Retrospective 2013. Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca

As 2013 is drawing to a close, here is a less than 2 min length video of my architectural history photographs, which I believe shows the essence of my activity this year. The images were used throughout 2013 as cover photos for my Historic Houses of Romania facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/casedeepoca).

The author of Historic Houses of Romania blog at the launch of the Liberal Publishing House

I had the honour to be invited, yesterday 21 Nov. ’12, at the launch of the Liberal Publishing House, in the great company of Mr. Radu Campeanu, a veteran of the National Liberal Party of Romania, who spent many years in the Stalinist prisons and in exile (he is among the main re-founders of the party after the fall of Ceausescu’s dictatorship), and Mr. Varujan Vosganian, a leading member of that National Liberals. I spoke about the Neo-Romanian architectural style and how the building hosting the event, Ionel IC Bratianu House, by architect Petre Antonescu – 1908, is one of the archetypes of this design peculiar to this country. I trust that the speech was received with interest, judging from the images and video-recoding presented bellow. VM

The author of Historic Houses of Romania blog at the launch of the Liberal Publishing House. Venue: Ionel IC Bratianu House, Bucharest, 21 Nov. 2011

The author of Historic Houses of Romania blog at the launch of the Liberal Publishing House. Venue: Ionel IC Bratianu House, Bucharest, 21 Nov. 2011

Autumnal sky and clouds rushing over Antim Monastery, Bucharest

This is a small sample from Bucharest’s environmental identity: one of the city’s old churches, Antim Monastery, with its majestic cupola towers set against the beautiful autumnal blue sky, peppered with fast moving patches of clouds, so peculiar to this latitude, mid-way between the North Pole and the Equator, in continental Europe.

Bucharest ant superhighway

This is a sample of Bucharest’s environmental identity, a metropolis in south east Europe located midway between the North Pole and the Equator, with a temperate continental climate. We had quite an Indian Summer this October 2012 in Romania’s capital, with some apple or chestnut trees flowering again, or ant colonies, such as is the case here, being highly energized to look for food or change the place of their colony, when they should normally prepare for hibernation. Is this another proof that there is a climate change process going on?

Romanian landscape seen from the train’s rear

An evocative, although apparently placid, landscape in southern Romania in the environs of Bucharest, filmed from a slow moving passenger train’s rear. The region is called the Lower Danube Prairie, similar in geography and climate with the prairie around the Great Lakes on the North American continent.

Videoarchitecture: the Neo-Romanian style of the Geological Museum building in Bucharest

Video by Valentin Mandache, author of the blog Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca (www.historo.wordpress.com) about the architecture of the Geological Museum in Bucharest, a masterwork of arch. Alexandru Stefanescu in the mature variety of the Neo-Romanian style, built in 1906. Location: Kisselef Boulevard, Bucharest.

Video-invitation to architectrual tour in Matei Basarab area of Bucharest, Sunday 22 April

 

Details at http://wp.me/pFpRa-3Gt

Book by emailing v.mandache@gmail.com or using the comments section of this post. You will be informed of meeting place on booking.

I look forward to seeing you at the tour,

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

Video-invitation to Historic Houses of Romania architectrual tours: Staurday 14 and Monday 16 April ’12

Details at http://wp.me/pFpRa-3F5 and http://wp.me/pFpRa-3Fj

Book by emailing v.mandache@gmail.com or using the comments section of this post. You will be informed of meeting place on booking.

I look forward to seeing you at the tour,

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

Video-invitation to Historic Houses of Romania week end architectural tours: 7 & 8 April ’12

Book by emailing v.mandache@gmail.com or using the comments section of this post. You will be informed of meeting place on booking.

I look forward to seeing you at the tour,

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

The Military Cemetery of Buzau: history and architecture

Buzau is located in southeastern Romania at the great bend made by the chain of the Carpathian Mountains, a place  of many bloody conflagrations between enemy empires and also nation states. The video presents the Military Cemetery of that town, the sections for the Second Balkan War and the Great War.

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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.

Historic Houses of Romania: video-retrospective 2011

see it full screen, 720p HD

The video is a short metaphoric retrospective of Case de Epoca – Historic Houses of Romania blog’s activity in 2011. I shot were over 15,000 frames, posted more than 200 articles, read by on average 15,000 unique site visitors per month, and undertook over 50 architectural tours with participating public that came from all over the world. On the whole, it has been an exciting year! For 2012 I plan more tours in Bucharest and the rest of Romania, another batch of out of the ordinary architectural history articles and as a novelty- architectural history courses.

Yours,
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.

***********************************************

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.

Neo-Romanian style public fountain

This is a rare architectural history find: an example of Neo-Romanian style public fountain. It is located in the courtyard of Buzau county court house, south-east Romania. The designer of the whole court assembly, built between 1909 – 1912, is the architect Petre Antonescu, the most prolific and one of the best Neo-Romanian style designers, whose origins are in the Buzau county area (born in the city of Ramnicau Sarat).

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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.

***********************************************

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.

The symbols of “Romania’s Economy” within the architectural panoply from the Ministry of Agriculture building in Bucharest

This is a video-description of one of the amplest and best designed architectural panoplies symbolising the economy Romania during the Fin de Siècle period, inspired from the Greek – Roman mythology, hosted on the building of the Ministry of Agriculture in Bucharest, designed in 1895 by the French architect Louis Blanc.

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I endeavour through this daily 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.

***********************************************

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.

Bucharest recovers its royal past: the equestrian statue of King Carol I

The statue of King Carol I, the sovereign who modernised Romania on European lines from a backwater Ottoman province and won the country’s independence on the battlefield has been put back in its former place in front of the Royal Palace in Bucharest after a seven decade absence. The original statue was the master-work of the famous Croatian/ Yugoslav sculptor Ivan Mestovic and has been inaugurated on 10 May 1939, the National Day of Romania that celebrated the day when Carol I first arrived in Bucharest from Germany in 1866 as the newly appointed Prince of the Danubian Principalities of Moldova and Wallachia. The statue has been pulled down by the communist government in 1948, a few months after the forced abdication of the King Michael, in a barbaric show of force using tanks to tear down the structure. Its bronze is said to have been used in the construction of the statue of Lenin that has stood until 1990 in front of the Casa Scanteii (the communist press house), when this was in its turn pulled down by an enraged Bucharest population in the aftermath of the 1989 anti-communist revolution. The actual statue is a loose replica of the original one, by the sculptor Florin Codre. There were controversies with the descendants of Ivan Mestrovic regarding the copyrights for this artistic master-work, which seems to have been ironed out in negotiations and compensations by the Bucharest mayoralty. I assisted on 6 Dec 2010 at the re-inauguration ceremony of this monument; bellow is a video and a photograph from that event.

PS I had the great honour to be contacted by Mrs Rumiana Mestrovic, the daughter-in-law of the great Croatian sculptor. Please read the comments section, where Mrs Mestrovic expounds her qualified view on the controversies and awkward copyright issues raised by the production of the present monument and also about the many apparent blunders committed by the Romanian government and Bucharest authorities in communicating with the descendants and copyright holders of Ivan Mestrovic’s creations. It is indeed clear that the present statue is unfortunately a recycled concoction of the the original inter-war monument, put together by the Romanian sculptor Florin Codre. The Romanian authorities, who in general are a poorly cultured lot, products of the low quality education system of Romania, have once again managed to mess up an event that if organised properly, without the usual associated corruption and clan politics, would have been so auspicious in recovering the identity and memory of this city.

The equestrian statue of King Carol I re-inaugurated in Bucharest on 6 Dec 2010. (©Valentin Mandache)

 

Old photograph from the early 1940s: the equestrian statue of King Carol I by Ivan Mestrovic

This post has initially been published on Diana Mandache’s blog on Royal History: http://royalromania.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/bucharest-recovers-its-royal-past-the-equestrian-statue-of-king-carol-i/

Identical Neo-Romanian style houses in Bucharest city square

Recently I visited an interesting Bucharest square with identical model houses mirroring each other across the sides of that square, presented in the video above. This location was brought to my attention some time ago by Mr. Romulus Bena, a regular reader and commenter (on the Facebook page) of my articles. The architecture is Neo-Romanian with some Art Deco echoes. This set up is a rare occurrence in the inter-war Romanian urban planning. A few months ago I wrote about another similar urban set up from Campulung-Arges in southern Romania, click here for access. Bellow is an aerial view with the Bucharest city square documented in the video.

Neo-Romanian style houses in Brazil Street square, Bucharest; aerial view.

***********************************************

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.

***********************************************

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.