Bucharest air raid siren from the Second World War era

Air raid siren dating from the Second World War, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

During the Second World War, Bucharest has been the target of air raids from all belligerent sides: at the beginning of the war there were Soviet planes, followed, especially from 1943, by devastating night raids perpetrated by the RAF or daylight attacks by the US Air Forces and finally after Romania switched sides and joined the Allies on 23 August 1944, the city became the target of vicious Luftwaffe raids. During that time, the city has developed a fairly reliable civil warning system by installing electric and crank actioned sirens in areas with important pedestrian traffic. The above example is one of the few such surviving war time air ride warning devices. I am not sure about its type, but I would be inclined to say that it is a hand-operated machine, quite probably German made (I may of course be mistaken in both those considerations). The siren is located in the St. Joseph Cathedral area, being quite hard to notice from the street level, as is affixed on a first floor level Juliet balcony rail that adorns a grand house from the La Belle Époque period. It is, in my opinion, a very interesting surviving war time artefact, an integral part of the historical fabric of this city at the margins of Europe that throughout its history that has seen innumerable upheavals and conflagrations.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic 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 or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

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