My built world

RYNOK SQUARE - LVYV, UKRAINE

- fine-liners and watercolour markers -

9" x 12"

Situated at the intersection of two traditionally major trade routes, Lvyv is one of the oldest economic centers of Eastern Europe. It was founded in the 13th century and boasts remarkable monuments in the styles of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Vienna Secession, Art Deco and Art Nouveau. 

BRIDGE OF PEACE - TBILISI, GEORGIA

- colour pencils -

9" x 12"

Opened in 2010, this bow-shaped pedestrian bridge stands in stark contrast to the historical landmarks of the old downtown in Georgia’s capital. It has a glass and steel structure which brightens up the Kura River at night with its interactive LEDs display triggered by motion sensors.

HUREZI MONASTERY - HUREZI, ROMANIA

- watercolours -

 9" x 12"

The architectural style known as the Romanian Renaissance is best represented in this ensemble built by Prince Constantin Brancoveanu in the 1690s. From its inception, the monastery has acted as a powerful cultural centre for the region, taking pride in its library of over 4,000 volumes.

OLD TOWN MARKET PLACE - WARSAW, POLAND

- ink and watercolours -

9" x 12"

This square is the true heart of the Old Town. Originated in the 13th century, the styles of its buildings range from Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. It was heavily bombarded by the Germans during the WWII and it has been restored in the 1950s.

ROW HOUSES - AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND

- watercolours -

 9" x 12"

The 17th century saw the city of Amsterdam raising in importance internationally: the tenacious Dutch had built canals to address the flooding of the lower-than-the-sea land level and they had invented the Stock Exchange to manage trade of goods by ordinary citizens. The row houses bordering these canals attest both to that prosperity and to the people's cleverness: to this day, their roof hooks are still used to lift heavy furniture when moving in or out.

VISCRI FORTIFIED CHURCH - ROMANIA

- watercolours -

9" x 12"

Once having more than 250 fortified churches, Transylvania still retains a few which are nowadays designated as UNESCO heritage sites. Most were built in the 13th century with various fortification elements to form veritable citadels which protected the villages around: in case of enemy invasions, families would retreat inside their walls, where each had dedicated rooms for people and animals to survive for days. These complexes were reinforced in subsequent centuries, as fighting techniques changed and demanded different types of fortifications.

ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL - KYIV, UKRAINE

- watercolours -

 9" x 12"

Named after the great Hagia Sophia of Byzantium, this outstanding structure is surrounded by two-tier galleries from three sides and it has 5 naves, 5 apses and 13 cupolas. Known also as the burial place of Kyivan rulers, it has wowed worshippers, pilgrims and visitors for more than 1,000 years.

CASINO - CONSTANTA, ROMANIA

- watercolours -

9" x 12"

Combining Art Nouveau and Beaux Arts styles, this casino was designed by French-Romanian architect Daniel Renard and built between 1903-1910. Its tumultuous past saw 38 years of socialites' gambling, WWII bombing and communist propaganda as a House of Culture. Recently designated as international heritage building, it is currently undergoing restoration.

URBAN LANDSCAPE - FLORENCE, ITALY

 - watercolours -

 9" x 12"

The Renaissance city par excellence, Florence continues to delight and inspire locals and visitors alike. Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral dominates its urban landscape, with the double shell of the unmistakable dome of Filippo Brunelleschi - completed in 1436 - qualifying as one engineering marvel in all history.

ORBELIAN CARAVANSERAY - YEREVANYAN HIGHWAY, ARMENIA

- colour pencils -

9" x 12"

The best-preserved Armenian underground shelter on the famous Silk Road, this structure was constructed of blocks of basalt in 1332. It has a single hall divided into three parallel vaults with an oculus in each. Animals rested in the narrow aisles, while travelers slept in a separate room built on the western side.

CAPRIANA MONASTERY - STRASENI, MOLDOVA

 - colour pencils -

 9" x 12"

Two significant Moldavian rulers’ names are linked to this beloved Moldavian monastery. Alexander the Good founded it in 1429 and Petru Rares restored it in 1545. One of its three churches is the stone Church of Dormition, the oldest extant religious construction in Moldova.

OLD STREET - BAKU, AZERBAIJAN

- colour pencils -

9" x 12"

While its first known madrasa is known to have opened in the 12th century, the Old City of Baku has neighbourhoods going back to the 7th century. It is one of the most charming sites in the region of the Caspian Sea, with a rich history in economic trade and education.

COUNCIL SQUARE - BRASOV, ROMANIA

 - watercolours -

 9" x 12"

A place for weekly and annual markets since 1364, this square obtained an official such designation in 1520. The former Council House (Casa Sfatului) commands its center, surrounded by fine examples of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL - TBILISI, GEORGIA

- colour pencils and watercolour pencils -

9" x 12"

Built upon a contest held in the early 2000s to find what was to become the main Georgian Orthodox church, the capital’s cathedral has quickly become a national symbol of unity. It is one of the biggest religious buildings in the world and it was funded mainly by anonymous donations.

PUTNA MONASTERY - BUKOVINA, ROMANIA

 - watercolours -

 9" x 12"

One of the most important cultural, religious and artistic centers established in medieval Moldavia, Putna was built and dedicated by Stephen the Great, the Moldavian ruler known to have fought relentlessly for Christianity in the region after the Fall of Constantinople. His tomb inside this church continues to be visited and venerated, as he has also been canonized in June 1992.

MIR CASTLE - MIR, BELARUS

- watercolours -

9" x 12"

A signatory of the Polish-Lithuanian Union of 1501, Duke Jerzy Iwanowicz Ilinicz built this magnificent castle in the Late Gothic Style at the turn of the 16th century. The initial citadel had five towers surrounding a courtyard and was later refitted it with a two-winged, three-story stately residence in the Renaissance style.

THE STAIRS PASSAGE - SIBIU, ROMANIA

 - colour pencils -

 12" x 9"

The Stairs Passage (Pasajul Scarilor) is a stone and brick structure of twin staircases and archways which connect the Upper Town to the Lower Town in Sibiu, around its impressive Evangelical Church. It was built in the 14th century as part of the third row of fortifications of the town, and remains one of the most beautiful and daily-used heritage sites of the city.

BRAN CASTLE - BRAN, ROMANIA

- watercolours -

12" x 9"

Built in the 14th century on the Transylvanian side of the historical border with Wallachia, Bran fortress was used in defense against the Ottoman invasions and also functioned as the Customs check-point for centuries. Commonly known outside Romania as Dracula's Castle, it bears no connection to Bram Stoker's famous fictional character. After 1920 it functioned as a royal residence and was a favourite spot of Queen Marie of Romania. Her daughter Princess Ileana ran a war hospital in the castle and with the expulsion of the royals by the communist regime, the castle was seized by the authorities. Returned to the royal heirs after the fall of the communist regime, the castle has been opened to the public as a museum under privately-owned administration.

NATIONAL MILITARY CIRCLE - BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

 - watercolours and ink-

 9" x 12"

Designed before the Great War by architect Dimitrie Maimarolu in French Neoclassical style, this palace for the officers' garrison of the capital city was built on the site of the old Sarindar monastery. The fountain in front of the building remembers this name. The building boasts luxurious interiors with reception and protocol rooms for the Romanian Army, while its restaurant and terrace are public spaces.

UNION SQUARE - TIMISOARA, ROMANIA

- watercolours and ink -

9" x 12"

This square is one of the most beautifully composed ones in Romania with two main churches facing one another. Represented here is the Baroque side of the square with the Serbian Orthodox church and the Bishop's Palace (Vicariate). Both structures are proof to the strong Serbian presence on this Romanian region called Banat, which used to be part of the Serbian kingdom.

CALEA VICTORIEI - BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

 - watercolours and ink-

 9" x 12"

One of oldest and certainly the most famous artery in Bucharest, Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue) links downtown to Victory Square. Buildings of all style line up on both of its sides to create a historic kaleidoscope which subtly describes the capital city of Romania. This image presents a part situated closer to the National Military Circle (see drawing above) with entrances to two urban passages developed in the Parisian style. The blue-roof building in the foreground is the Grand Continental Hotel which reminds visitors that La Belle Epoque was once an integral part of the capital's lifestyle.

PALACE OF CULTURE - IASI, ROMANIA

- watercolours and ink -

9" x 12"

Built by architect I.D. Berindei in the flamboyant Neo-Gothic style of the 19th century, this administrative building is part of the grounds of the formerly Princely Court of Moldavia. The construction started in 1906 as an expansion project, was halted during WWI and finished in 1925 to be inaugurated one year later by King Ferdinand I of Romania. Fittingly, it hosted the County Law Court and other public institutions until 1955, when it was transformed exclusively into a cultural place. Some of its 298 rooms act as museum space, displaying extensive collections of art, history, ethnography and science.

TREI IERARHI CHURCH - IASI, ROMANIA

 - watercolours-

 8" x 15"

A masterpiece in stone carving, the church of the Trei Ierarhi Monastery was finished in 1639 after only two years, and is dedicated to Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom. It boasts more than 30 registers of different motifs which cover the facade all around. Renowned defender of the Orthodox church, Prince Vasile Lupu set up here the first printing press in Moldavia and the Vasilian College, a higher education institute.