Top Five Locations in Bucharest
This guide was put together for Czech-it.ro by Anna Remešová*, who participated, on behalf of the online magazine Artalk, in the artists’ residency programme East Art Mags** that took place in Bucharest. During the two weeks of the residency, she travelled the length and breadth of Bucharest discovering its most hidden nooks to compile this imaginative hit parade of the places you should certainly not miss while you’re here!
The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest offers impressive tours and exhibitions, but above all, it’s the back wing of the People’s Palace that you just have to look around. This way, you can examine up close the museum’s monumental architecture, built in a very late-(very)-neoclassical style. From there, you will be further rewarded by pleasing vistas of wild nature behind the Palace, and the view of the entire western part of the city from the museum’s terrace.
Foto: Nicu Ilfoveanu
After a stroll around the People’s Palace, the Macaz bar comes in handy for a beer and much more than that. Here, at a venue that connects cultural issues with political and social ones, the visitor is offered more than just an evening’s musical or theatrical entertainment. Come for a beer and leave with a flag.
With a population of two hundred thousand, this colossal neighbourhood is an endless maze of apartment houses with local people hanging out in front of them, dingy, rhythmically spaced balconies and trees growing out of all possible places, at random. Take a second look, and what might seem at first like any ordinary neighbourhood reveals a fascinating plethora of Brutalist-Modernist lines, a veritable circus of architectural styles and ideas.
Salonul de proiecte
Of all the smaller galleries that are hidden away in Bucharest, the one-room Project Salon gallery is certainly worth visiting. There are two curators behind its programme, Magda Radu and Alexandra Croitoru, who specialise in arranging exhibitions for young Romanian artists partnered with foreign authors. Magda Radu, Alexandra Croitoru, Ștefan Sava and Alina Bucur make up the team that work collectively at Salonul de Proiecte.
Foto: Ștefan Sava, în cadrul expoziţiei „Prăpădenia pământului”, artişti: Mona Vătămanu și Florin Tudor
An endless swathe of nature with a concrete edge, the Vacaresti dam was built in the 1980s by Nicolae Ceaușescu, allegedly to prevent flooding from the Argeș River. The result was a natural park, 190 hectares of greenery that shelter many different species of waterfowl (e.g. herons, cormorants, wild ducks and geese).The dam itself can either be bypassed or walked through. At the same time, it is good to remember that the construction of the dam wiped out an entire neighbourhood and a large monastery dating from the eighteenth century, remnants of which can be found at the National Museum of Romanian Art in the city centre.
Foto: Viktor Vejvoda
Anna Remešová’s residency was supported by ICR Prague, Artalk, Czech Centre Bucharest and ODD.
* Anna Remešová (b. 1990) works in Prague as an editor for Artalk.cz. She is also a curator for Etc. Gallery and coordinates the UMA Audioguide project. She writes for a number of Czech magazines including Art & Antiques, A2, and the Czech and Slovak edition of Flash Art, and she also collaborates with the projects Artlist.cz and Artyčok TV. Anna is interested in the institutional conditions of art as well as in contemporary art in the socio-political context.
** EAST ART MAGS is the initiative of four art magazines in Central and Eastern Europe. The partnership includes Artalk from the Czech Republic/ Slovak Republic, Artportal from Hungary, Revista Arta Online from Romania and SZUM from Poland.