Macca-Villacrosse Passageway

Monday, 29 March 2010

This is one of the most charming places in the old centre of Bucharest. It was designed as a passageway between the always busy boulevard Calea Victoriei and the heart of the old centre and of the merchant area, Lipscani Street.

It is shaped like a fork, each of its two sides bearing a different name – Macca like its builder’s brother-in-law and Villacrosse like Xavier Villacrosse, a Catalan architect who used to be chief architect of Bucharest and who owned the inn on top of which the passage was later built. It is covered with a yellow glass roof that creates a cosy, intimate atmosphere.

The first Stock Exchange House of Bucharest was first housed here before a more appropriate headquarters was built. The passageway is two-stories high, the lower part being meant to hold little merchant shops. Nowadays there are more and more cafés every year. The most interesting atmosphere is however the one you can find in the Egyptian cafés, where you can smoke water pipes with different enticing aromas.

What’s less interesting is the part where when you sit outside the cafés in the passage you get attacked by pigeons and by attacked I mean they spread poop all over you if you find them in a bad mood. However, if you know the right places where to sit (outside café Aida for instance, never under the cupola) you’re less likely to be confronted with that problem.

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