Little Paris style house in South-Western Romania

'Little Paris' style house, Caracal, SW Romania (Valentin Mandache)
Provincial 1900s La Belle Epoque atmosphere: 'Little Paris' style house, Caracal, SW Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

The large scale grain exports of Romania in late Victorian era initiated a huge countrywide construction boom (the first among the four building booms cycles in Romanian modern economic history) that resulted in what I call the multitude of ‘Little Paris’ style buildings (provincially interpreted French 19th c. architectural styles) dotting many of the country’s towns, most obviously those from the grain producing areas.

The picture above shows such a magnificent house in Caracal, south-western Romania, with attractive neoclassical features, which has seen better days until the last two decades of post-communist neglect and active destruction of heritage properties. Interesting is the monogram ‘N’ of the first owner of  the house inscribed on the medallion at the centre of the pediment).

Caracal is located in the middle of a fertile plain propitious for grain crops, linked by railways to the Danube and the Black Sea exporting ports. The town contains many such architectural gems, which as the result of the recent rapacious property development boom and obvious lack of civic pride and cultural ignorance displayed by a large part of the Romanian public, are in danger of being irremediably lost through botched renovations or outright demolitions. It would constitute an extremely rewarding potential renovation project in the hands of a western owner aware of the historical value and architectural beauty of this type of house.


I endeavor through this daily image series to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating 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.


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