Gara de Nord area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour

Gara de Nord area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour (©Valentin Mandache)

Gara de Nord area of old Bucharest is one of the most interesting and architecturally diverse parts of the whole city, but almost always ignored by the tourist books and photo albums now flooding the market or tour companies catering for indigenous and foreign visitors. Therefore last Sunday’s tour was for me something of a mission to put Gara de Nord back on its rightful place on the architectural map of Romania’s capital! I was fortunate to have enthusiastic and highly intelligent participants, who stimulated me even more in that endeavour. We were particularly impressed with the classical majesty, Doric like, of the main portal of Gara de Nord and also its massive Art Deco ornaments depicting winged train wheels crowned by grapevine leaves, symbolising the country (a motif also encountered in Neo-Romanian architecture). Absolutely striking were the decorative panels of the old Dacia Cinema depicting scenes from the silent film era. The stripped-down neo-Renaissance style of the old Polytechnic University edifice, dating from 1886, was again something of a treat. The residential blocks were also teeming with architectural delights, from delicate mascarons and fine wrought iron gates typical of the Little Paris style of the La Belle Époque period, flamboyant Neo-Romanian buildings with impressive roof finials and monumental doorways, to flowery Art Deco ornaments and stern International Modernist style dwellings. I thus trust that the participants enjoyed this rich in architectural history sights tour and will spread the word about Gara de Nord’s architectural nuggets :).

Gara de Nord area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour- guide with tour participants in front of a magnificent wrought iron gate dating from the 1900s (photo: Valentin Mandache)

!!! The next Sunday (31 July ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place in Dorobanti historic quarter, north-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: Victoriei tube station (on the Aviatorior Boulevard, the one from where you can see the Air Forces monument). I look forward to seeing you there !!!

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses

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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.