Little Paris Style Building in a Romanian Danube Port City

Early 1900s postcard showing a bank building in a beautiful Little Paris architectural style from Turnu Magurele, a Danube port and grain export outlet in southern Romania. (Old postcard: Valentin Mandache collection)

In the late c19th Romania became an important grain exporter, where the plains of the Lower Danube prairie constituted the most important cereal producing areas. The grain exports were conducted in large part through ports dotting the Romanian bank of the great river. One of those ports was the city of Turnu Magurele, which greatly benefited from that trade, a fact seen in the many beautiful Little Paris style architecture (what I call the Romanian provincially interpreted French c19th architectural styles raging from neo-rococo, historicist and even Art Nouveau) buildings constructed in the city in that period. The old postcard above shows one of those superb edifices in Turnu Magurele that hosted a local bank. I very much like the hand coloured tones of the photograph and how they convey, together with the large ground floor window awnings, the near tropical summer climate of that prairie town. The style of the building is a picturesque mixture of rococo and Art Nouveau rendered on a tall symmetrical façade.

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I endeavor through this daily 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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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.