1900s Roof Eave with Local Dissemination

Roof eave adorning an early 1910s trader's house in Buzau, eastern Romania. (©Valentin Mandache)

I photographed the above exquisite roof eave in the old commercial quarter of the city of Buzau in eastern Romania. It is a creation inspired from the roof eaves of the Buzau Commune Palace, built in a peculiar Art Nouveau – Neo-Romanian style in 1903, about which I posted a short video-article some weeks ago. There are also some vernacular elements used in this roof eave decoration, like the protruding fusaiolles on the horizontal arm of the eave, a decorative feature encountered throughout the old Ottoman Balkan realm, of which Buzau together with southern and eastern Romania have been once part. What I found very interesting is the quite wide dissemination of this type of roof eave (where the main distinguishing element is the circle sector taming the harsh right angle between the eave’s vertical and horizontal arms) throughout Buzau county area. It can be found adorning a number of old vernacular architecture houses in some of the local villages. I know that in my birth village, Goldeanu-Silistea, in southern Buzau county, that there are at least two houses (built in the early 1930s by local wealthy peasants) that use a variation of this type of roof eave. It represents a very interesting  phenomenon of architectural style transfer/ dissemination from a prestige edifice, built in a high architectural style, to the aspirational craftsman built houses belonging to wealthier and more educated local traders and peasants.

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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 Contactpage of this weblog.