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Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

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Alexandru Gheorghe's Architecture Site


The Pridvor or Cerdac feature of Romanian Houses




Pridvor House


The Pridvor or Cerdac is what would be called in English a front verandah. A similar feature occurs in Australia in the 1920s style of house known there as "The Californian Bungalow", though in later versions it does not always extend right across the front of the house, as it does here. This design was so popular in Australia that very few houses were built in any other style during the 1920s.


Pridvor House

This building of the Pridvor or Cerdac type is considered to be one of the oldest still standing in the city, as it was built in the year 1859. The architectural style however is not local, it looks like the house of a wealthy villager from the counties around Bucharest and it is very likely that it was part of one of the villages that surrounded Bucharest 150 years ago and finally became part of the city as we know it today.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010




Pridvor House

The columns are made of wood, and the terrace in front (cerdac or pridvor, as it is known in Romania) is a very beautiful example, very rare nowadays because of the demolition of such houses all over the city during the communist regime. This too was meant to be demolished, but it survived, although at this moment it is in bad shape and needs desperate measures to prevent it collapsing because of its age.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010




Pridvor House

One interesting thing about it is that a local legend says it belonged to a man named Ionita Ceaganu, a former Captain in the army of Tudor Vladimirescu. Tudor Vladimirescu is a very popular figure from Oltenia, as he was a soldier who freed Romania from the Ottoman domination through a revolution in 1821, that quickly spread from Oltenia to the whole country. Unfortunately, he died, killed in the same year.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010




Pridvor House
The "pridvor" or "cerdac" is a kind of terrace, a verandah, like an open space in front of the house. Usually, it has wooden columns, as stone or metal were not available, and were far too expensive at that time. The roof is a bit bigger in front of the house to cover this space, and the columns are supporting its weight. In the 19th century and before, the "pridvor" was open, so once you get out of the house itself, you are in the open air, though under a roof.

Later, after the 1850s, this space was closed using large windows, as glass was now cheaper and, therefore, affordable, so the "pridvor" becomes actually part of the house, like a hall. What you see in this case is a "pridvor" built in 1859, one of the last to be rendered as a free space, without any glass transforming it into a room. What is also interesting is that it hasn't been closed in since its construction, so it has kept its original shape and structure.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010




Pridvor House
In these pictures we can see some of the details of the pridvor, and the internal wooden structure of the pridvor is visible, for a better understanding of how the craftsmen of that time obtained those curved shapes. The shapes are specific to the "Neoromanesc" style, very popular in that time, another proof of the house's age and its origins.

In this picture you can see Alex with a green-camo jacket, near the fence of the house. That fence is in fact very strange, it is actually part of the pridvor now, so there is no yard in front of the house. Probably, the yard disappeared during the building of the road and sidewalk.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010




Pridvor House
This house from 1859 is on Orzari Street, in the eastern part of Bucharest, close to Piata Muncii - an important intersection, sub-way station and commercial centre. In this photograph we can see Alex's best friend and roommate in Bucharest, Nitu Valentin, nicknamed "Piti".

Alex writes:

"Piti" means "Shorty", quite funny now, as he's 1.85 m tall, but very true about 4 years ago, when he was way shorter and very thin. He is a great guy, very enthusiastic about the Alexis Project and willing to help us, to be part of this adventure. He enjoyed this first project he was part of - the old houses project - and he is looking forward to be near me in other places, to discover what a beautiful country we have.

Photo and Text: Alexandru Gheorghe and Nitu Valentin, February 2010










Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com




If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am


Webmaster: Don Hitchcock

Email: don@donsmaps.com


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