Art Nouveau Bucharest – architectural tour after working hours, Thursday 31 July

Dear readers,

I will organise a thematic architectural tour this Thursday 31 July ’14, after the working hours, between 18.00h – 20.00h, on the subject of the exceedingly interesting, but often elusive Art Nouveau architecture of Bucharest. This cultural excursion may be of interest to any of you visiting the city as a tourist or on business looking to find out more about its fascinating historic architecture and identity.

The innovative and flamboyant Art Nouveau current that emerged at the end of c19th, as a reaction to the rigidity of the historicist styles, had also an important impact in Fin de Siècle Romania. One of its notable influences was the articulation within its coordinates of the local national style, known today as Neoromanian, in a similar manner with other emerging national styles in the rest of Eastern Europe. Today the once exquisite Art Nouveau remnants are hard to notice by the untrained eye, although they are quite numerous, but scattered throughout the area of old Bucharest and often obscured by inclusion within ampler architectural assemblies rendered in historicist c19th styles. This tour endeavours to locate and explain the meaning and message of  some of the significant Art Nouveau representations that embellish the city center and give you an overall image about this style and its impact on the architectural development of Romania’s capital.

The tour costs Lei 35 (Romanian currency) per person, 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)

Art Nouveau Bucharest – architectural tour (©Valentin Mandache)

Historic Houses of Romania tour: Art Nouveau Bucharest

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

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.

Mosilor area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour

Mosilor area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history and photography tour (©Valentin Mandache)

The tour which I organised last Sunday, 7 August ’11, the tenth such end of the week cultural excursion :), in Mosilor area of Bucharest has been very popular, attended by professionals and students alike, in majority Romanians, as well as people from Ireland or the US, settled or working here. Mosilor is one of the most picturesque and evocative quarters of old Bucharest, being a mostly residential district with a strong identity expressed in its people’s sense of community and delightful historic architecture. The quarter grew around the famous Mosilor fair, which since the c18th, when was first mentioned in documents, took place outside the walls of the old city, on the road that went to Moldova, also known as “Drumul Mare” (the Highway). The fair and quarter around it grew spectacularly once the principalities of Wallachia and Moldova got united, forming Romania, in the aftermath of the Crimea War. Mosilor area, as a consequence, has a relatively high density of exquisite late c19th houses rendered in the “Little Paris style” architecture, what I name the French and other western historicist styles of that period interpreted in a provincial manner in Romania. Another well represented architectural style is the Neo-Romanian, ranging from early examples dating from the last years of the c19th, to hybrids with the Art Deco, erected in the 1930s. There is also a multitude of other styles from different periods- from a late c18th Balkan Ottoman dwelling, to Beaux Arts, Art Deco and Modernist edifices dotting the quaint and leafy streets of Mosilor. I thus trust that the participants enjoyed a good cultural Sunday morning out, full of discoveries and revelations about one of the most loved and enchanting quarters of old Bucharest. :)

Mosilor area: participants and guide during the last Sunday’s architectural history and photography tour (photo: Ioana Novac)

Mosilor area: participants and guide during the last Sunday’s architectural history and photography tour (photo: Ioana Novac)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

!!! The next Sunday (14 August ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place in Domenii hisoric quarter – Casa Scanteii building, north-west-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: in the Arch of Triumph square at the Herastrau park entrance in front of the big black public clock. I look forward to seeing you there !!!

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses

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

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.

Images from the Cismigiu architectural history & photography tour

Architectural history and photography tour in Cismigiu area, 26 June '11, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

We had a very dense architectural tour last Sunday in the Cismigiu area of Bucharest, with the above photomontage probably conveying something from that reality on the ground. This quarter of Romania’s capital is packed with the remarkable creations of some of the most famous native and foreign born architects, active on the local market starting with the last decades of the c19th; personalities such as Giulio Magni, Horia and Ion Creanga, Ion and Tiberiu Niga, Nicolae Cucu, Gheorghe Simotta, Petre Antonescu or Emil Günes, to cite just some of them. Among the many edifices viewed, I also had the opportunity to show and describe to the participants about the less known or even enigmatic details of this brimful with architectural marvels area. One of them is seen at the centre of the photomontage, the bas-relief, adorning a grand Neo-Romanian style building, depicting King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania in the ceremonial robes from the Alba Iulia coronation that took place in 1922. The panel is very difficult to notice from the street level and probably that is why it escaped the communist era frenzy of destruction of monuments and buildings connected with the royal past. The tour participants were very international, coming from places like Thailand, France and of course this country. I was honoured to see such a high level of interest in this aspect of Bucharest’s identity and heritage. I trust that the participants had thus a nice and productive intellectual day out!

The next Sunday (3 July ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place in Foisorul de Foc (Fire Watchtower) quarter, east-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: in front of the Greek Church (the one like an ancient Greek temple from Pache Protopopescu square). I look forward to seeing you there!

Architectural history and photography tour in Cismigiu area, Bucharest (photo: arch. Daniela Puia)

With the participants at the tour, detailing the intricacies of the early Neo-Romanian style of the Ministry of Education building.

Architectural history and photography tour in Cismigiu area, Bucharest (photo: Dana Cernat)

The tour participants walking within the the round of the classics of the Romanian literature in Cismigiu Park, a landscape architecture design, created to lift the morale at the height of the Second World War when the country was losing hundred of thousands soldiers in the senseless alliance with Nazi Germany at the battle of Stalingrad.

Architectural history and photography tour in Cismigiu area, Bucharest (photo: arch. Daniela Puia)

Tour participants together, admiring the majestic outlines of the Cretzulescu Palace (beginning of c20th), a French Renaissance revival style edifice, one of the early creations of the great architect Petre Antonescu.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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.