The Glazed Façade of c19th Beer Restaurant

A well preserved intricate late c19th beer restaurant glazed façade located in Sinaia city park; the Transylvanian Alps. (©Valentin Mandache)

The mountain resort of Sinaia, in the Transylvanian Alps undertook a fast development in the last quarter of the c19th once the railway that crossed the mountains, connecting Bucharest with the rest of Europe was opened, and the Romanian Royal Family built its magnificent summer retreat there, the Pelesh Castle. A multitude of private individuals also erected attractive Alpine chalet type villas throughout the town as week end or summer residencies to escape the sweltering weather of Bucharest. Businesses were flourishing in the booming resort and the restaurants and casinos were some of the most obvious manifestations of the emerging prosperity. The above photograph, which I took in early spring last year, shows an early example of such Sinaia establishment: a beer restaurant with what once must have been a large front garden. It uses a relatively cheap timber frame structure and glazed surface, with interesting saw-cut latticework on some of its sectors.  It lays now empty, perhaps because of ownership disputes among the descendants of pre-communist owners, or more probably because the new owners intend to demolish it in order to make way for a more profitable modern building (the structure is listed and the easiest legal way to obtain a demolition permit is to leave it, in a discreet way, deteriorate beyond repair- a terrible phenomenon affecting the built heritage of Romania on a huge scale). The timber-frame restaurants were popular in late c19th small town Romania, many of them still surviving in various states of repair, constituting excellent potential renovation projects for those willing to undertake such an enterprise.

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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.