Spires and cement blocks

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.

Prince Mihai Monastery, 16th century

Prince Mihai Monastery, 16th century

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

  1. Nancy said:

    Hello Amander,
    Glad you’re alive. just a friendly reminder: it is never ok to hitchhike!

  2. I like to read your comments while listening to the tracks you’ve provided. Makes for a great narrative – particularly, Everything’s BIG. I imagine (for some reason), Kermit the frog in front of this building with a camera wrapped around his neck busting out in these lyrics. If only you could make yourself into a muppet or Fragle to go with him Amanda (but, no worries!! ~ I can imagine one of you in my head).

  3. yup, cement rectangles with windows pretty much describes it.

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