Manor house – Conac

Mixture of architectural styles, with an emphasis on the Neo-Romanian order, in a 1910s manor house from the Romanian province of Wallachia (©Valentin Mandache)

Romania has vast swathes of farming land, which were developed on a large scale starting with mid c19th once the Danube and the straits Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways were freed from Ottoman control, allowing massive grain exports from the region to the industrial centres of Victorian Europe (see my article describing a Victorian barn from southern Romania built as part of that economic transformation). The local aristocrats and landowners administered their farms from impressive manors, called “conac” in Romanian, a word of Turkish origin (see a more extensive article about a typical such mansion: the Casota conac). The conacs were built in a variety of styles, according to the money available and the fashion of the period from French fin de siècle to Neo-Romanian and Art Deco. The interesting example in the image above boasts mainly a Neo-Romanian architecture, typical of 1910s with some French echoes, especially in the roof shape and ornaments. During the communist regime these manors were confiscated and transformed in collective farm headquarters. Many were badly damaged, especially in the last 20 years of regime change in Romania, characterised by imperfect property legislation concerning the returning of property to the rightful owners. Some conacs are now on the market, but due to the huge property bubble of the last few years in Romania and immature market mentality of local property owners, have inflated, unrealistic prices, in many instances several times more expensive than c18th French châteaux or similar period mansions from Italy.


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.

3 thoughts on “Manor house – Conac

  • Hi Valentin,

    This is my first time on your site and I’m finding it so very fascinating. These buildings are truly beautiful and your photography certainly brings out their best angles, I’m sure. I’ve just spent the last two hours or so meandering and exploring. But I was wondering, are there any further photos of this particular conac? I would love to see more of it. There’s just something about it that draws me in. I find I keep coming back to this page to study every little inch of it. I understand though it’s quite an old post, so it’s no problem at all if there’s no more. I’ll just use my imagination. 😉

    Thank you,


    • Hello Dallas,
      I am glad you find my site interesting! That Neo-Romanian style mansion is a fine building indeed, and I know that there are some other photographs of it, made a few years ago. They are probably on one of my old hard drives, which unfortunately would take time and a bit of a struggle to pin point them. Valentin


      • That’s okay. Perhaps it will inspire me to save up and travel over there to see it for myself. 😉

        Thank you, Valentin.




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