Carturesti Carusel new bookshop officially opened on Thursday morning on 55, Lipscani Street, in the heart of Bucharest. A historical building with an impressive destiny shelters the six-floor bookshop, unfolded on a 1,000 square-meter area. Carturesti Carusel is also hosting a bistro at the upper story, a multimedia area at the basement and a gallery dedicated to contemporary art located at the first floor.
At present, the bookshop is offering 10,000 volumes, but their number is expected to rise. The readers will also find 5,000 albums and films in the basement multimedia area, as Carturesti officials told Mediafax.
The story of the building is not less impressive than its actual look. It was built in 1880 and it served as the headquarters of Chrissoveloni bank until 1945, when the communists nationalized the house. During the communist period it served as a store, Familia Store.
Chrissoveloni banker family acquired the building in 1903 and regained it only after 1990. The incumbent owner, Jean Chrissoveloni restored the building and rented it to Carturesti, which underwent a complex revamping process in order to turn it into an unique fancy bookshop.
Jean Chrissoveloni did not mention about the investment’s costs, only saying “they were quite painful”.
The architect Adrian Cancer who dealt with the revamping works said that nothing was bought, everything was manufactured in ‘a 100 percent Romanian workmanship.’
Carturesti is ‘a concept store’ functioning as a bookshop and as a cultural agent at the same time. The first Carturesti bookshop was launched end of 2000. At present, Carturesti network is counting 16 concept-bookshops, in Bucharest and several other Romanian cities.