Encouraged by the images from an impressive book issued last month - Demolished Bucharest 1985 - unofficial archive images edited by Serban Bonciocat et al - we took a stroll on Friday in the area on the edge of the ginormous People’s Palace where there are still, amazingly, buildings which survived the megolomaiac onslaught on this central area. We even lunched in one of them – a new fish restaurant, Le Chef Calcan, on the long straight Regina Marie Boulevard. We were impressed that the chef welcomed us and advised on the meal which took in a very nice bottle of white wine (for only 11 euros) – the guys are from Constanta and the fish menu is large and fresh.
While trying (unsuccessfully) to find a reference for the new book, I came across a couple of very interesting websites which document the destruction Ceaucescu inflicted on the city in the 1980s
- Bucharestian is an ambitious site which offers not only images but other goodies such as these crisp comments on Romanian mores
- The Only Romania website has a collection of wonderful black and white photographs of Bucharest - including these of the 1970s before the demolitions – and some equally rare photos of the bustle of the cityin 1985 and shots from a Swedish visitor in the mid 1970s
The images encouraged me to buy the 2012 book Bucharest’s Photographer - Carol Popp de Szathmari (2012). De Szathmari was born in 1812 (died in 1887) and was one of the world’s first photographers. They are a great addition to the library I am slowly developing of images of both Bucharest and of Romania eg The Discreet charm of Bucharest by Dan Dinescu (2008) by Dan Dinescu and Bucharest Architecture and Modernity – an annotated guide (2009) by Mariana Celac et al