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Pre-Modern styles 
During the middle ages in Romania there were two types of construction that developed in parallel and different in point of both materials and technique. The first is the popular architecture, whose most spectacular achievements were the wooden churches, especially those in the villages of Maramureş, Banat and Apuseni Mountains, where the tradition is still carried out today. In Maramureş, in Surdeşti village, the 54 m high church tower built during 1721–1724 is among the highest of this kind in Europe. The second consists mainly of monasteries, as well as princely seats or boyar mansions. Unfortunatelly, most of the old lay edifices were destroyed by time, wars, earthquakes and fires.
In mediaeval architecture, influences of Western trends can be traced, to a greater or lesser extent, in all the three lands inhabited by Romanians. Such influences are stronger in Transylvania, and weaker in Moldavia, in forms absorbed by local and Byzantine tradition. In Wallachia, Western elements in architecture were even fewer; there, from the 14th century architecture was based on the local adaptation of the Byzantine model (the Princely Church in Curtea de Arges and the Cozia Monastery).
There are monuments significant for the Transylvanian Gothic style preserved to this day, in spite of all alterations, such as the Black Church in Braşov (14th and 15th centuries) and a number of other cathedrals, as well as the Bran Castle in Braşov County (14th century), the Hunyad Castle in Hunedoara (15th century).
Transylvania also developed fortified towns extensively during the Middle Ages; their urban growth respected principles of functionality (the usual pattern is a central market place with a church, narrow streets with sides linked here and there by archways): the cities of Sighişoara, Sibiu and Braşov are remarkable examples in that sense. Building greatly developed in Moldavia, too. A great number of fortresses were built or rebuilt during the reign of Moldavia's greatest prince, Stephen the Great (1457–1504). Suceava, Neamţ, Hotin, Soroca and others were raised and successfully withstood the sieges laid in the course of time by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Constantinople, by the kings of Poland and Hungary.
It was during his time that the Moldavian style, of great originality and stylistic unity, developed, by blending Gothic elements with the Byzantine structure specific to the churches. Among such constructions, the monumental church of the Neamţ Monastery served, for more than a century, as a model for Moldavian churches and monasteries. The style was continued in the 16th century, during the rule of Stephen the Great's son, Petru Rareş (1527–1538, 1541–1546). The main innovation was the porch and the outwall paintings (the churches of Voroneţ, Suceviţa, Moldoviţa monasteries). These churches of Northern Moldavia have become famous worldwide, due to the beauty of their painted elegant shapes that can be seen from afar.
The 17th century, the zenith of the pre-modern Romanian civilisation, brought about a more significant development of outstanding lay constructions (elegant boyard mansions or sumptuous princely palaces in Moldavia and Wallachia, Renaissance-style lordly castles in Transylvania), as well as the expansion of great monasteries. The latter were endowed with schools, art workshops, printing presses, and they were significant cultural centres. To this period belongs the church of the Trei Ierarhi Monastery in Iaşi, raised in 1635–1639, a unique monument due to its lavish decoration with carved geometric motifs, coloured in lapis lazuli and golden foil, all over the facades. The architectural style developed in Wallachia, especially under the reigns of Matei Basarab (1632–1654) and Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688–1714), is of a remarkable stylistic unity. The Brancovan style is characterized by integration of Baroque and Oriental features into the local tradition. Some examples are the Hurezi Monastery in Oltenia or the princely palace of Mogoșoaia, both of which are lavishly decorated, with beautiful stone carvings, stucco work and paintings.
The 18th century (the Phanariot rule) brought to Wallachia and Moldavia elements of Oriental influence in urban civil architecture, where the number of religious constructions decreased relatively. In Transylvania, the Baroque dominated both religious (the Roman Catholic churches in Timisoara and Oradea) and lay architecture (Banffy Palace in Cluj and Brukenthal Palace in Sibiu).
Modern styles 
In the first half of the 19th century, urban life grew considerably and there was a Western-oriented modernisation policy, due to which the architecture of the Romanian lands became a combination of Romantic and Neo-Classical elements. In the second half of the century a national tendency developed, to use to a great extent elements and forms of the traditional local architecture. Ion Mincu (1852–1912) was founder of both trends and of the Romanian school of architecture. His works, the Lahovary House or the Central Girls School in Bucharest, are among the most prominent achievements of this movement. It is due to an opposite trend that they designed houses and administrative buildings in the spirit of French eclecticism (the Justice Palace, the Central Post Office) or by adapting classicism (the buildings that now hosts the House of the Men of Science, or the Cantacuzino Palace in Bucharest).
That was the time when the Romanian Athaeneum, one of the capitals most famous buildings, was erected in the same style (1886–1888). All those French-looking buildings raised around 1900 were a reason to nickname Bucharest "Little Paris". Other important architects, like Petre Antonescu (1873–1965), Horia Creanga (1893–1943) and Duiliu Marcu (1885–1966) stood out by their commitment to simple and functional forms.
In the first decades of the 20th century, Romanian towns and cities still had a contrasting aspect, exhibiting a sharp difference between the downtown sumptuous buildings and the almost rural outskirts, while the villages remained, architecturally speaking, mainly unchanged. Nevertheless, the first signs of town planning appeared in some urban districts (the first two- or three-storied blocks of flats or one-family houses on two levels).
Industrialization brought some engineering feats such as the King Carol I Bridge (later renamed Anghel Saligny Bridge). Built between 1890 and 1895 in over the Danube, when it was completed it then became the longest bridge in Europe and the third in the world.
Industrialisation and fast urban growth, forced especially in the last two decades of the communist epoch, introduced in architecture long-series typified projects and pre-fab technology in the construction of 8–10 storeyed blocks of flats, which resulted in huge living quarters, levelling up the Romanian townscape. Unfortunately, nationalism, characterizing the last Nicolae Ceauşescu stage of Romanian communism, did not reflect in Romanian architecture. Traditional urban central areas and rural towns were destroyed, and replaced by conglomerates of blocks of flats, while the same ruler imposed the erection of monumental public buildings of a dull eclectic solemnity. Proof of this intrusion of politics in the life of the city stands the huge palace built on Ceauşescu's order in Bucharest, now the Parliament House, whose construction necessitated the demolition of several quarters downtown. As in so many other domains, the post-revolutionary Romanian world will be bound to find again in architecture the way that best answers its needs for functionality and outlook.
See also 
- Constantin Brancoveanu
- List of buildings in Bucharest
- Horia Creangă
- Károly Kós
- Ion Mincu
- Toma T. Socolescu