Daily Picture 22-Nov-09: Traditional Bulgarian Style Veranda

Veranda of a late 1920s house in Aviatorilor area of Bucharest inspired from traditional Bulgarian architecture. (©Valentin Mandache)

The traditional Bulgarian architectural style (a term by which I mean a traditional Bulgarian architectural framework on which are also grafted Greek, Turkish, and other Balkan motifs), was popular in the whole region of the northern Balkans during the times when these lands were part of the Ottoman empire until the 2nd half of c19th. Wallachia, the southern province of Romania, where Bucharest is located, was influenced by this type of architecture, especially in its market towns, where traders from all over the Ottoman Balkans met to exchange goods. Many of them got established in the Wallachian towns and built mansions in this style familiar throughout the region. With the onset of modernisation on European lines in late c19th Romania, this style was identified as belonging to the Ottoman past and consciously replaced by West European looking ‘Little Paris’ style buildings (what I call the Romanian provincial imitations of French architectural styles of that period) and by the emergent patriotic Neo-Romanian style (which itself borrows heavily from old Balkan architecture). Just a handful of traditional Bulgarian and Ottoman style buildings survive in modern Bucharest. The one presented in the photograph above is a rare inter-war rendering of that  style and gives a glimpse of how Bucharest used to look more than one and a half centuries ago, during the times of the Ottoman dominion.

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

I endeavor through this daily image series to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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

If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.