Like Melbourne, before Whelan the Wrecker became infamous. (May 2012)

Bucharest is full of magnificent Nineteenth and Twentieth century buildings, wide open streets and green leafy parks.

Everywhere you look there is another Neo Gothic, Neo Classical, Art Deco or Bauhaus inspired apartment block, palace or public building.

Bucharest is certainly not entirely an architectural nirvana, as they had their own version of Whelan, a dictator by the name of Nicolae Ceauşescu.

During his fanatical reign (1965-1989) he manages to have much of the old quarter demolished to make way for his obsession in Socialist Realist developments. The biggest of these is the Palace of the Parliament, a monolithic construction of 1,100 rooms and 12 stories high. Next to the Pentagon, it’s the world’s second largest public building.

There is more than just grand old buildings in Bucharest. You can also visit the ‘Dimitrie Gusti’ National Village Museum in Herăstrău Park. This is a large open-air ethnographic museum with houses, churches, mills and farm buildings from all over Romania.

Everything is made of timber and therefore in constant need of renovation. However the craftsmanship and detail in many of these old and somewhat primitive structures is amazing.

I still don’t understand why there is a red peddle car on display.


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