesque Plantelor area of 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 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.

In front of the former Nazi Germany embassy in Bucharest

The building of the former Nazi Germany embassy is still standing in Bucharest. It is a run of the mill Beaux Arts style building, now empty and derelict, and in many aspects a place haunted by the terrible ghosts of the Second World War. The infamous Nazi ambassador, Manfred von Killinger, a high ranking NSDAP official and notorious antisemite has been headquartered there. He oversaw from the balcony of the building, sporting the Nazi salute, processions organised by the Romanian fascists, or parades of the Romanian army and Wehrmacht.

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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.

Introduction to the early Neo-Romanian style tour

The introductory speech to the participants at my Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour, the August 2017 edition, dedicated to the early phase of the Neo-Romanian style, as seen in the buildings of Icoanei area of 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.

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

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.

Streamline Art Deco in Bucharest

A multitude of Bucharest’s buildings, erected in the 1930s decade, exhibit streamline, sinuous forms, seen in the shape of balconies, corners of an edifice, windows, marquises, etc. They are inspired mostly from nautical themes, this being the era of ocean liner travel and adventure, and an expression of the dynamism and confidence of that era. Their implementation in building design was made possible by the use of the reinforced concrete technology. The ocean liner theme became, in the decade before the Second World War, a favourite for Bucharest’s house designers and their clients, which is a very interesting aspiration to travel to exotic places via the ocean liner, transposed in architecture, for a town so far away from a seashore. The streamlining is linked in a large degree with the Art Deco style in Bucharest, and much less with the Moderne/ Modernism, as is the case over the Atlantic or in western Europe, where there is usually termed as “Streamline Moderne”. In this video I highlight the specificity of streamline – Art Deco affiliation of the architecture of this town.

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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.

Rabid People’s Church – an architectural history

The Rabid People’s Church (“Schitul Turbati” in Romanian) in Silistea Snagovului, 30 miles north of Bucharest, is a little known architectural gem, in which the evolution of architecture in the Principality of Wallachia, in nowadays southern Romania, can be traced for the last eight centuries, when the church was probably first built during the Latin Empire of Constantinople in the aftermath of the 4th Crusade. In this presentation I expound how the church came to encompass local traditions forged in wooden church architecture, together with Byzantine, Bulgarian – Serbian, Western (Hungarian via Transylvania) and Ottoman traditions. One can see there the green shoots of the Wallachian, aka Brancovan, style, which emerged in the 16th c, and is a principal fountain of inspiration for the Neo-Romanian, the national style of modern Romania.

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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.

Broadcasting from the Church of the Rabid People

A brief presentation of the old church now located within the village cemetery in Silistea Snagovului, 30 miles north of Bucharest. Initially, in the Middle Ages, the church was at the heart of a nuns’ community specialised in treating people affected by rabies, hence its name “The Church of the Rabid People”. It represents a very interesting example of transition of architectural styles from the wooden type of church to a brick one, from the Serbian-Bulgarian style to the incipient Wallachian, aka Brancovan style, indigenous to the Principality of Wallachia. The church is in this form since the mid 16th century.

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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.

From the island where Vlad the Impaler is buried

A short broadcast from the bridge linking the mainland with the island where Vlad the Impaler is probably buried- the historical geography of the area and the historic and cultural context of this place, and how is affected by the contemporary urban development of the area, and the uncouth attitudes of the corrupt moneyed people of post-communist Romania, who are infesting the banks of the lake next to the island where this historic personage is said to be buried.

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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.

Introduction to Mosilor area architectural tour

Just before the start of any of the Historic Houses of Romania tour I do a short introductory session for the benefit of the participants. This is for the Mosilor area of Bucharest tour, a part of the old town in its north-eastern side, on the commercial road to the Principality of Moldavia. That location has influenced the development of the quarter, as the Armenian community of Bucharest, many of whom stem from Moldavia, have settled there and through the annual great fair of Mosilor, they developed the area economically, a fact reflected in its quaint old architecture, from traces of the Ottoman period houses, to Little Paris, Neo-Romanian, to the Art Deco and Modernism of the interwar period.

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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.

At the grave of Vlad the Impaler

Thoughts at the probably grave of the fabled prince of Wallachia, Vlad the Impaler, at Snagov Monastery Church, about 20 miles north of Bucharest, on an island within a lake. Vlad the Impaler, the model for Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel with that name, lived a tumultuous and cruel life in the 15th century, fighting for the independence of his principality against the mighty Ottoman Empire and the powerful medieval Hungarian Kingdom. The grave is set in a very peaceful context, in front of the altar of the church, in the middle of an island, located at the centre of the Lower Danube Prairie.

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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.