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Bucharest's Hidden Gem: Unveiling Macca-Vilacrosse Passage

Salutări from Bucharest, everyone! Today, we're venturing off the beaten path to explore a hidden gem in the heart of this vibrant city – the Macca-Vilacrosse PassageThis charming passage boasts a rich history and offers a unique blend of architectural beauty and modern delights. So, get ready to be transported to a world of cobblestones, cafes, and captivating stories! 

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History of the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage

The Macca-Vilacrosse Passage, built in the late 19th century during Bucharest's modernization, replaced a historic inn owned by Petros Seraphim.

Originally named after his son-in-law, architect Xavier Vilacrosse (Vilacrosse wing housed luxury shops under Anastasia Macca's ownership), the city purchased the land in the 1880s to create a Western-style passage to ease congestion. Designed by Felix Xenopol, it opened in 1891 with a unique fork shape due to an uncooperative hotel owner.

The glass-roofed passage featured shops on the ground floor and rentals above. One branch was named Vilacrosse, the other Macca, honoring the families and their contributions. It connected Calea Victoriei with the National Bank in Lipscani.

The design is remarkable, bathed in natural light from the yellow glass ceiling and boasting elegant buildings with intricate details and a stained-glass rotunda.

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The Passage's Transformations

Throughout the 20th century, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage witnessed several transformations. During the communist era, it was renamed the "Jewelry Store Passage" due to the abundance of jewelry shops lining its walls. However, as shopping trends shifted, the passage fell into a period of decline.

Thankfully, in recent years, there's been a resurgence of interest in preserving Bucharest's historical treasures. The Macca-Vilacrosse Passage has undergone a meticulous restoration, restoring its former grandeur. 

The Passage Today

Today, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is a vibrant hub for locals and tourists alike. Stroll through the passage and soak in the unique atmosphere.

You'll find a delightful mix of shops, cafes, and restaurants offering Romanian and international cuisines. Whether you're looking for a delicious meal, a unique souvenir, or just a relaxing break with a cup of coffee, the passage has something for everyone.

Don't miss the chance to explore some of the hidden gems tucked away within the passage. Look for art galleries showcasing local talent, or discover a traditional Romanian pub serving local delicacies and lively music. 

King Valley's Legacy

Locals often refer to the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage as "King Valley," a name harkening back to Bucharest's first cafe serving hookah pipes. This nickname adds a touch of mystery and intrigue to the passage's history.

The Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is a testament to Bucharest's rich heritage and its constant evolution. It's a place where history whispers through the cobblestones, and modern life thrives under.

Have you been there?

Share your impressions in the comments!

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