Daily Picture 14-Feb-10: Spa Town Development Boom in Victorian Era Romania

Sarata-Monteoru spa town in South East Romania, developed by the great Monteoru aristocratic-commercial family in the 1880 - '90s, part of the boom period of spa town developments in late Victorian era Romania. (old postcard Valentin Mandache collection)

Endowed with a geographically diverse territory and the longest sector of the Carpathian Mountains (over 1,000 km length of alpine geology mountain chains), Romania is very propitious for the development of spa towns around the innumerable hot and mineral springs, among stunning natural scenery. The Roman Empire was the first to establish such spas on what is now the Romanian territory (ie the Herculane Spa town in SW Romania) and the occasion occurred again in the Victorian era Romania, 17 centuries later, in a time of peace and prosperity not encountered by this region since the Roman conquest. The old postcard above shows an 1890s image of the pumps’ hall in Sarata-Monteoru spa town in Buzau county, SE Romania, one of the many such towns that sprang up in that era of prosperity. The architecture of these towns was that of similar establishments in Central Europe or France and Belgium. Many of these buildings and facilities still survive today, albeit in a very run down state or even on the verge of demolition, constituting extraordinary potential renovation projects for those willing to undertake such an enterprise. Unfortunately, these old quaint buildings, are also eyed by rapacious and ignorant local property developers.

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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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