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Old Bucharest Porch House (Calea Serban Voda)

January 8, 2012

This late 18th century townsman house is perhaps the oldest preserved in Bucharest, and among the few porch houses still standing. While the street facade was modified in Neo-Classical style, the porch is the original one. The arched porch supported by wooden pillars originates in the vernacular architecture of the rural region of Wallachia (the historical and geographical region in Romania situated north of Danube and south of Carpathians) and was very common in the patriarchal Bucharest of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.

Update Feb 14th, 2020

The house was in the meantime restored, and from these new pictures below you can appreciate it much better now.

As I was saying, this porch house is a very rare sample of the local vernacular style and one of the oldest preserved edifices of civil architecture in Bucharest. The house, a characteristic one-story townsfolk dwelling, was partially modified at some point. The old part of the house, the one of interest, is the porch, dating probably from the late 18th century. Houses this old in Bucharest can count on the fingers of one hand. Notice the accolade arches supported by simple and delicate wooden pillars and the nice contrast between white and dark brown. You may actually compare the porch with the one at Hanul lui Manuc (Manuc’s Inn in the Old Town, built 1808, a contemporary of this house). I imagine the roof was originally made of wooden shingles too. The facade facing the street was modernized later, maybe around 1870s, in the French neoclassical manner of the time. Such porch houses used to be common until mid 19th century, but they didn’t survive to our days. (new pictures from Aug 2017)

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