|Dragomiresti Chuch, Maramures (1722), |
at the Village Museum in Bucharest,
|Timișeni Church (1773),|
at the Village Museum in Bucharest
Cretulescu Church (1720 - 1722)
|Central University Library|
It is impossible to talk about Bucharest's architecture and not to talk about the buildings that are not there anymore. One of those is the first National Theatre badly damaged during the bombardments of the second world war. Besides all the destruction made by wars, and the demolition that took place during Ceausescu's regime, one of the most damaging events was the big earthquake from 1977 when many of the taller buildings built between the two world wars were destroyed. The most recent damages were created by the uprising in 1989, and while some of the important buildings were fixed, including the Royal Palace, there are still bullet holes in the apartment buildings in the neighborhood I grew up in.
|Herastrau Lake, Bucharest|
Hometowns, like family, are the first to shape what we think the world is and how we relate to it. Mine was an imperfect bubble with access to excellent education and culture, but where life was still raw and one had to use their elbows to get on a bus. Thrown at the edge of the European map, ``the little Paris'', forced into modernity by kings, scarred by wars, earthquakes, dictators, and uprisings, managed to preserve oases of beauty. Today, the childhood wheat fields are long gone, replaced by new neighborhoods with modern apartment buildings and grocery stores that seem to get bigger every time I visit. In days where I feel lost, like ancient navigators looking up in the sky to orient themselves, I find my direction from knowing that in the middle of Bucharest, Romania, by the Herastrau Lake, at the Village Museum, there is a house that looks just like the one my grandparents built.