Bucharest in Romania a city of architectural contrast

Architecture in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is the miraculous result of ecclesiastic architecture – a city of paradoxes and contrasts. Most of down-town Bucharest follows no single rule in terms of urban design. There is no obvious delimitation between styles or periods, as there is no delimitation between people. The people here live in so different conditions that the poles are two worlds apart.

When I was there at the CEPIS Council meeting last weekend I combined business and pleasure while taking my wife along for some more urban adventures. We had Sunday off, and used it to explore the city and we gladly take you along. Let me start with a pic to demonstrate the contrast:
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Bucharest Financial District:
The first bank in Romania, now a very inefficient and overstaffed state bank; the Old National Bank, New Palaces and Romanian Commercial Bank plus the former Stock Exchange are all lined up beside each other. The glass dome used to be a trademark of the early century Bucharest skyline, alongside the Museum of History’s twin domes:
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Walking around getting close to the Revolution Square, there was another building designed by the same architect. Built between 1896 and 1900, this classical French Eclectic building the Roman Atheneum, and has been used in the motion picture Amen by Costas Gavras as a replacement for the Vatican:
Bucharest in Romania a city of architectural contrast #7 Bucharest in Romania a city of architectural contrast #8

The Military House:
A gigantic flag is placed in the middle of a square called the Square of the Flag. The building right in front of you is the Army Club, a very impressive ornate building dating from 1912 and having as creators the architects Dimitrie Maimarolu, Victor Stefanescu and Ernest Doneaud.
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In the streets of Bucharest:
Since pictures say more than a thousand words, and keeping these architectural paradoxes and contrasts in mind – let me show you some random pics from the streets of Bucharest:
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Not “In the streets of London….” – But: In the streets of Bucharest.
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The Cişmigiu Gardens or Park:
Bucharest is rich in public parks, leafy avenues, and scattered lakes. The first public park, Cişmigiu, was laid out by the German landscape gardener Carl F. W. Meyer , who was called to Bucharest to create a People’s Park in the 1830s. He drained marshland, created lakes with islands, meadows with clumps of trees, and laid out drives and paths. Let me give me a peek of how it looks in early spring time, a week ago:
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Meyer planted more than 30,000 trees and shrubs, and placed pavilions to enjoy the main viewpoints of the city and the park. Later alterations have included the eclectic work of the German architect F. von Rebhuhn in 1910. Today long rows of clipped lime trees, yew hedges, rose gardens, and box-edged beds filled with seasonal bedding provide a basic structure.
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This is my second post from our trip to Bucharest. The last one was about our culinary adventure.
So stay tuned, as there will be more about the famous Palace and the history of Romania and why this country is called so. Bucharest was a very different city from any other place I have been, maybe any other place in the world and when we got over the contrast in architecture it got to be quite funny to look around. Sunday in the park was also quite an experience since it is a popular activity for the local residents. I do hope you enjoy this series and will follow along. Do you want similar adventures in Scandinavia… join Oslo Blog Gathering 2010… sign up now!

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RennyBA

I’m a creative, enthusiastic, self motivated man with extensive experience in networking.

39 thoughts on “Bucharest in Romania a city of architectural contrast”

  1. Your pictures are amazing. So crisp, so vibrant!

    I love urban settings (you can tell from my pictures!) and yes, buildings tell a lot about a city.

  2. I’m glad you managed to get home from there before the ash clouds from Iceland burst out!

    …or maybe you would have been happy getting stuck there…? *giggles*

    PS: Hubby is looking forward even more to August now to play golf with you and are awaiting your email :-)

  3. Your first picture is really quite amazing. There can have been no town planning when those buildings went up! The parks, though, look delightful.

    Do I take it you are home now? We’re due to go to Prague next week but it’s starting to look doubtful now because of the volcano.

  4. Romania has had very varied history, both politically and culturally – and it shows.

    PS I’m glad you got home “while the going was good”!

  5. Hey, have Tor had time to tell you (we talked to him in phone last night) that hubby wants to play golf with you when we comes to Oslo in August? We’re arriving earlier then the others, already at Sunday evening, because we want to explore some on our own too :-)

  6. Looks like they’ve gorgeous architecture – which is why we’ve wanted to go there. We will go there. Some day :-)

    Oh, I wouldn’t mind taking a walk in that green parks!!!

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