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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Volume LIX
Written by Ileana Maria PANŢU

Carol I Park is the oldest park of Bucharest (est. 1906) and is representative of the evolution of the Romanian landscape architecture. Its history is comprised of three main phases of development, which reflect different political, cultural and social contexts, the first one at the beginning of the 20th century and the second in the '30s. This paper is the third in a series documenting and analysing the development of the Carol I Park’s and covers the second half of the 20th century, which is politically characterised by a communist regime in Romania. The ideological communist vision, as in other totalitarian systems of different ideology, aimed to use public space and national symbols as poster icons. As a consequence, in 1960, Carol I Park underwent radical modifications, being cut apart by the Communist regime's approach to public spaces. The park lost its original character and became a platform for Socialist propaganda. Stylistically, this translated as a strong monumentalism typical for totalitarian architecture, which was based around vast empty spaces, designed for large crowds. The 1960 project brutally transformed the layout of the park. Its original mixed style, with its Romantic French landscape garden dominant, became geometrically-oriented. However it was not the classic geometrical style representative of the Royalty designed at the human scale, but instead a monumental geometrical design erasing human scale. In spite of the subsequent changes and evolutions during different periods, the Carol I Park remains an incontestable gem of Romanian cultural heritage.

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