Bucharest, recognized as being in the 19th and early 20th century as “Little Paris”, had certain places where the high society and important exponents of the culture, politics and society of those times spent their time. Such a place, full of history, was also the place in Romania that Ceausescu hated. Although emblematic of Romania’s history, it was one of the few places where the former dictator could not bear to go. The reasons were related to the history of the place and especially to those who frequented this space full of history, namely Casa Capșa.
Part of Romania’s history was written at Casa Capșa
More than 170 years ago, in the heart of Bucharest, full of bourgeoisie, literati and dreamers, there appeared a place, more precisely a cafe, which would bear the name of a Macedonian-Romanian family, Capșa, who were already here since the 18th century.
In addition to the other 32 such edifices, Casa Capșa would find its place in history, thanks to the clientele that would frequent it, from people of literature of those times to the great political figures, remaining in the history of this nation, all of them would become loyal customers of this cafe, recognized internationally, and they would write the history of this people at a table and with a good coffee in front of them.
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From those times, there are still a lot of bohemian stories woven around the cafe in the heart of Bucharest, and the scent of the old times has dissipated, neither the clientele is the same anymore, nor the old-time menu, full of French secrets, is the same anymore, testimony of of those bohemian times being just a few photos.
“Casa Capșa is a legendary place in Bucharest, located on Calea Victoriei, opened in 1852, next to the confectionery “La doi frați, Anton și Vasile Capsa”, opposite the Zlatari Church, in the former Han Damari. After a short period it was transferred to Casa Slatineanu, the current location.
Since its opening, this restaurant has been visited by famous personalities at the time. In 1873, Casa Capșa received the Great Medal at the Universal Exhibition in Vienna, thus becoming internationally appreciated, in 1882 it obtained the supplier license for the house of Prince Milan Orbenovic of Serbia, and in 1908 it became the supplier of Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria.” , it is written on the cafe’s website, related to the history of this place.
The year 1886 would also cement the appearance of the hotel
But it was more than a cafe, the imposing building was also a place of rest for those who came to Bucharest, there were several rooms, becoming a famous hotel of the time, which it still is today. Even today, part of the external and internal architecture of the building is still preserved, most of it reminiscent of its former glory.
The hotel was to be built by one of the two brothers, Grigore Capșa in 1886, and as its history is presented on the location’s website, “Capşa has become the official meeting place for various personalities from politics, journalism, art and culture. Grigore Capșa replaced the eastern aspect with the western one in Bucharest, succeeding in the transition from baklava and sarailie to confectionery, chocolate, ganache and bonbon”.
Casa Capșa, the place in Romania that Ceauşescu hated
For many, Casa Capșa was the meeting place of the bourgeois class, of the intelligentsia, of the racial politicians of those times, but also in the next century, interwar, and even during the Second World War. An important moment in the interwar history of Casa Capșa was the official dinner held in 1920, at the invitation of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria, when the famous French marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre arrived in Bucharest, also at that time the famous cake was invented by the confectioners here joffremade specifically in honor of the great French general.
Also here, great men of Romanian literature, from Virgil Carianopol, Tudor Arghezi, Ion Barbu, Serban Cioculescu, Liviu Rebreanu, Ionel and Pastorel Teodoreanu, Camil Petrescu, Zaharia Stancu, Ion Minulescu and many others, would spend whole days at the Casa Staple.
See also: The place in Romania banned by Ceausescu. He didn’t allow anyone to enter here, what secrets he was hiding
After 1948, when the communists came to power, Casa Capșa would feel the new order, and later, slowly, slowly, things would change for this place full of history, most proletarian refusing to set foot on the threshold of the cafe because it reminded them of decadent bourgeoisie and disenchanted capitalism.
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Nicolae Ceaușescu would do the same, refusing any attempt to cross the threshold of the Capșa House, although his wife, Elena Ceaușescu, liked the luxurious rooms and the inter-war perfume of the Capșa House. But, although under the careful supervision of the communists, even after the 50s, Casa Capșa remained a place of pilgrimage for the great names in Romanian literature, the place being frequented even by one of the dictator couple’s sons, Nicușor Ceaușescu. Although Casa Capșa is the place in Romania that Ceauşescu hated, the history written here cannot be erased, and the place still stands today, imposingly on Calea Victoriei.