Planul Borroczyn. Scurt istoric / The Borroczyn plan. A short history
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|Excerpt||Rudolf Arthur von Borroczyn was a Russian officer of German descent
who after participating in the Russian-Ottoman war of 1828-1829 settled in Wallachia, where he worked as military and later civil topographical engineer. In 1844 he was assigned with the mapping of Bucharest, a task whose fulfilment brought him the headship of the Engineering Department within the Internal Affairs Ministry. Whereas the current surface of Bucharest is 228 sq. km., that measured by Borroczyn in 1846 was 79.52 sq. km., as it is indicated by Johann Ferdinand Neigebauer in The Description of Moldavia and Wallachia, published in Leipzig in 18481. The disproportion is big, but all European capitals have, throughout time, known expansions of their inhabited surface which are even more spectacular. As for the population, Bucharest had in 1846 a bit more than 100.000 inhabitants, according to the census of 2010 it numbered no less than 1.926.334 inhabitants and based on that of 2012 it had 1.883.400 inhabitants. During the 156 years that have passed since the plan of the city was made, Bucharest underwent continuous changes, from narrow streets paved with wooden beams to the subway and the internet. Old neighbourhoods and streets were replaced with boulevards and spacious neighbourhoods. But all these led to the disappearance of numerous buildings, some considered true architectural “jewels”, which gave place to new ones. However, it seems that there is something which has remained unchanged in Bucharest, something that foreign travellers passing through the capital of Wallachia immediately noticed: a mixture of Oriental and Occidental features, a society struggling between its old Oriental customs and the new European manners and which took from the Western civilization mostly its exterior forms and its elegance rather than its spirit and its character; a state of transition visible in all aspects - in houses, in clothes, in laws and even in language - this is the appearance now displayed by the Principalities”.
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