The works being done to Unirea Shopping Center allow us a to gaze on a rare sight 🙂 the facade of the building without the advertisement banners. The commercial center was built in 1977 and remodeled in 1986.
And since I talked about them last week, here’s one more Union Square fountain shot. This will be the last one in the fountain series. I promise to move on to a new subject tomorrow. If you look closely at the picture you can spot the Palace of Parliament in the background.
In today’s picture we have the Unirea Shopping Center that I mentioned in my yesterday’s post. It was built in 1977, during the communist regime. I tried to remember when was the last time that I saw the facade of this building but I can’t remember. What I can tell you is that for a long time it’s been covered by these huge advertisement panels. And since we have no choice but to cope with this visual pollution, I thought I’ll have some fun with it and took these reflection photos. The building is reflecting in the fountains that I also mentioned yesterday, which as you can see are in dire need of a cleaning.
If you come from the southern part of Bucharest, the Union Square (Piaţa Unirii in Romanian) is where the downtown, the city center starts. Two of Bucharest subway lines intersect here and the square is the site of one of the city’s department stores, Unirea Shopping Center. Unfortunately this place was also Ceauşescu’s playground for experimentation, as the square was caught in his plan for “urbanization” and creation of the ugly soviet style Civic Center. I’ve talked before about the extended demolitions that took place in order to make space for the Civic Center. All the buildings located in and around Unirii Square fell prey to these plans. The Brâncovenesc Hospital (where yours truly was born 🙂 ), the Sfânta Vineri Church, the Sfântul Spiridon Church, the Văcăreşti Monastery and many others historic buildings and monuments as well as lots of private houses were virtually wiped out. Instead of these, The Unirii Square is nowadays surrounded by grim, tenement blocks of the communist era, lined along the Unirii Boulevard which was built during the Communist era under the name of “The Boulevard of the Victory of Socialism” (against Bucharest), and renamed after the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Along the Unirii Boulevard, Ceauşescu’s architects envisioned a series of truly ugly fountains and on a stroll of the area yesterday afternoon I found one of them – the biggest – still working. They are usually being turned off in the cold season.