Ornamental Neo-Romanian Style Roof Ridge Crests: Photomontage & Slide Show

Ornamental Neo-Romanian style roof ridge crests - photomontage (©Valentin Mandache)

The Neo-Romanian architectural style is as a rule an ornate order with motifs imagined by the architects from the period between the late c19th and the interwar period, when this style was popular, as a coalescence of sources that during the previous centuries made an impact on the architecture and decorative art of the Romanian communities. These sources range from late Medieval Wallachian church architecture, peasant art to Ottoman Balkan ingredients and even old Venetian Renaissance style components. The roof is an important locus for unfurling that splendid and highly particular decorative panoply, where the most important constituents are the roof finials, the ornamental ridges, the tiles, the eaves, the drain pipes and the decorative elements embellishing the roof opening (air, vents, attic windows, etc.) The ridges are among the most spectacular such artifacts, just as flamboyant as the finials that accompany them on the very top of the roof, together crowning the building as an architectural apotheosis. They are meant to draw attention from a long distance and make an impression on the visitor. I wrote a post, a few months ago, about a particular example of roof ridge (click here for access) and detailed its filiation from equivalent ornaments found on peasant dwellings and some old Wallachian churches. I have gathered, during my fieldwork, a small collection of photographs of such beautiful ornaments, and put together a representative sample for your edification in the form of the above photomontage. Those images can also be seen in greater detail in the slide show bellow. I like how these ornaments convey in a concentrated space a great deal from the very nature and personality of this remarkable national-romantic era architectural style, peculiar to Romania.

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I endeavor through this series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.


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