Plantelor area of Bucharest tour – video teaser

Here are a series of photos charting the route of my architectural history tour in Plantelor area of Bucharest, showing eloquent buildings, cityscapes, and me, the tour guide, in all a singular cultural experience for those who participate. This is one of the multitude of tours and courses that I offer in person or online, enabling you to find out in an eloquent and structured manner about Bucharest, its architectural identity and history, within its highly peculiar southeastern European context, at the articulation point between the East and the West.

Kerz, the easternmost Cistercian abbey (Saxon Transylvania) – a short exposé

Located right on the East European or Orthodox frontier, the Cistercian abbey of Kerz, has been since its inception in 1202 an epitome of Western civilisation, through its Gothic architecture and Catholic culture. It was the easternmost monastery of the order, and has profoundly imprinted the character of Transylvania, making the wider region of the contemporary state of Romania, encompassing it, an articulation point between the civilisations of the Eastern and Western Christianity.

Bratianu political family tomb, Florica domain

A short overview of the architecture of the tomb (1898 built) of the famous Bratianu family, the leaders of the Romanian Natioanl Liberal Party during the era of state building of the second part of the 19th c and the first half of the 20th c. The tomb is located on their estate at Florica in Wallachia, while the architect was Lecompte du Nouy, a French architect and former student of Viollet-le-Duc.SHOW LESS

The historic peasant cemetery of Cotorca, Buzau county

In the middle of the Baragan Prairie, of southeast Romania, there is a historic peasant cemetery conserving Wallachian style stone crosses from the 19th c to the early 20th c. The place is an extraordinary time capsule and a testimony of a long gone way of life, traditions and culture of the rural communities in the plains at the foot of the Great Bend of the Carpathian Mountains.

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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.

Announcing the launch of The Romanian History Podcast

I plan launching a quality monthly podcast on Romanian History, as a complement to my education and research work in the field of architectural history in Southeast Europe.

This video outlines the general conceptual framework and schedule of the podcast. There are a myriad of podcasts on a multitude of history subjects, but only a handful are dedicated to this corner of Europe. Their research quality and delivery is also not up to scratch, not speaking of the nationalist and politicised approach of those disparate podcast creators catering for this European region at the crossroads of East and West.

My intention is to make a difference by having a holistic approach to the subject, involving historical geography, ethnography, geo-history and geopolitics, and last, but not least to show how those reflect in the architectural heritage of the lands now forming the state of Romania and its surrounding territories. Watch this video see and listen how I expound those ideas.

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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.

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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.

Constantin D Rosenthal – an exhibition at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest

The 19th c painter CD Rosenthal has been an important figure of the 1848 Revolution in Wallachia, which has put the basis of the modern national identity of what a few decades later will become Romania. He was a Hungarian Jew, which made his contribution even more momentous in the pivotal moments that are at the origins of this modern nation state in southeast Europe. This video is a review of the commemorative exhibition of his works taking place this season at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest (MNAR). He was a recorder of those events and protagonists, in an era before the mass media, painting his friends, the revolutionaries, who were young local aristocrats, and other people who, like him of cosmopolitan background, came to identify themselves with the political movement that aimed to set up this new national state. One such personality was the Scottish woman, Mary Grant, the model for his most famous painting, ‘Revolutionary Romania’. The exhibition is an excellent breviary of a pivotal moment in the history of this country, which conditioned its cultural and political evolution ever after, including the outlook and directions of its architecture.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.