Two contrasting types of Neo-Romanian style doorways

The Neo-Romanian architectural style throughout its over six decades of existence, between the 1880s and 1940s, had to adapted itself to evolving architectural trends and technologies and also adopted, sometimes quite liberally, motifs and symbols from other styles, the most prominent such synthesis being perhaps its hybridisation with the Art Deco style in the 1930s era. Bellow are two Neo-Romanian style doorways that express those processes. The first one embellishes the front entrance of “Iulia Hasdeu” high school in Bucharest, which combines Neo-Romanian, classical and Gothic style motifs, while in the second example is a doorway displaying ethnographic motifs. They are just a sample from the great diversity of forms and motifs found within the decorative register of this architectural style peculiar to Romania.

Neo-Romanian style doorway, "Iulia Hasdeu" highschool front entrance, edifice built in 1926, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The high school doorway, seen in the photograph above and detailed image bellow, has a very interesting reference to a classical Greek-Roman temple pediment, symbolising the fact that the school is conceived as a “temple” or learning. The assembly also contains two thin Gothic column motifs at the door’s centre and on its arcade mullions, perhaps a metaphor for the fact that the school is envisaged as a “cathedral” of learning too.

Neo-Romanian style doorway, "Iulia Hasdeu" highschool front entrance (1926), Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)
Neo-Romanian style doorway, late-1920s house, Cismigiu area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The photographs above and bellow show a Neo-Romanian style doorway that displays prominent ethnographic motifs, the most remarkable of which being the intricately carved corbels supporting the awning. The assembly is imagined as echoing an ancestral Romanian peasant gateway, suggesting types found in villages that dot the piedmont of the Carpathian Mountains.

Neo-Romanian style doorway, late-1920s house, Cismigiu area, Bucharest, Bucharest (©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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