Paris street name sign fashion in Bucharest

Bucharest is to these days very proud of its nickname of the “Little Paris of the Balkans” acquired during the years of the La Belle Époque (late Victorian and Edwardian periods) when the city’s architecture went through a radical transformation from its traditional Balkan Ottoman outlook to an exuberant appearance imprinted by the many public and private edifices designed in then fashionable French c19th historicist orders, giving birth to what I call the “Little Paris” style architecture. That fondness for following and even imitating the French capital has persisted to our days, although Bucharest now looks, after the devastating communist and post-communist decades, more like a cross between Ankara and New Delhi. One of most conspicuous such manifestations is represented by the street name signs like the ones presented in the photographs bellow, very similar if not identical in shape with the Parisian ones. The first photograph shows a well designed and now rare 1900s Paris style cast iron street name sign, which has probably been put in place there sometime in the 1920s, while the second image presents a contemporary sign, ubiquitous throughout the whole of Bucharest, identical in design with the ones found nowadays in Paris.

"Little Paris" style street sign, cca 1920s, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)
Paris fashion street name sign in Bucharest dating from the early 2000s (©Valentin Mandache)


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.


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