Architectural tour in Dacia – Eminescu – Polona historic area – Saturday 23 August

Dear readers

This is an invitation to an architectural history walking tour in the area centred on Dacia – Eminescu and Polona streets of Bucharest, endowed with some of the best quality historic architecture of Romania’s capital, open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania blog on Saturday 23 August 2014, for two hours, between 10.30h – 12.30h.

I will be your expert guide in this distinguished Bucharest quarter, packed with high impressive building designs, especially Neo-Romanian, belonging to its mature (such as the image on the left) and late flamboyant phases, along with Art Deco or Modernist designs. Dacia also encompasses Little Paris and a multitude of mixed style buildings of a powerful personality. The architects of many of these structures were from among the golden inter-war generation of such highly regarded professionals of Romania, among them Jean Monda or Jean Burcus. The zone is in large part residential, with a number of foreign embassies in its midst, and also because of the good state of its period edifices and agreeable urban planning dating from the first decades of the c20th, is also considered one of the prestigious districts of Bucharest. All of that delightful landmark architecture is waiting for you to be discovered and examined!

The tour costs lei 35 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)

Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour in Dacia area, Bucharest

Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour in Dacia area, Bucharest

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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.

Architectural tour after working hours: Art Deco and Modernist Bucharest – Thursday 21 August

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you this Thursday 21 August ’14, to a thematic walking tour, scheduled to take place after the working hours, between 18.00h – 20.00h, on the subject of the Art Deco and inter-war Modernist architectural designs of Bucharest. The tour 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 Art Deco style, peculiar to the “roaring ’20s” and the 1930s was the first truly global architecture, embraced with gusto by the Bucharest people and the rest of Romania. The city became in those years a veritable Art Deco architectural regional “power“, embellished with high quality edifices in this style, many of which are still around, for us to admire and investigate, despite the terrible historical upheavals of the last eight decades in this part of Europe. A favorite Art Deco theme in Bucharest was that of the ocean liner, reflecting the longing of inter-war locals to travel to exotic places in the southern seas, far away from the local Siberia-like winters. The inter-war Modernist style and syntheses between Art Deco and Modernism are also well represented in Bucharest, with creations signed by talented architects such as Horia Creanga or Duiliu Marcu. That great multitude of buildings were developed on a solid economic background when Romania was one of the main oil exporters of the world and also an important agricultural producer. The present tour endeavours to locate and explain some of the representative edifices in the Art Deco style  in central Bucharest and give you a well referenced overall image about how these designs impacted the identity of this city and Romania in general.

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 Deco Bucharest – architectural tour

Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour: Art Deco Bucharest

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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.

Conference invitation: the formative years of King Michael and Queen Marie – 15 Jan. ’14

Diana and I would like to invite you to the new conference from the already traditional series inaugurated last year at the Liberal Cafe in Bucharest, on the royal and architectural history of Romania.

The subjects this year are the following:

Diana Mandache: “King Michael as a school pupil: curriculum, marks, fieldtrips”

Valentin Mandache: “Eastwell Manor: the birthplace of Queen Marie”

The event is organised by the National Liberal Party’s Bloggers’ Club, and is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 15 January, starting at 6.30 pm (The Liberal Cafe: 9, Doamnei Street, Lipscani quarter, just across the road from the National Bank).

Conference on the formative years of King Michael and Queen Marie

Conference: *King Michael as a school pupil, *Eastwell Manor: the brithplace of Queen Marie

There will be shown and discussed photographs and period newsreel footage about the school pupil Michael, from the Regency period and then as a Crown Prince, and architectural photographs of Eastwell Manor, images of Queen Marie during her childhood and as an adult visiting her birthplace, and how these formative years in such significant circumstances and environments influenced those two royal figures later in their life.

Conference on the formative years of King Michael and Queen Marie

Conference: *King Michael as a school pupil, *Eastwell Manor: the brithplace of Queen Marie

The Bloggers’ Club of the National Liberal Party and the presenters are looking forward to welcoming you at the conference!

The 10 most popular Historic Houses of Romania articles in June 2012

  1. The NEO-ROMANIAN ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: a brief guide on its origins and features
  2. Bucharest mid-1930s Art Deco Style House
  3. Earthquake Events in Bucharest and Their Effect on Historic Houses
  4. The DOORWAYS of Bucharest – Part 1 (the Little Paris type)
  5. Travel writing: trip to Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum
  6. Great War era US Army soldier’s gravestone in Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest
  7. Bucharest Little Paris style house interior
  8. Surveying Chisinau’s architectural heritage
  9. Antique poster of the great 1906 Royal Jubilee Exhibition in Bucharest
  10. Art Deco Style Greek God Bass-Reliefs: Photomontage & Slide Show

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

Kiseleff area, Bucharest: images from last Sunday’s (10 July '11) architectural history & photo tour (©Valentin Mandache)

The photomontage presented here is just a minuscule sample from the extraordinary richness and diversity of historic architecture encompassed within Bucharest’s Kiseleff area, the jewel in the crown for Romania’s capital’s iconic architecture. The tour was well attended by passionate and informed participants and I was only pleased to be their guide! We viewed and photographed a wide range of public and private buildings, from arch. Victor Stefanescu’s “Geological Museum” (1906-’08), a huge and unusual Neo-Romanian style edifice that is like a zoomed in picture of a normal size mansion in that style, or Ion Mincu’s Causeway Buffet (1889-’92), one of the earliest Neo-Romanian style buildings, considered as his most beautiful and accomplished creations, to a multitude of elegant houses in Art Deco, International Modernist, Neo-Romanian of all species and synthetic styles typical of Bucharest’s inter-war period. The tour has thus been a good comprehensive review of what Bucharest had best to offer in terms of historic architecture and I trust that the participants enjoyed this intellectuality loaded day out! :)

Kiseleff area, Bucharest - last Sunday’s (10 July '11) architectural history & photo tour (photo: Romulus Bena, Prietenii Scolii Centrale)

The above photograph presents tour participants listening to yours truly, in front of the Museum of Romanian Peasant, a magnificent palatial Neo-Romanian style building, displaying motifs and symbols from throughout all of Romania’s historic provinces, with references to the Byzantine, Gothic and also Islamic Ottoman models, an architectural message about the geopolitical position of the Romanian lands throughout their history at the junction point of the Christian (both Eastern and Western) and Islamic civilisations. The edifice was designed by arch. Ghica Budesti in 1912 and completed in 1940.

Kiseleff area, Bucharest - last Sunday’s (10 July '11) architectural history & photo tour (photo: Idei Cusute)

Tour participants in front of the Causeway Buffet. The edifice is considered today as one of the most important and seminal Neo-Romanian style structures ever built.

Kiseleff area, Bucharest - last Sunday’s (10 July '11) architectural history & photo tour (photo: Idei Cusute)

Participants at the tour and guide taking a break in a piazzetta off Kisseleff Boulevard, admiring the multitude of grand and flamboyant Neo-Romanian style edifices surrounding them on all sides.

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses

!!! The next Sunday (17 July ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place in Patriarchy Hill historic quarter, south-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: Piata Unirii tube station (in front of the exit on Boulevard Dimitrie Cantemir, next to Horoscop Restaurant. I look forward to seeing you there !!!

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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.

From yesterday’s architectural photography tour of Cotroceni historic quarter, Bucharest

Architectural details, images from yesterday's photo-tour of Cotroceni historic quarter, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Yesterday I organised the first from my planed series of architectural photography tours in Bucharest and nearby towns. The area scheduled for exploration was Cotroceni historic quarter in west-central Bucharest. The participants were very keen to find out all matters of architectural and social history peculiar to this area of Romania’s capital and how to perfect their architectural photography skills using point and shoot cameras. I have been pleased to be their guide and trust that my explanations, pointing out particular details, advising about basic architectural photography techniques and making sense of a complex and apparently chaotic historic architectural landscape were well received by the participants. A sample of the exquisite architectural images shot yesterday in Cotroceni is presented in the above collage. The quarter boasts mainly Neo-Romanian and Art Deco style residential architecture and is one of the best preserved built heritage areas of Bucharest.

The next Sunday (12 June ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural photography tour will take place in Mantuleasa historic quarter, east central Bucharest; meeting point: University subway passage, in front of Bucharest Tourist Information booth. I look forward to seeing you there and go exploring this more than fascinating city corner!

Valentin Mandache (author of Historic Houses of Romania blog)

With participants at the architectural photography tour in Cotroceni on 5 June 2011 (photo:Romulus Andrei Bena)

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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 top 10 “Historic Houses of Romania” articles in 2010

I thought it would be interesting to show which were this year’s the 10 most popular articles on the “Historic Houses of Romania” blogsite:

  1. The NEO-ROMANIAN ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: a brief guide on its origins and features
  2. Art Deco Building Interior Elements
  3. CASOTA CONAC: a magnificent Romanian period property that has yet to realise its potential
  4. RECONSTRUCTED FACADES of Bucharest grand old buildings: seeds of a new trend?
  5. BUCHAREST: a brief presentation of the 6th largest EU metropolis
  6. ALLEGORICAL SCULPTURES on the Building of Romania’s National Bank
  7. The DOORWAYS of Bucharest – Part 1 (the Little Paris type)
  8. Art Nouveau Wrought Iron Gate
  9. ART NOUVEAU restoration project in Bucharest
  10. The FINIALS of Neo-Romanian style houses

The site has became the most comprehensive Internet resource on Romanian architectural history and period property market, having a list of over 500 articles and well over 1000 relevant photographs shot by the author. The popularity of these articles shows the keen interest in the varied and in many instances unique historic architecture peculiar to this region from south east Europe. The 1st article suggests the worldwide interest in the Neo-Romanian architectural style, an exquisite order peculiar to this country; the 2nd article is a reflection of the interest in the Art Deco architecture of Bucharest, one of the still ‘undiscovered’ provinces of this beautiful inter-war design creation, while the 3rd article confirms the excitement generated by the Romanian manor houses, the conacs, which dot the beautiful built rural landscape of the vast lower Danube prairie and the hilly regions of the Carpathian piedmont. The other articles show a keen interest in the expression of the Art Nouveau style in the architecture of Romania or about the distinctive architectural artefacts embellishing the Romanian period properties like the exquisite doorways or the highly unusual roof finials.

Valentin Mandache, author of the “Historic Houses of Romania” blog

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I endeavor 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.

Architect, builders crew and proprietors on a 1928 building site

The architect Constantin Nanescu, builders crew and proprietors on a building site in 1928 Campulung Muscel, Romania. (fragment of an old postcard, private collection)

The above postcard fragment is a fascinating snapshot of Romanian social, economic and also architectural history from the inter war period. It depicts the main parties in a building project for a shop (“Magazinul Staicu” according to the information on the back of the pc) that took place in 1928 in the city of Campulung Arges, southern Romania. The couple on the right are the proprietors, the person in the middle with a hat, tie and smoking, holding the plan is the architect Constantin Nanescu (better known among his contemporaries for his nickname “Cotone”), surrounded by the builders crew (the foreman between the couple and the architect, the bricklayer also holding the plan, the carpenter together with a young apprentice on the left hand side of the photograph). The postcard was intended as a medium for advertising the architect’s services, whose contact details are prominently displayed on a billboard in the foreground. It was most probably sold at the local bookshops and newsagents, thus spreading the word about the architect among other potential local clients. I like the obvious professional pride and sense of optimism (ironically the Great Depression of 1929 – 33 was just one year away) displayed by all the personages depicted in this memorable image, a fact reflected in the high quality architecture and building workmanship existent in inter-war Romania, which made possible the creation of many wonderful Neo-Romanian, Art Deco and modernist style edifices. I believe that the architectural style of this particular shop was Neo-Romanian, very popular in the late 1920s Campulung. (Many thanks to Mr Daniel Bobe, a native of Campulung, for supplying this postcard image).

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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 Contactpage of this weblog.

The “Historic Houses of Romania” blog has got a new livery

Dear Readers,

Web icon for the "Historic Houses of Romania" blog

I decided to change my blog’s old theme with a new more dynamic and engaging one. The new website livery is in my opinion neater, something in the fashion of the designs inspired by Google or  Apple layouts, clearer to navigate and provided with a lively background formed by a photomontage made from a few tens of historic architecture images from throughout Romania. The header contains one of the rare Bucharest weathervanes, pictured on the intense blue sky typical for Romania’s capital during the summer. As a novelty, the side column displays a “Featured post” widget, displaying a photograph and link to one of the nearly 500 articles published over the last year and ten months since this blog came into being, on subjects pertaining to the Romanian architectural history and the local period property market. That way, I hope to bring to your attention older and exciting articles that lay buried deep within the large volume of information amassed so far within this blog site. You are also greeted on the same side column by a photograph of yours truly, taken earlier this year, sitting proudly next to a painting of His Majesty King Michael of Romania, at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest. The new livery and site content still need just a few more tweaks here and there, which will be addressed in the next few days.

The “Historic Houses of Romania” blog is the most comprehensive and visited site on the Internet on Romania’s period architecture and market for period properties. I trust the new theme will keep alive that interest and engage your attention even more than before! :)

Yours,

Valentin Mandache, Expert in Romania’s historic houses

Word Cloud for the “Historic Houses of Romania” blog

Wordle for Historic Houses of Romania on 31 August 2010

This is an automatic word cloud generatd using the site http://www.wordle.net of the most frequent 150 words found in the articles that I wrote for the “Historic Houses of Romania” blog, displayed on the front page of the site.

The cloud can also be accessed at this link: http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2353180/Historic_Houses_of_Romania’s_wordle_on_31_August_2010

I like the fact that among the most frequent words that I use in my writings are terms such as “Neo-Romanian”, “Style”, “Art”, “Deco”, “Romania”, “Bucharest”, “Architecture”, “Ottoman”, “identity”, “historic”, “property”, “project”, “1930s”- exactly what this blog documents regarding the historic architecture and the period property market of Romania.

Article about the the “Historic Houses of Romania” blog in the publication “Romanian Diaspora”

The Romanian language online magazine “Romanian Diaspora” (“Diaspora Romaneasca”) from Italy has published a laudative article about the blog “Historic Houses of Romania” (its Romanian language version: “Case de Epoca”) and its contribution to the dissemination of information and news about the Romanian architectural heritage. I would like here to express, as the author of this blog, my thanks to the editors of “Romanian Diaspora” for the article and their nice words! It is a feeling of great professional satisfaction when my writings and research are thus found interesting and appreciated by people from among the large Romanian expatriate communities from Italy and elsewhere searching for references about their cultural identity.

Articol despre blogul Case de Epoca in publicatia Diaspora Romaneasca Ziarul online “Diaspora Romaneasca” din Italia a publicat pe data de 10 August 2010 un elogios articol despre blogul Case de Epoca, click aici pentru acces la articol. Mentionez mai jos cateva dintre frumoasele si incurajatoarele cuvinte ale redactorilor la adresa scrierilor mele pe tema patrimoniului arhitectural romanesc, pentru care le multumesc: “Oameni ca Valentin Mandache sunt o comoară pentru orice urbe care mai are o fărâmă de istorie, tr … Read More

via Case de Epoca

The Lush Vegetation & Sunburst Motifs of A Vanished Art Deco Panel

The lush vegetation and sunburst motifs Art Deco panel that embellished, until not long ago, a late 1920s apartment block in Bucharest; Opera area. (©Valentin Mandache)

The example above has been, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque and interesting Art Deco era building façade panels of Bucharest. It has vanished last year together with the rest of the quaint Art Deco style decoration of the building that hosted them for so many years after that edifice fell victim to the frenzy of ‘improvement’ works plaguing now Romania’s capital. These works are a city wide programme promoted by the mayoralty and heavily subsidised by the taxpayer aimed at ameliorating the thermal coefficient/ insulation of the local buildings. Although that seems a ‘green’ policy when taken at face value, it is in fact a major conduit through which many of Bucharest’s historic buildings are defaced or irremediably damaged with the concourse of the local authorities through programmes financed by taxpayer money. The scheme is enthusiastically embraced by the great multitude of ignorant property owners and tenants that populate this city. It is just one of the innumerable examples of badly thought policies affecting the architectural heritage of Bucharest. I wrote an article about this building and its plight last year (click for access here), a few weeks before all its Art Deco embellishings were rudely razed and thrown to the rubbish bin. In the autumn of 2009 I took another photograph of the newly ‘improved’ building, which I collated in the image bellow with a photograph of the old dwelling before the works took place. The proprietors are now probably very proud of the ‘modern’ look of their asset and convinced that the property value is much higher than when the strange  and useless, in their view, Art Deco panels were present there.

The Art Deco style apartment block before (upper half of the photograph) and after the 'improvement' works carried out by taxpayer subsidised contractors. The façade location of the decorative panel is indicated by the the 'x' mark within the blue circles. Photographs taken in 2009 (spring and early autumn). Opera area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

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I endeavor through this daily series of images and small 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.

Rich Floral Theme Neo-Romanian Veranda

An exquisite veranda, where the main decorative theme is represented by the abundant flowers on the frieze, of a well preserved early 1930s Neo-Romanian style house in Gara de Nord area. This is probably the best surviving such example in Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

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

I endeavor through this daily series of images and small 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.