Vernacular architecture in Southeastern Romania (Baragan Prairie)

The architecture of the peasant houses from the Baragan Prairie of southeast Romania, got contoured starting with the first decades of the 18th c, representing a sui generis synthesis between the type of houses from the Transylvanian Alps and the Great Bend of the Carpathians, encountered among the local Romanian and Hungarian (Szekler) communities, and from what is now central Bulgaria, in regions such as Plovdiv, which in that period were representing the core of the Ottoman culture and power in the northern Balkans. In this video I am charting that process of architectural coalescence between the vernacular architectures to the north and the south of the Baragan Prairie, which we can still admire and examine today in the villages of southeast Romania.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

The Tulip Period and the Wallachian Style

The Wallachian style in art and architecture, which is usually known as Brancovenesc (an incorrect term, in my opinion), was developed in the geopolitical and cultural context of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 17th century, culminating with the first decades of the 18th century, a period in the cultural history of the Ottoman Empire, called the Tulip Period. It is an era of Europeanisation of the Istanbul’s empire’s elite, and experimentation with new artistic models, and their synthesis in what will become the Ottoman Baroque and Rococo. The Wallachian style is a repercussion of those major trends in the special cultural conditions of Wallachia, with its Byzantine heritage, and its political autonomy as an Ottoman vassal, at the frontier of the sultan’s realm. In this video I articulate the broader phenomenon of the Tulip Period, to its narrower and more peculiar manifestation as the Wallachian Style, highlighting its wide international and complex cultural context of those times. Only through such a broad perspective we can understand the meanings and manifestations of the architectural style of Wallachia, that principality’s most important contribution to the world culture.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Orient Express: the Bucharest to Varna leg

A description of the most mysterious, interesting and romantic leg of the famous Orient Express train route in the La Belle Epoque years, the one between Bucharest and Varna, with period postcards and contemporary photos of old architecture from that period.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Climate change and history in Southeast Europe

As we now live through a period of dramatic climate change, accompanied by geopolitical upheavals, and even a pandemic, I would like to propose you an excursion in the history of the last two millennia of Europe, from the times of the Roman Empire, until today, and examine how the climate changes of the past, from the thermal maximum of the Roman times, through the Little Ice Age of the Middle Ages, to the current global warming, have conditioned the history of its human communities. My focus is on the area of Southeast Europe, or the Balkans as is usually known, especially on the territory occupied nowadays by the state of Romania.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

On the regional variations of the Neo-Romanian style

The national architectural style of Romania, the Neo-Romanian, has not only a time evolution component, but also a development in space, among within the different regions making up this country in southeast Europe. Its three main provinces, Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania, have developed distinct histories, cultures and mentalities throughout centuries, a fact reflected in the manner in which they adopted and adapted the national architectural style, which emerged in the modern era, when those provinces got unified within Romania. This is a completely unresearched aspect of the Neo-Romanian architecture, and the my presentation here is a first attempt in fixating the main coordinates of analysing the regional variations of this style of architectural design.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

A panoramic postcard of the 1920s Bucharest

In this video I present a 120 degrees of a circle, panoramic photo in postcard format of the 1920s Bucharest, discussing the aspect of the city right after the Great War, and the methodology of dating this artefact.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

“Britanic Palace” – a Bucharest Art Deco apartment block

This is a discussion of one of the interesting ocean liner theme, 1930s Art Deco block of flats of Bucharest, located close to the British Embassy. Through a press cut from the local newspaper, “Universul”, from 1937, I found out that it was named “Britanic (sic) Palace”, presumably as a marketing ploy, trying to cash in on the prestige represented by the nearby embassy. That name is now forgotten after the watershed of the communist and post-communist periods, when a great deal of the city’s collective memory has been lost. This video is intended as a small contribution towards its recovery.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

The comfort of the peasant houses in Wallachia

There is a stark difference between the comfort of the peasant houses in Wallachia, southern Romania, in the 19th c and the early 20th c, according to their level of wealth, which was tied to their social status as serfs, indentured or free, land owning peasants. That division was reflected in the location of these social sub-classes: the lowlands, the large arable, grain crop regions was the place of the serf and indentured villages, while the highlands, the Subcarpathian hills, was the area of traditionally free peasant communities. This video discusses the marked difference in the comfort of the houses inhabited by those peasant communities of Wallachia, before the breaking up of the large landowning estates, and modernisation of the country.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Studying old maps for architectural history

The old maps are a repository of invaluable information on how a region, country or settlement has changed throughout centuries, what geopolitical influences were there, the flux of cultural norms and way of life. That is even more poignant in places like Southeast Europe, an area of convergence of many civilisations, empires and native communities influencing each other, facts wonderfully captured on the old maps of the region. These are reflected ultimately in the most visible elements of the local identity, the buildings, their architecture and styles. Thus the old maps are an essential source for the student of architectural history. In this video I use maps from my antique maps collection, specialised on the Balkans and the Black Sea areas.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Ottoman world influences on the Wallachian style

A brief review of the artistic and architectural influences from throughout the Ottoman Empire into the making of the Wallachian style, the highly original Christian architecture with Islamic overtones of the Principality of Wallachia, the nowadays southern Romania, between the late 17th c and the early 19th c.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.