Fin de Siècle Mountain Resort Villa

Mountain resort villa dating from 1890s, Sinaia, on the southern slopes of the Transylvanian Alps, Romania. (©Valentin Mandache)

The above photograph shows a holiday villa built in the 1890s in the town of Sinaia, in the Transylvanian Alps, 120km north of Bucharest. The town undertook at the end of the c19th an amazingly fast transformation from an isolated monastic community to an elegant summer and week end retreat resort, full of villas, casinos, hotels and restaurants, where the Bucharest elites came en masse to escape the canicular midsummer days or for leisure. That rapid transformation was set in motion by the building there of the magnificent Pelesh Castle (started in the 1870s), the amplest private residence of the Romanian Royal Family, and the completion, in the same period, of the railway line that crossed the mountains, linking Bucharest to the rest of Europe. The architecture of the interesting building presented here is a typical Central European Fin de Siècle mountain villa design where neo-rococo and other historicist motifs are grafted on what is by and large a chalet structure.

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