-text and photos by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe;
design by Florin Stancu-

Tower Coltea, built in the 1710s,
was the symbol of Bucharest,
serving as the steeple of a monastery in the 18th century
and as a fire tower in the 19th century.
It was demolished in 1888 from the city’s necessities of systematization.

From now on, basing on historical elements,
I’ve composed for you…


In the 1890s Bucharest had two new special sons.
And because this city had lost the unique fire tower,
those Bucharestian brothers became the new fire towers:
one guarding in the West,
so named Bucharwest,
and one guarding in the East,
so named Buchareast.
Plus sometimes the possibility given to privileged people
to admire the starry sky from their tops.

their destinies seemed to have a glorious future,
a kind of Romanian replies to Castor and Pollux,
the famous brothers from Greek mythology.
It is true,
there were significant differences
between the two couples of brothers,
but for the people of those times
Buchareast and Bucharwest, although just towers,
were not only real friends of the people,
but also athletes of the fire
that touched the stars.

Unfortunately, soon after,
the promising destinies of the two brother-towers
had to be separated:
Bucharwest, being placed close to a factory,
became a water tower
and now he is the annex of a store,
while Buchareast remained the unique fire tower
until the 1930s
and now he is the National Firemen Museum.

“Castor and Pollux had a common glory,
they were put together in the heavens
as the main stars of the constellation Gemini.
So your comparison is wrong!”
said to me an astromythologist.

“However, in the heavens,
Pollux is a star brighter than Castor.
So your comparison is good!”
said to me an astronomer.

Personally, all I can say is:
next time I will find other comparison!

Returning to reality,
here is “Bucharwest”:

disdained on Earth…

… but lit from the heavens…

And here is “Buchareast”
(created by architect George Mandrea):
42 m high
(the same height with that of the Home Insurance Building in Chicago,
built in the 1880s, demolished in the 1930s,
and considered the first skyscraper in the world),
stifled by electric elements,
in the morning…

… and in the evening…

Closer to the Bucharest Fire Tower
I remarked a clock showing a time so different
that first I thought it didn’t work.

But a few minutes later
I remarked that it really worked,
but showing another time,
maybe from a mythological dimension.

And I wondered:
in the former nights without light pollution,
watching over the city from the Bucharest Fire Tower…

… how many firemen implored the heavenly bodies
(from which only the Moon
seems to have remained available)
to stop the exaggerated games
of some
negligent contemporary “prometheus”?


© 2012 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)