Macca-Villacrosse passage

The passage... this is a strange (but not unique) and comfortable concept: the covered street. The Macca-Villacrosse passage has got a French look but definitely an Oriental origin, as it used to host many little shops belonging to different merchants. The pedestrian alleys roofed with glass and wrought iron is now lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. The passage designed by architect Felix Xenopol, was completed in 1891.

On the site where the actual passage lies there used to be Câmpineanu Inn, bought in 1831 by Petrache (Petros) Serafim and his brother dr. Ioan Serafim. In 1843 Polixenia, the daughter of Petros, married Xavier Villacrosse, a Catalan,the chief architect of Bucharest at the time (1840-1850), and they received the inn as a wedding present.

The land in front of of Meitani Housee (current the Prefecture of Police), on Victoria Street, has been sold to the Philharmonic Society, who wanted to build here a Philharmony Palace. The land was bought then by a Hungarian entrepreneur, who built here Hotel Stadt Pesht with 9 rooms upstairs and downstairs with a coffee shop. Still used until the end of the century under the name of Villacrosse Inn, this was however demolished, being replaced by a complex of modern buildings. Among these buildings were built covered passages, as those that existed yet in other cities in Europe and began to appear in Bucharest. Since the center was occupied by the hotel Pesht, the owner refused to sell, the passage was executed with two wings around the two sides of the hotel, in elongated U-shape, covered with yellow glass meant to protect it from the rain and to nevertheless provide it with natural light.

The ground floor space was used for different shops, while the rooms upstairs were meant for rental. The Carada Street leg was called Villacrosse Passage, while the Calea Victoriei leg was called Macca Passage, after the name of the builder's brother-in-law. The passage played as the first host of Bucharest Stock Exchange. Nowadays it hosts various restaurants and cafés: a Blues Bar, to a bistro, a Chinese restaurant, a few Oriental cafes with water pipes and Turkish coffee...

At Panoramigu you can see 3D panoramas of Macca-Vilacrosse pasage (internet infos compilation).