Neo-Romanian style fences

The architectural design and craftsmanship attained a peak in Romania in terms of quality and excellence during the late 1920s until de advent of the Second World War. The communist and post communist decades that followed saw the dramatic decline of those skills and talent, which are now just a poor shadow of those former years of glory. Some of the profusely conspicuous architectural elements created in that period are the street fences, among which the Neo-Romanian style fences are of often of a spectacular and intriguing design. Bellow are two such examples that have survived those decades of vicissitudes without much maintenance or contemplation from the inhabitants of this city.

Neo-Romanian style street fence dating from the early 1930s, Dacia area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The wrought iron fence seen in the above example contains Neo-Romanian motifs seen especially in the Greek cross motif decorating its upper band. I like how the designer solved the problem of absence of proper fence poles by extending the structure over the concrete base at regular intervals, a position also decorated in an ampler fashion, with an arched motif atop, reminding the Byzantine arches frequently encountered in the panoply of the Neo-Romanian style.

Neo-Romanian style fence dating from the early 1930s, Dacia area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

This street fence example contains massive poles adorned atop with the rope motif, often encountered in ethnographic and church decoration. The poles are a national-romantic metaphor for the medieval citadel towers that populate the Romanian romantic literature, referring to the medieval national resistance against invasions from all directions. The fence itself is made from high quality wrought iron, displaying outlines that remind of Brancovan era (the Wallachian late medieval period) church broken arches and wall structures that resulted from a unique synthesis between the Byzantine Christian and Ottoman Islamic decorative registers.

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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 Contact page of this weblog.

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