Every bookworm has his favorite bookstore, a place where he can get lost between the shelves. Reading is special that way. All stories take us somewhere new, and when we return, a small part of us is different. Books enrich us with new wisdom and offer us new views of the world. The experience of reading a book is unique every time, and Cărtureşti Carousel Bookstore, a place like no other, ensures this. Located in the old center of Romania's capital, Bucharest, the place is a wonderland of books in the eyes of those who enter it. If you decide to take a break between readings, Manuc’s Inn, the epicenter of hospitality, is right around the corner and also other pubs, restaurants, clubs and historical buildings.
Before unveiling the beauty of this place, let’s take a look at the building the bookstore is hosted at. The history of the building is equally fascinating as the books it contains. Built in the mid-19th century in a Neoclassical style, the edifice was bought by the Chrissoveloni bankers in 1903, and it served as a bank. Later it was confiscated in the Communist era and turned into a general store called Familia, the Romanian word for family.
After the fall of communism, the Chrissoveloni family reclaimed the building. The unsteadiness of the structure made the owners close the building. Only after a five-year restoration process, that started in the year 2000, could the building be opened for the public once again. This exquisite construction belongs to this day to the Chrissoveloni family and houses one of the most beautiful bookstores in Romania.
When entering the Cărtureşti Carousel Bookstore, many things demand attention. The first thing you may notice is the impressive staircase that leads five floors up, along with many smaller spiral staircases. The second thing you may notice is the galleries on both sides of the main room, that serve as stations for the bookshelves. The elegant high columns of the galleries give the space a sophisticated touch.
Standing in the main room, you may lose the feeling of being in a bookstore and may have the impression you are standing in a carousel. The basement is a multimedia center filled with over 5.000 DVDs and albums. There are over 10.000 books in this bookstore, both in Romanian and foreign languages. So, be prepared to get lost in this majestic place. On the top floor, tourists can find a chic bistro that offers a variety of beverages and food options, even vegetarian ones.
Cărtureşti Carousel Bookstore shows us that books are not a thing of the past but that they are standing strong today. Hundreds of people enter the bookstore every day in search of the perfect read, and few of them leave without a book in the hand. The location has also adapted to the needs of the readers, and the store offers a variety of reading accessories, including book lamps and book holders. It is hard to resist buying a cute mug or some tea, when the design and smells are so enticing.
Reading areas are placed throughout this bookstore, for you to get a taste of the books you would like to buy. If you want to visit the bookstore when it is less crowded, then try going during the week and stay clear of the afternoons. This way you can enjoy a steaming cup of coffee with your favorite book in tranquility.
Cărtureşti Carousel Bookstore is indeed the wonderland of books and the perfect place to relax after visiting the old center of Bucharest. If you are in a hurry, don’t forget to take a picture with this stunning architectural bewilderment. Bucharest prides itself on being the capital of people that read with hearts and minds open.
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