Architecture and geopolitics: why Romania’s architecture is so mixed up and in a permanent identity crisis

For those of you who would like to know more about the fascinatingly peculiar geopolitics of the region where Romania is located, I published a while ago an article, presented in the Scribd interface bellow, debating some of its aspects. The very uneven and often stunted development of architecture within the Romanian lands can well be attributed to the millennia old geopolitical instability of the Carpathian region, an area where three mighty overland empires came into contact: the Ottoman, the Habsburg and the Russian realms. The frictions and conflicts between these great polities were often played out within their common periphery, which is represented by the Romanian lands, with terrible consequences for the economic and cultural development of the local communities. The architectural phenomenon was of course one one of the victims of that geopolitical setting.


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.

One thought on “Architecture and geopolitics: why Romania’s architecture is so mixed up and in a permanent identity crisis

  • A very interesting read and it makes a whole lot of sense. The cultures of Romanians, Hungarians, Szekely (yes I think they are separate from Hungarians but of course linked), Transilvanian Saxons, all intermingled though most of the time clashed. However, there is benefit in this wide diversity and one should appreciate for instance that you have beautiful wooden churches that have lasted hundreds of years, monasteries, and cathedrals from the various Christian faiths, and therefore various designs and construction. Many times I visit again and feel some people do not appreciate this, especially considering the strife and hardships of various regimes that outright occupied Romania in the name of order.

    Also, the Saxon houses in judetzu Sibiu/Alba are very beautiful and ornate as well of course as the Romanian architecture. They don’t make them like that anymore!



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