Architectural tour chronicle (28.08.11): Calea Calarasi area, Bucharest

Architectural history tour chronicle: Calea Calarasi area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The last Sunday’s architectural and photography waking tour took place in Calea Calarasi area of Bucharest, an off the beaten track part of the old city. The light was brilliantly clear, although quite intense, typical for end of summer conditions at this latitude, favourable for observing the otherwise hardly visible small architectural details embellishing the many picturesque houses encountered at every step. The participants had the opportunity to closely examine a balanced mix of Little Paris style houses, craftsman Neo-Romanian buildings and small, but svelte Art Deco dwellings. Apart from those types, we were also able to view two old houses from the Ottoman era displaying forms and motifs encountered from the Balkans to Anatolia. The tour had two highlights: the “discovery” of the magnificent Art Deco edifice of the “Ludovic” shoe factory (one of its superb decorative panels being presented in the photomontage and slideshow here) and the viewing of “Hala Traian” (the “Trajan” Market Hall). I could not find any information about the “Ludovic” factory, which seems to have been a well provided industrial establishment of the inter-war period. Its building is still quite well preserved and a restoration can easily bring the construction to its former architectural Art Deco glory. The “Trajan” market hall is a jewel of Victorian structural engineering, built in 1896 after a design by the Italian architect Giulio Magni, one of the then city hall chief architects. We were able to go inside, which is now occupied by a supermarket, and admire the outstandingly beautiful slender cast iron columns and the impressive ironwork ceiling. The tour ended back at the Ionic order Greek church building, where the congregation invited us to sample same tasty cakes brought for a special religious celebration. I trust that the participants had thus a wonderful cultural Sunday out! 🙂

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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.

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