Walking tour Saturday 13 September: The Late Neo-Romanian Style of Bucharest’s Kiseleff Park area

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a thematic architectural tour this Saturday 13 September ’14, on the subject of the late phase of the Neo-Romanian architectural style, which unfurled mainly in the fourth and the fifth decades of the c20th, a period when this order peculiar to Romania reached a crisis in terms of expression, mitigated by a fascinating synthesis with the Art Deco, Mediterranean and Modernist styles. The tour takes approximately two hours, between 11.00h – 13.00h, and it may be of interest to those of you visiting the city as a tourist or on business looking to find out more about its enchanting historic architecture and identity.

The modern construction technologies that emerged in the roaring twenties affording the development of light, airy structures expressed in the Art Deco and Modernist architecture, were quite antithetical to the traditionally ornate, heavy, built in brick and masonry, Neo-Romanian style edifices, as typical to its early and mature phases. That led to a crisis within this indigenous architectural order, threatened also by the high popularity among the public of the international modern styles or other fashionable building types, such as the Mediterranean inspired designs, which were all the rage in Bucharest during the 1930s. The Neo-Romanian style managed to survive and even thrive, until the watershed of the Second World War, through fascinating syntheses especially with the Art Deco, Mediterranean and to a lesser extent with the Modernist designs. The tour aims to present a number of telling examples from that phase of stylistic development located in Kiseleff Park area of north-central Bucharest, which is endowed with a higher concentration of such edifices, and thus chart a captivating chapter of Romania’s national style development and of Bucharest’s historic architecture.

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 thematic tour: The Late Neo-Romanian Style

Historic Houses of Romania tour: The late Neo-Romanian style

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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.

Chronicle of the 17 and 18 Dec. ’11 architectural tours

The first photograph bellow shows a quite enigmatic identity message within a decorative panel embellishing the façade of an early 1930s house located in Kisselef area of Bucharest, which was among the buildings examined during my thematic architectural tour entitled “The Late Neo-Romanian Style” on Saturday 17 Dec. ’11. The second photograph presents most of the participants at the Sunday 18 Dec. ’11 architectural walking tour in the Cismigiu historic area of Romania’s capital.

"The Late Neo-Romanian Style" - Saturday 17 Dec. '11 architectural tour: identity panel on Neo-Romanian style house, dating from the early 1930s, Kisselef area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The Saturday tour started on a quite unpromising rainy weather, which was probably the reason why the participation came from Ireland, with no natives at all :) However the conditions improved less than half an hour into the excursion, when we benefited from beautiful sunbursts through clouds crossing Bucharest’s sky. We had the opportunity to examine a great multitude of Late Neo-Romanian style houses, concentrated in the Kisselef area of the city, rounding up our image about this particular phase in the development in Romania’s national architectural style, which unfurled between the late 1920s and the end of the 1940s. As the tour came to a close, the intriguing panel presented here came in our view. It contains the representation of a tree from whose trunk springs out a human arm holding a bucket, having on the other side something looking like a stack of six spheres arranged like the dots on a dice face. This panel could be, in my opinion, a family coat of arms or even a Masonic symbol connected with the first proprietor of the house. I look forward for opinions from you, dear readers, who might have access to better information, to clarify that tormenting, for me, riddle!

"Cismigiu historic area" - Sunday 18 Dec. '11 architectural tour: excursion participants

The Saturday tour in Cismigiu quarter was well attended by a nationally diverse group (Australia, US, Ireland and natives of course). We benefited of a wonderful weather, with a bright sun and a crisp, clear atmosphere propitious to view intricate architectural details. The trip started at Izvor tube station, ending at the Romanian Classical Writers’ Round in Cismigiu Gardens, after an assiduous walk of over five kilometres in three hours, examining at close range a large number of exquisite historic buildings. The photograph shows us toward the end of the tour, all with quite happy faces in my opinion, myself exhibiting a bit of the effects of speaking almost continuously throughout in my quality as a guide. :)

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

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.