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A photographic journey in 1856

A photographic journey in 1856
A photographic journey in 1856

In 1856, Bucharest was a city full of charm and contrast, with narrow streets dotted with old and imposing buildings, but also with an air of modernity that was beginning to make its way. In the midst of this vibrant setting, a visionary artist and pioneer of photography, Ludwig Angerer, turned his lens to the heart of Romania to capture the beauty and daily life of the city in images that make history.

The Bucharest of yesteryear

In 1856, Bucharest was immortalized in images for the first time by Ludwig Angerer, a brave Austrian pharmacist. Angerer traveled the length and breadth of the city, exploring it to get to know it in depth and to find places that offered memorable panoramic perspectives.

This initiative placed Bucharest ahead of major cities such as Rome or Vienna, which were photographed later. It is alleged that Angerer’s photographs were commissioned by the Habsburg army. In his works, you can see buildings that have disappeared since then, as well as the transformations that occurred on the banks of the Dâmbovița river and in various neighborhoods of the city.

Stavropoleos Church Source: Activenews
The Mogoșoaia Bridge, the current Calea Victoriei. Image from the National Theater Square Source: Activenews

Ludwig Angerer’s contribution was essential in documenting the urban aspect of Bucharest from that period, providing a valuable perspective on its historical and architectural evolution.

The year 1856 found Bucharest, the capital of Wallachia, at a crucial moment in its history, in full effervescence of changes and modernization. The city, under the rule of Barbu Știrbei, developed rapidly, depicting a fascinating combination of tradition and progress. With narrow and cobbled streets, imposing buildings and crowded squares, Bucharest in 1856 was a vibrant place, pulsating with life and activity.

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Its streets mingled with the noises and colors of urban life: merchants calling out their wares, carriages rushing past, and its inhabitants, dressed in elegant clothes, hurrying about their daily business. Despite its medieval appearance, the city exuded an air of modernity and progress, being in full transition to a new era.

Casa Istrate Source: Activenews
The National Theatre, destroyed in the Second World War Source: Activenews

Princely palaces and noble houses

Its varied buildings, from princely palaces to noble houses and old churches, testified to a rich history and remarkable architectural diversity. Narrow streets that meandered through the buildings led to bustling markets, where trade took place and where residents gathered to socialize and entertain.

While Bucharest was breathing history and tradition, the signs of change were increasingly evident. In 1856, the city was photographed for the first time by Ludwig Angerer, a brave Austrian pharmacist. His images captured the daily life of the city, offering a unique perspective on it in full transition to the modern era.

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Public garden overlooking Cotroceni Source: Activenews
Dâmbovița River Source: Activenews

On the banks of the river Dâmbovița, which ran through the city, intense activities took place, and the bridges that crossed the river represented the vital arteries of the city. In its neighborhoods, various communities coexisted in harmony, contributing to the cultural and ethnic richness of Bucharest at that time.

In conclusion, the Bucharest of 1856 was a fascinating city, full of life and energy, opening its doors to the future with confidence and determination. The city retained its medieval charm, but at the same time was in full transformation, ready to assume its role in 19th century Europe. Thus, exploring Bucharest from that period is a fascinating journey into the heart of Wallachia, revealing the rich layers of its history and culture.

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Cișmigiu Park Source: Activenews
Colței Tower Source: Activenews

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: photographic journey


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