Dec 172009

Versiune în română

The statues from four days ago belong to the building shown in today’s photo: the Astronomical Observatory of Bucharest, a beautiful house located on Lascăr Catargiu boulevard. It was built during the years 1908-1910 by architect I. D. Berindei for Admiral Vasile Urseanu (1848-1926). The Admiral’s passion was astronomy and he was the president of the first astronomical society of Bucharest, established in 1908. The house, built from the admiral’s personal funds and used by the society, has an astronomical cupola in its highest point (not visible in the photo) and was endowed by Urseanu with a telescope. After the death of the admiral the house passed to his wife who in 1933 donated it to the state to be used as the city’s first Art Galley (Pinacoteca). The Astronomical Observatory and Bucharest’s Art Gallery coexisted in the building until 1949 when the paintings were moved to the National Gallery and the Museum of City of Bucharest. The observatory is open for public.

  13 Responses to “Bucharest’s Astronomical Observatory”

  1. ah, now i see where the angels came from…^0^
    pretty composition but the place at first glance looks a little distant…

  2. What a magnificent place! I wonder what it was like to live in that mansion during Berindey's time? Must have been some lovely parties, non?

  3. I think the city of Bucharest must be grateful to Admiral Urseanu and his widow for this splendid gift. I like the curious idea of a gallery within an observatory.

  4. This is such a lovely building. It has grace and style. I'd love to have something like this around!

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous Art Nouveau. More pics of buildings by the same architect are always welcome 😀

  6. Robert: He also designed this beautiful building:

    I think I'll create a Berindei label for easy reference. Btw, I found his name spelled as Berindei or Berindey, from now on I decided to stick to Berindei because it's more Romanian (Romanian names usually don't have the letter y in them).

  7. We've got an old observatory in the inner city as well. Today no astronomer would dream of trying to observe anything from within a city with all its strong lights. Not so long ago that was perfectly feasible.

  8. I guess a century ago it was possible to see the night skies well from here. What a difference urban sprawl and electricity makes! Still, it would be fun to visit this place to see what century-old astronomical equipment was like.

  9. The Cantacuzino Palace is a dream come true. Awesome. I may not speak Romanian (but I understood a bit of your conversation with Cris… always fun to try out new languages), but the Y seemed strange to me. I'll look him up online.

    Next year I'll be living in Lisboa so hopefully I can come visit. Romania is a place I've always wanted to visit!

  10. A beautiful building with an interesting history. Certainly is unlike any observatory that I have ever seen.

  11. Robert: So you're moving to Old Lady Europe 🙂 We missed you in Sydney (we were planning on coming last winter but Cris broke his ACL playing soccer and last winter he went through surgery and PT) but we'll come see you in Lisboa. As for Romania you know you are welcome to come anytime you want, we'll be happy to have you here.

  12. Really Beautiful Old Building !! That Too Observatory !! Great

  13. Thank you so much, Andreea! I'll wait for it to stop snowing though 😉 I hope Cris is doing better!

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