Nothing is new on Wallachian roads

A mid c19th road in Wallachia, southern Romania. Old engraving by Adrian Schreyer, etched by F. Krostewitz, published in the United Kingdom by the "Magazine of Arts" (Valentin Mandache collection)

Because today is 1 April with its jokes and pranks, I thought that an amusing historical reference to the perennial bad state of repair of the Romanian roads would be very much in that spirit. The engraving above, which is more than one and a half century old, presents to the then British readers of the “Magazine of arts” a typical highway in Wallachia, now a province in southern Romania. The road is full of mud, menacing water puddles and deep trenches made by heavy horse drawn carriages, which probably made a hell from the life of poor animals, as one can see from the expression on their faces in the engraving. In my experience, the situation is not much different today, with Romania’s roads full of potholes, and in many instances muddy and criss-crossed by water filled trenches just as in the above image. It just shows a “deep” local tradition in that respect and that the government ambitions to make Romania a top tourist destination have a long way to go.


I endeavour through this daily series of 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.