While holidaying in Mamaia at the Black Sea this August we booked a tour in a double-decker bus. Just as spectacular as Sighisoara, Brasov or Bucharest, here are some of the sights we spotted while looking up…
Mamaia is one of the oldest Romanian holiday resorts at the Black Sea and one I visited since I was a baby. It is famous for its sandy beaches and endless beach. I almost forgot that one of the hotels there has the same name with my Mom:
Here is the same gondola from Mamaia seen at sunset:
The pedestrian crossroad:
Also in Mamaia, looking up from the double-decker bus:
In Constanta, modern buildings often alternate with older houses. ses. Look at this charming balcony. It reminded me of Brasov.
Saint Mary is the Patron Saint of Romanian Naval Forces so 15 August is a massive celebration in Constanta, both Christian and military. We went there two weeks after… Look at all the Romanian flags still adorning the city:
I liked the wave design of this light-post found in Constanta Park, near the Cazino, The statue is that of Carmen Sylva, the pen name of Elisabeth, Queen of Romania 1881-1914.
Two different types of street lights right next to each other:
And look at all those birds:
Now this is not a street light, as it is a beacon light, a signaling light – but not a light house…
I hope you enjoyed looking up with me and discovering the intricate street lights of Bucharest, some separating the past from the present.
Brasov, Corona in Latin or Kronstadt in German, is a historical and cultural city found in the heart of Transylvania, in the heart of Romania, and not far from Sighisoara. It was first mentioned in 1235 and, not many know, it was the birth place of Katharina Siegel, the only woman Vlad Tepes (Dracula) is said to have ever loved.
One of my favorite places in Brasov is not a coffee shop… but Rope Street, Strada Sforii, dating from 17th century, the narrowest alley in Romania and one of tightest passages in Europe, initially built to facilitate a quicker access for firemen. Its width varies between 111-135 cm / 44-53 inch, measuring 80 m / 260 ft in lenght.
Now let’s walk along Rope Street, looking up:
Now look up and far, do you see the giant letters spelling BRASOV, placed high on Mount Tampa? And opposite the “eye” street light there is a mural of an eye!
Next I saw this classic looking street light and his friends, the red carnations:
This modern, yet lonely light pole, neighboring an old, solo attic window, caught my attention:
The lamp post below is placed on Schei Gate. Down from here is Schei Gate Street where Katharina Siegel lived with her family, at number 20. Back then the street was called White Lane, Ulita Alba.
This light post, looking like Little Bo Peep’s curly stick, is located exactly in front of Katharina Siegel’s house, the light green one with three windows visible on the first floor and two windows on the attic:
I wonder if Vlad Tepes would have approved with this street light or he would have preferred something like these:
The street light attached to buildings seem to have such elegant arms and top caps, don’t you think?
Speaking of green houses, and the buildings of Brasov are vibrant, here is a street light matching its residence:
I looked up next and saw an elegant lamp post perched on a green building (what shade is this – sea foam, mint?), next to an entire row of red carnations:
I called this street light a serenading one, it just seems to be serenading the window placed above:
Now this street light looked like it was doing a split across the road:
Shadows come out in plain daylight too:
Believe it or not, this all dressed up lamp post was affixed to the building of the National Bank:
A frosted lamp post against a marble wall. It reminded me of iced cappuccino.
When two windows whisper to each other over a lamp posts and red carnations bend over the balcony to thank a street light, you have to stop and look up:
The lamp post next to the window that wasn’t meant to be:
On Mount Tampa, the light poles are as tall as the trees. And so is the passion of those who keep them looking neat, such as this old Lady who was painting them on a hot summer’s day.
In Brasov Council Square, Piata Sfatului, light poles are as pretty at bell flowers.
Last two pictures of lamp posts, and I hope you made it this far, are from Fagaras Fortress, built in 1310 on the site of a former 12th century wooden fortress:
Do you see the wire sculpture of a man on the horse? On the grounds of Fagaras Fortress there are plenty of modern light poles:
I hope you enjoyed the street lights of Brasov. Next in the #LookUp series are the lamp posts of Constanta and Mamaia, by the Black Sea!
Heritage is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: (1) property that descends to an heir and this is also the first known use of the word, 13th century; (2) something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor; (3) something possessed as a result of one’s natural situation or birth.
Here, in South Africa, it is the blend of our Rainbow Nation, of our diverse cultures, beliefs and traditions that we celebrate on the 24th of September, on Heritage Day.
This past holiday I chose to look up, towards the sun, the sky and the buildings’ roofs. I discovered some surprising sights that put a smile on my face and sparked my writer’s brain (or so I liked to imagine).
Also bordering past and present – which side would you choose?
I was born in Bucharest, so I am quite proud of the fact that in 1857 Bucharest was the first city in the world to introduce kerosene lamp posts on its streets. The fuel was produced in one of the world’s first refineries equipped with modern facilities, found in the nearby city of Ploiesti. Of course, only Bucharest’s city center was illuminated this way and 1,000 kerosene lamps were used, this bringing a a new craft into light in Bucharest, that of the lamplighter.
Here is another wall-bracket street light on the same building. I like the way it seem to serenade both windows. And have you noticed all the details on the facade?
To stay with the Farola fernandina style street lamp and in the same neighborhood of Bucharest, Lipscani, here’s another one:
And not too far away:
Here’s a close-up and I didn’t even have to climb a building to take this photo!
We are on a smaller street now, the light pole has a plain design. But what you see behind, the white building with lots of windows and a smaller one in the attic (where the coffee shop is!), that building houses the amazing bookshop Carturesti Carousel, a must-see.
We visited the Village Museum, as we do each time we go to Bucharest, and this time discovered:
Have you noticed the twin rosettes and the metal flower on top of the pole? And here is another lamp post from the Village Museum. The museum closes well before sundown, but I image it to be enchanting during the night.
Cismigiu Park, in the heart of Bucharest, is another one of our favorite places. Paddle boats in summer, ice skating early mornings or at dusk during winter, magical!
Look up, it pays off! We are still in Cismigiu Park (Fountain Park, you could translate), an area linked back to 1799, when ruler Alexandru Ipsilanti ordered that two fountains be built here. Again, a new craft and title was born, that of “Grand Fountaineer” – in charge of maintaining the good order of these two fountains!
But the real Cismigiu Park was designed during the middle of the XIX century by the Viennese landscape architect Carl Wilhelm Meyer at the order of ruler Gheorghe Bibescu.
Initially, in 1860s, there were only 60 lamp posts in Cismigiu Park. Electric lighting was introduced in 1890s. I wonder if this was one of them:
Excited to say that back then, as now, there is a newspaper stand in Cismigiu Park!
Moving on, here are a few more street lights from around Bucharest:
I hope you enjoyed looking up with me. Do return for more lamp posts, next we will visit Brasov and Constanta. Why don’t you subscribe to my newsletter or follow my blog?
Any thoughts? Comment below, I’d love to hear your ideas.