Architecture School of TM; Romania



Jan '05 - Jan '07

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    Episode 3

    By Oana S.
    Jun 6, '05 2:52 AM EST

    1989, a so called revolution, a so called democracy (not complaining), things were supposed to change in something better, right? WRONG!
    Well, let's put it like this: Sinaia is from a historical point of view symptomatic for most romanian cities. It is a small and concentrate example for what happened all over the place.

    First we can talk about the main problem left to deal with after communism: returning the wealth/ vilas/houses to the rightfull owners. This wouldn't be such a big problem if other people wouldn't live in them. But in his attempt to ”˜even' everything, Ceausescu brought poor people from other regions of the country to live in these houses. Now they are already another generation, they don't want to leave the place. And they don't have any other place to go. In the same time they don't have the money to take care of the houses, so the buildings are in a very bad shape (though they are mostly monuments). In the same time few ”˜smart' guys sold these houses (without being the legal owners, black money) , making the solving of the problem more complicated. Besides years of bureaucracy, usually things end up with a trial at Strassbourg.

    The ”˜funniest' case is that King Mihai now demands among other thing the Peles castle back. They will probably pay him damages.
    this is one of the most famous and old buildings, called 'furnica'.Now it is a night club.

    The problem Sinaia suffers today: people are allowed to build almost everywhere, everything. The system is so corrupt, with a phonecall or enough money you can easily ignore all regulations.

    So the once small city is growing everyday, losing its special character. There is a continous fight with the forrest and the water coming down the mountains. In the most new built areas they don't even have an infrastructure: no roads system, no canalization. But they keep on building. Between the railroad and the road to Bucharest a new industry is developing: an construction industry that makes materials more cheap to the ones that build there. Bussiness!


    The center of the town is marked by the shopping centers that are more like a market. Facades, everywhere on the main street you see advertising and prints, many improvised kiosks that sell everything, bad music, vagabond dogs.

    In the weekends : fancy cars, loud music, many many tourists, noise, pollution, animation.
    On Monday the town looks ”˜raped', sad, silent recovering from the last days. The difference is really big.

    There is a big social problem as people actually living in Sinaia are not a community. There is no place that could give you the feeling of belonging to Sinaia, but no activities whatsoever. They are not united, they are learning how to take advantage of the tourists but are still amazed by them. Many of them are very poor and you can see a big difference between the tourists (rich people) and the local inhabitants.

    Soon there will be a highway in Sinaia. It will bring more tourists, more services, more, more, more. The local administration can't handle it today, will they be able tomorrow?

    We spoke to the new mayor of Sinaia and he assured us of some projects he is working on. He seemed to know the prbls Sinaia is dealing with and he also seemed to work on the sollutions. But until you don't see a practical result, it doesn't really matter.
    The only chance Sinaia has is to stop the building, to try to revigorate the spirit from between the worl wars, to become a luxury resort. Lux doesn't reffer to the ”˜new rich people' but to the ones able to love the city, the nature, the old flavour.

    • 1 Comment

    • Zoë Coombes

      Right now I love Oana. She is on a roll...

      Jun 8, 05 3:18 am

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