Tour: Plantelor area

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to an architectural walk in the picturesque Plantelor Street area, located just east of Mantuleasa. It has an alluring residential character, with well presented historic buildings of architectural value, many surrounded by efflorescent gardens. Plantelor area is a sample of how pleasant and stimulative for artistic creativity this town has been in the La Belle Époque and the interwar periods.

The tour is scheduled to take place this Saturday 19 November 2022, between 13.00h – 15.00h. This cultural excursion could be of interest to any of you visiting Romania’s capital as a tourist or on business, looking to understand the character of this metropolis through discovering its peculiar and fascinating old architecture.

The name “Plantelor” (Engl. for “Plants”) given to this iconic street, is an echo of the La Belle Époque times, when Bucharest’s houses of its famous Little Paris and also Art Nouveau architecture were provided with gardens and orchards, and the windows were sporting jardinieres full of Read more

Tour: the Art Deco of Domenii quarter

Domenii text start En -750x500 ADear Readers,

I would like to propose you a tour dedicated to the first class Art Deco style architecture of Domenii quarter, guided by me, Valentin Mandache, the architectural historian, and open to all of you who would like to finding out in a learned, interdisciplinary, but easy to comprehend manner about the cultural and architectural identity of Bucharest, scheduled to take place this Sunday 23 October 2022, between the hours 11.30h – 13.30h.

Domenii is important as an architectural landmark for Bucharest, revealed by the fact that in the past has been the host of a part of the city’s professional elite, comprising especially high and medium rank officials from the interwar Ministry of Agriculture and of the Royal Domains, hence its name, and also pilots and aircraft engineers who worked at the nearby airport and its famous aviation workshops. The area has been built between the beginning of the 1920s and the end of the 1950s, a period that saw a major economic depression, the rise of the far right in politics, dictatorships, the war, the Soviet invasion, the communist takeover, and the local Stalinism. The beauty of the architecture of this corner of Bucharest, remarkably created during those adversities and vicissitudes, is Read more

Sample of photographs from Saturday 31 March tour: the Art Nouveau architecture of Bucharest

Historic Houses of Romania tour: Art Nouveau Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The tour was well attended and we had the opportunity to see and discuss in detail some of the most important and spectacular Art Nouveau architectural structures of Bucharest, scattered over quite a large area stretching from Lascar Catargiu boulevard to the University Square. The highlights were three churches that exhibit brilliant Art Nouveau features: Amzei, Boteanu and the Russian Church, the most magnificent Art  Nouveau monument (the building is in the Neo-Russian style of the 1900s, expressed within Art Nouveau coordinates) of Bucharest. I hope that the few photographs presented here, which I took during the tour, would do justice to those wonderful sites, now so much ignored by the Bucharest people and authorities.

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Sample image from today’s architectural tour: “Bucharest as the Little Paris of the Balkans”

Little Paris style house dating from the1890s, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

This is the place where the well attended and fascinating today’s architectural tour about the Little Paris style architecture (what I collectively term the Fin de Siècle architecture of Romania inspired mainly from French c19th historicist styles) of Bucharest came to a close. The building used to be a tradesman’s house, now in the property of the local authorities, hosting the population registry office. Its particular style is a flamboyant French neo-rococo, with some neo-Gothic echoes such as the medieval knight armour representations at the base of each Corinthian-like pilasters. The most delightful in my opinion is the wooden doorway, well preserved and straight forward to restore. The monogram of the first proprietor of the house, “N.S.” is visible on the ironwork of the two door windows and on the entrance pediment. The building follows the general plans of a “Pompeii house” with a central hall illuminated by a lantern up on the roof, with rooms distributed around the hall. The Little Paris style houses are among the cheapest period properties in Bucharest and Romania’s citys, being also a rewarding potential restoration project for anyone brave enough to undertake such a task.