Bucharest's oldest fire tower was called Colţea Tower, it was built in 1715 and demolished in 1888. The replacement, Foişorul de Foc (the Firewatch Tower - 33, Ferdinand I Boulevard), was built in 1892-1893, according to architect George Mandrea’s plans, as a surveillance and alarming point. It was at the time the tallest building in the city (50 meters high). Contrary to the popular belief, its purpose was simply to be a place from where the city's authorities could watch for fires and at no stage stored water.
At the ground floor of the construction were the fire carriages and horses, the first floor was used for firemen and the second was destined to the commandant. The Fire Watch Tower or The Fire Station no. 5 functioned for 44 years until 1936 when the firemen were moved to another edifice.
In 1963 the Fire Watch Tower became the Firemen National Museum. The museum exhibits documents, photographs showing the firemen’s training and photos of the great fires in the country. Here one can see the equipment used by firemen along the time, pumps of different types and from different times, the flags of the firemen’s units and costumes used by firemen. The museum hosts also a collection of paintings and other art objects that illustrate man’s fight with fire, such the book of the Memorable Great Fire. The best bit of the museum is the view from the old observation deck, closed for decades but now thankfully reopened.
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