I tend to forget my worries while visiting old but gorgeous cities, the same as I forget about the things I must take care of, and even my phone. In a world filled with technology, we rarely slow down and smell the roses. Luckily, there are some places that teleport us to a time when life had a slower pace. Some of these places have been around for hundreds of years and will probably still be there long after we are gone. There are many old buildings in Romania's capital, Bucharest. Their walls have sheltered millions of people throughout time, having seen the good and the bad in humanity. One of the oldest buildings in Bucharest is the Manuc's Inn, considered the epicenter of hospitality in the capital. So, what is Manuc’s Inn? It is the oldest traditional inn in Europe and one place that awaits all eagerly. It is just a short walk away from the one of a kind palace - the People's House.
Situated in the old part of Bucharest's city center, Manuc's Inn is the oldest hotel of the capital. The inn was built by an Armenian lord, Emanuel Martirosi Mârzaian in 1808. The lord was known as Manuc to everyone who crossed his threshold. The reason why this happened is unknown. Maybe, the locals just didn’t know how to spell the owner's name.
Manuc decided to build an inn that would be a beacon of light to those in need of shelter in troublesome times. The land on which he raised the inn used to belong to the royal court and was close to where people used to trade, so it provided shelter to a unique spectrum of people.
Initially, the inn included 107 rooms, 10 sheds, 15 cellars, 23 shops, and 2 ballrooms. In the year 1816, Manuc decided to sell the inn, but sadly he died under strange circumstance before he was able to do so. His son, Murat, took over the inn and kept it in the family for a couple of years longer. But a serious earthquake of the year 1838 changed this mind, and Murat decided to sell the inn.
Usually, when a building got sold, people could put in different clauses into the contract. These clauses stipulated how the building would have to be managed after the sale went through. Because the inn was well-known for its hospitality, and the travelers would walk great lengths to get to it, the owner placed a rather strange clause in the contract.
The new owners would have to maintain the same level of hospitality towards the travelers, giving each guest the honor he or she deserved. By doing this, they would have to make sure that the inn's reputation wouldn't be ruined, and that the image of the inn could live on. This old tradition is still being upheld today. All guests feel welcomed and honored throughout their stay.
After Manuc's son sold the inn, the building went through quite a metamorphosis. Firstly, it transformed into the Grand Hotel of Dacia. During this time, people used to gather here for theater and illusionist shows, balls and banquets. Even in the time of war, Manuc's Inn was a popular meeting place for politicians and traders alike.
Later on, in the Communist era, a demolition was planned in order to enlarge the main square. Things were on standby for a while, but in the end, it was decided the inn had a special value, and a restoration process began.
Slowly, Manuc's Inn was sold from one owner to the next, until it became what it is today. The building was transformed into a restaurant having the same name and a well-known hospitality reputation. This restaurant is the perfect choice for weddings, christenings, and parties. From time to time, the restaurant houses workshops, conferences, or art shows.
Manuc's Inn kept its fame and still is the epicenter of hospitality in Bucharest. Rooms are no longer available to be rented out, and people have stopped coming to trade. Yet travelers still cross great distances to arrive here and see Europe's oldest traditional inn.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.