The city was once called “The Little Paris” (“Micrul Paris”), but Bucureşti’s mixture of medieval and neo-classical architecture received a cement facelift during the Communist era. The buildings that survived the demolitions now stand in juxtaposition with the Communist-era systemized and homogeneous constructions of Nicolae Ceauşescu.
Every old church or art nouveau building I saw was flanked by a cement rectangle with windows. Of course, seeing how residents manage to make their balcony different from the countless others can be just as fascinating.
Austra – The Villain
Ceauşescu was in power from the 1960s until his execution on Christmas Day, 1989. (Read more about the revolution here.) But before he was overthrown in response to food shortages, economic hardships and his repressive methods, he did manage to build the second-largest building in the world (after the Pentagon).
I walked down a long street of concrete apartment buildings to see the behemoth. It was there. It was big. And he only had to destroy more than 300,000 square meters of churches, homes and synagogues to make room for…that. UM, IT’S BIG, OK? I couldn’t fit it all in my frame.
Here We Go Magic – Everything’s Big