Tag Archives: Guided Tour

Tour: The Neoromanian style at its peak, Monday 2.05

Dear readers,

I will organise an architectural tour this Monday 2 May 2016, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h, on the subject of the mature phase of the Neoromanian architectural style, when it reached a peak in terms of expression and development. That represents an extraordinary creative period, unfurled throughout the first three decades of the c20th, which produced the most iconic and accomplished edifices in this manner of architectural design specific to Romania and neighbouring regions where the country had influence. The Neoromanian style had thus became the most visible identity marker of this nation and is now considered its chief contribution to the world’s built heritage. Bucharest is the best endowed place with edifices in that architecture, with a great selection of buildings from the period when the neoromanian reach its magnificence. The tour may be of interest to any of you working as expatriates here or visiting the town, looking to find out more about its fascinating historic architecture and identity.

The mature phase of the Neo-Romanian style was initiated with the Great Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1906 in Bucharest, when the pavilions of that venue were designed according to rigorous tenets, and the style was thus first properly and eloquently presented to the wider public of that epoch, and went on until the end of the third decade of the c20th, when it reached a certain crisis of expression under the impact of new, international, architectural fashions such as Art Deco and Modernism, styles also associated with cheaper and more rapid building technologies. The tour endeavours to explain the messages, symbolism and characteristics of some of the significant Neoromanian buildings designed and built at the apogee of the development of this indigenous architectural order, edifices located in central Bucharest (see the map bellow for the tour area), such as arch. Petre Antonescu’s Marmorosch Blank Bank headquarters (1915 -23) or the Palace of the Post Office Customs designed by arch. Statie Ciortan (1914 – ’26), offering you a good grounding in recognising and understanding this remarkable architectural phenomenon and its huge impact over the cultural identity of Romania’s capital and the rest of the country.

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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca, tel: 0040 (0)728323272

Historic Houses of Romania architectural walking tour in Bucharest: The mature phase Neo-Romanian Style
Historic Houses of Romania walking tour: the Neo-Romanian style at its apogee

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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.

Tour: Art Nouveau Bucharest. Sunday 1 May

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a thematic architectural tour, this Sunday 1 May 2016, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h, on the subject of the exceedingly interesting, but often elusive Art Nouveau architecture of Bucharest. The proposed cultural excursion may be of interest to any of you visiting the town 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 how other emerging national styles in the rest of Eastern Europe expressed themselves in Art Nouveau fashions. There are just a handful of buildings in town expounding the international Art Nouveau design as a whole, a number of them examined and admired within this architecture trail. However there are still relatively numerous remnants in Bucharest of this once exquisite style, but hard to notice by the untrained eye, which come in bits and pieces on buildings that underwent successive unkind renovations, or are found as patches within overall conservative historicist style edifices of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, making the hunt for such design remnants even more captivating. I will endeavour to point you out from those details, explaining the meaning and message of  some of the significant Art Nouveau representations embellishing the center of this town, and thus reveal how it has impacted the architectural development of Romania’s capital.

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

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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.

Tour in east Cotroceni, Saturday 30 April

Cotroceni East-13-3
Costache Negri fountain, east Cotroceni

Dear Readers,

I would like to invite you to an architecture history walk in one of the prestigious quarters of Bucharest, Cotroceni, its eastern, older, part, centred on the area between Dr. Nicolae Staicovici Street and Dr. Joseph Lister Street. This cultural excursion is open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of Historic Houses of Romania blog, for two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h, on Saturday 30 April 2016.

I will be your guide through one of the best quality historic architecture areas of Romania’s capital, constituted from an array of exquisite Little Paris, Neoromanian, and Art Deco and Modernist style houses, intercalated with some alluring examples of Art Nouveau and Mediterranean. The eastern part of Cotroceni is also its oldest, containing one of the best preserved laid out property developments from the Fin de Siècle years. These edifices were built mainly by people belonging to the professional classes of Romania, especially medical doctors and army high echelon officers, of the La Belle Époque and interwar periods. They constructed their residences close by the former Royal Palace of Cotroceni, where the crown couple lived, today used as the Presidential Palace, and the Medical Sciences University, the most prestigious such institution in the south east of Europe, making the area one of the high status quarters of the capital. We will examine and admire the message and symbolism encompassed within designs created by a number of well known architects, like Jean Burcus or Peter Boico, and unearth layers of social and economic history underpinning the development of architecture of this quarter. I will show you how periods such as the prosperous years of the late 19th century or the oil export boom of the 1930s have left their imprint in the magnificence of the ornaments and details, but also how the Peasant Uprising of 1907, or the 1929-1933 Depression, have stunted the development of the area and diminished the aspirations of local patrons and their architects. Cotroceni is also populated by diverse species of  trees, which will give us an image of how a beautiful Bucharest quarter of yester-decades used to look, a sample of its environmental identity, a city renowned by its gardens and tree lined streets, before the urban agglomeration and decay of the communist and post-communist eras altered that charming character. All of this richness of detail is waiting to be discovered by you under my guidance as part of this cultural trail.

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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca, tel: 0040 (0)728323272

Cotroceni East tour1-001
Historic houses and old architectural details in east Cotroceni, Bucharest. ©Valentin Mandache
Cotroceni East - map-002
Historic Houses of Romania walking tour in east Cotroceni

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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.

Tour in Calea Calarasi area – Sunday 24.04

Dear readers,

This is an invitation to an architectural walking tour in Calea Calarasi historic area of Bucharest, open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania blog, this Sunday 24 April 2016, for two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h.

I will be your guide through this quaint Bucharest quarter, reminiscent of its heydays as the Little Paris of the Balkans, but also containing a multitude of fine Neoromanian, Art Deco and vernacular architectures. Apart from those designs, there are also a few old houses from the Ottoman era displaying forms and motifs encountered in the wider region, from the Balkans to Anatolia. Calea Calarasi area is located in the centre-east part of the old Bucharest, which took off as a commercial quarter in the first part of the c19th, when Bucharest was still firmly within the orbit of the Ottoman Empire’s economy and the city was expanding along the road that went toward the then Turkish ports of the maritime Danube and the Black Sea. There are many hidden architectural gems that speak of the social history and tastes of those bygone ages. Most of the edifices are domestic buildings, a fact which adds to the discreet charm of their architecture. Among the few commercial edifices is the “Trajan” market hall, a remarkable wrought and cast iron Victorian industrial architecture structure, built in 1896 after a design by the Italian architect Giulio Magni, one of the then city hall chief architects. Calea Calarasi used to be a cosmopolitan place, with a large Jewish population and other ethnic communities, an open encyclopaedia of Bucharest’s social and architectural history in its most intimate setting, that of the old families that can trace their roots to the small traders of the past eras. All of that enchanting architecture is waiting for you to discover and photograph as part of this Historic Houses of Romania experience!

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 walking tour: the architecture of Calea Calarasi area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)
Historic Houses of Romania tour: Calea Calarasi area map

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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.

Tour: Art Deco and Modernist Bucharest. 10.04.16

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you this Sunday 10 April 2016, to a thematic walking tour, scheduled to take place between 11.30h – 13.30h, on the subject of the Art Deco and inter-war Modernist buildings 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, which emerged during the “roaring ’20s” and became a global phenomenon in the 1930s was the first truly international architecture, embraced with gusto by the Bucharest people and the rest of urban 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 examine, 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 the inter-war locals to travel to exotic places in the southern seas, far away from the local harsh, continental winters. The inter-war Modernist style and syntheses with Art Deco are also well represented in Bucharest, with creations signed by talented architects such as Horia Creanga, Duiliu Marcu or Ion si Tiberiu Niga. 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 and Modernist styles in central Bucharest and give you a well referenced overall image about how these designs imprinted the character of this town 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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca (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 Contact page of this weblog.

Tour in Patriarchal See Hill area, Saturday 9 April

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you, as the author of Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca blog, to an architectural history tour in Patriarchal See Hill area of Bucharest, scheduled to take place this Saturday 9 April 2016, for two hours, between 11.30h and 13.30h. This cultural excursion is open to all of you who are looking to find out more about the history and identity of Romania’s capital seen through its architectural heritage.

We will explore the urban expanse surrounding what is considered the “Acropolis” of Bucharest, the hill that dominates the old town and is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the main faith of this country, containing the patriarchal cathedral together with its administrative quarters, reworked in the interwar period by the architect Gheorghe Simotta in neo-Brancovan and Neoromanian styles. The Patriarchal See Hill also contains the Beaux Arts style building of the old Romanian Parliament, now belonging to the church too, designed by arch. Dimitrie Maimarolu, and built in 1907. The area thus boasts highly prestigious and architecturally significant public and private edifices associated with the religious and secular powers of this country. The surrounding maize of streets is embellished with fine Little Paris, Neo-Romanian and Art Deco style houses, many evocative of the tumultuous political history of this city in the last century and a half, or earlier events pertaining to the times of the Phanariot rule under the Ottoman Empire. All of these fascinating sights and histories are waiting to be discovered by you within this cultural walk.

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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour in Patriarchy area, Bucharest
Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour in Patriarchy Hill 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

! New Tour ! The architecture of west Cotroceni. 3.04.16

Cotroceni west-004
Medical Sciences University, west Cotroceni

Dear readers,

I would like to propose you a brand new, in my portfolio, architectural history tour, in the western part of the picturesque Cotroceni quarter, which contains the grandiose edifices of the Medical Sciences University and the Palace of the President of Romania. The tour completes my series of distinct walks (east, central and west) covering this architecturally valuable area of Bucharest.

The event is scheduled to take place this Sunday 3 April 2016, between 11.30h – 13.30h. This cultural excursion could be of interest to any of you visiting Romania’s capital as a tourist or on business, looking to understand the character of this metropolis through discovering its peculiar and fascinating old architecture.

The most beautiful baroque revival style palace of Bucharest is the Medical Sciences University, the best such school in southeast Europe, designed by the Swiss architect Louis Blanc, and built in 1902, which is at the centre of west Cotroceni. Its aesthetics is auspiciously put into light by the the surrounding elegant built environment, one of the finest in the capital. You are thus going to sample, under my guidance, many of those examples, displaying a dazzling array of symbolism and messages, typical of the Neoromanian, the national architecture of this country, or the international Art DecoModernist and Mediterranean styles. The creators of many of those buildings were part of the golden generations of Romanian architects, people active mostly in the interwar period, when this part of Cotroceni was endowed with the bulk of its houses. Some of them are still being mentioned in name tablets on the walls of the residential edifices they designed, akin to the signature of a painter on canvass, people like I. Sillion, Petre Boico or Jean Burcus. Sometimes we will also encounter name tablets of inter-war building companies, such as I. Moscovici, one of the builders for the elites of the 1920s and the 1930s. That architecture is gracefully put into context by the gardens adorning many of those houses, enclosed by beautiful wrought iron fences and gates, complemented in the case of Neoromanian residences, by wooden ethnographic verandas inspired from those of the Romanian countryside. We will also catch a glimpse, as walls and gates allow, of the first-class garden refinement of Bucharest, the park of Cotroceni Palace, landscaped by Friedrich Rebhun, the designer of Cismigiu Park, and other gardeners, among them Alice Martineau, a highly qualified English gardner brought over by Queen Marie in the 1920s. The palace, designed in stages, in historicist Venetian villa rustica style, by arch. Paul Gottereau in the 1880s, and continued at the turn between the 19th and the 20th centuries by Grigore Cerkez in Neoromanian, is a famous former royal residence, now the headquarters of the presidency, constituting the other architectural focus point of west Cotroceni. All of that alluring collection of quality Bucharest architectural heritage is awaiting for you to discover as part of this Historic Houses of Romania cultural experience.

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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

If you would like to read more about the palace in Cotroceni during the royal period, there is an excellent book (album) published last year, “Cotroceniul Regal”, written by Diana Mandache, Curtea Veche Publishing. Details on Royal Romania blog.

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Period houses and old architecture details from west Cotroceni, Bucharest. ©Valentin Mandache
Cotroceni West - map
Historic Houses of Romania walking tour in west Cotroceni

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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 heritage.

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

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advise you in sourcing and marketing the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Tour in Batistei area, Saturday 2 April

Walking tour in Batistei area of BucharestBatistei area – a fragment of the old Little Paris

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to an architectural tour focused on Batistei area, one of the most charming old corners of central Bucharest, with many of its buildings dating from from the La Belle Époque period, in a wonderful Little Paris architecture, which is still imprinting this town’s identity, a place where one can also admire other brilliant designs such as Neoromanian, Art Deco and inter-war Modernism. The walk is scheduled to take place this Saturday 2 April 2016, between 11.30h – 13.30h. This cultural excursion could be of interest to any of you visiting Romania’s capital as a tourist or on business, looking to understand the character of this metropolis through discovering its peculiar and fascinating old architecture.

The Batistei area stretchesi east from the National Theatre neighbourhood to the confines of the Mosilor, constituting an important part of histric Bucharest. Its name comes from that of the church around which the parish has crystalised in medieval times, which in its turn is a place name meaning in old Romanian language a “swampy lake,” a testimony of the former local natural environment that has been taken over by the town’s inexorable development. The church is also one of the very few survivors there of the original Brancovan style architecture that embellished Bucharest during the times of the Ottoman rule, until the western styles, provincially interpreted, especially the French inspired neo-rococo architecture, replaced it wholesale starting with the mid-19th century, as part of the Europeanisation and national emancipation process. The houses of that era, which are still in great abundance and well preserved in Batistei area, with their rich ornaments and sweets box like aspect, have imprinted the character of the town, giving it the nickname of the the “Little Paris of the Balkans”.  We will also find interesting examples of Art Nouveau sprinkled among the Little Paris motifs and ornaments. The subsequent decades, after the La Belle Epoque period vanished, saw the emergence of the flamboyant, citadel-like Neoromanian style, the national architecture of this country, where on the route of this tour we will see some of its prime quality buildings. The prosperous late inter-war period is also well represented by alluring Art Deco and ahead of its time Modernist edifices. All of this enchanting architecture concentrated in Batistei area, and the captivating social and economic history behind it, is waiting for you discover as part of this cultural peregrination.

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/ Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca, tel: 0040 (0)728323272

Architectural walking tour in Batistei area of Bucharest. Historic Houses of Romania - Case de Epoca
Architectural walking tour in Batistei area of Bucharest. Historic Houses of Romania – Case de Epoca
Historic Houses of Romania architecture tours - Batistei area map
Historic Houses of Romania architecture tours – Batistei area map

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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 advise you in sourcing and marketing the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Tour: Kiseleff area & the late Neoromanian style

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a thematic walking tour this Sunday 27 March 2016, 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 two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h, 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 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 Continue reading Tour: Kiseleff area & the late Neoromanian style

Tour: Bucharest as the Little Paris of the Balkans

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a thematic walking tour, to take place this Saturday 26 March 2016, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h, on the subject of the late c19th – early c20th French and western historicist inspired architecture of Bucharest, which made the city known to the rest of world as the “Little Paris of the Balkans”, a phenomenon that imprinted the personality of Romania’s capital ever since. 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 character.

The first building boom of modern era Bucharest happened during the period aptly named La Belle Époque, which corresponds with the late Victorian and early Edwardian epochs for the English speaking world (or Gilded Age in the US). It was characterised by a charming architecture inspired especially from the flamboyant neo-baroque, neo-rococo and also neo-gothic forms fashionable in France, a country seen by the Romanians of that time as a beacon of culture worthy to emulate, and from Continue reading Tour: Bucharest as the Little Paris of the Balkans