Daily Picture 1-Feb-10: Ottoman Arches in a Romanian Art Nouveau Guise

A sector of the Art Nouveau - Ottoman arch motif colonnade that wraps around the ground level of Buzau Commune Palace (Buzau town hall), Eastern Romania. (©Valentin Mandache)

The colonnade above embellishes the Buzau Commune Palace/ Town Hall in Eastern Romania, the province of Wallachia. The paint and decoration exude an air of bright sun-drenched Mediterranean architecture, despite the local temperate latitude and the fact that I took the photograph on a rainy and at times foggy winter day. The palace is probably the largest Art Nouveau – Neo-Romanian fusion style building in Romania, the master-work of architect Alexandru Savulescu, completed in 1903. The colonnade uses an Ottoman Balkan arch type encountered at church and mosque buildings in the region, making a superb “Cordoba cathedral”-like colonnade impression. The column capital is formed from a composition of vine leaves, an alusion to the wine production, one of the main industries of Buzau county. Ottoman arches combined with a local industry symbol represent a subtle and well crafted local identity message, which highlights the talent of the architect and the vision of his patrons in the then fin de siècle Romania.

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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.

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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.

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