Bucharest City

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and the largest city in the country, population over 2 million.

It’s situated in south-eastern part of the country, in Walachia province, on Dimbovita and Colentina rivers.

Bucharest developed from an old settlement, traces from the Bronze Age being found in its surroundings. Later a union of villages, nested in the oak forests and near the rivers, it grew in size and importance, becoming a town in 14th – 15th century. Vlad Tepes, the Walachian ruler also known as Dracula, mentioned the place in a document from 1459, a princely court being built at his command. The town became the capital of Walachia at the end of 15th century, mainly due to its position, on one of the main trade routs connecting the Hungarian and the Ottoman empires. It got larger and wealthier, with a high class of rich noblemen and o huge majority of serves, peasants, gypsies, and others, forming the lower class.

Later, after the 1859 Unification of Walachia and Moldavia, in 1861, the capital of the Principality of Romania moved from Iasi to Bucharest. In 1918 Transylvania became part of the Great Romania and Bucharest kept its position. At the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th century the city was reshaped in French style, large boulevards, impressive building and parks being built. Most of these survived WWII, two major earthquakes and the communism.

Today Bucharest is the economical and cultural leading city, a unique combination of old and new, of beauty and ugliness, showing its origins and heritage, a place where the Occident met the Orient, a place you can love or hate.

Sites:

  • the ruins of the 15th century Princely Court and the mid 16th century Princely Court Church.
  • the Royal Palace, built at the beginning of the 19th century, enlarged in early 30’, now housing the National Art Museum
  • the Romanian Athenaeum, built at the end of 19th century, partially from public subscription, the most famous concert hall in the country
  • the Central University Library, dated from the end of 19th century
  • the Post Office Palace, also from the end of 19th century, now the National History Museum
  • Stavropoleos Church, built in early 18th century
  • Cotroceni Palace, from the end of 19th century, now partially museum, partially used as presidential office
  • the House of the Parliament, built during Ceausescu regime, considered to be the second largest building in the world

And many more, museums and memorial houses, churches and synagogues, old building and parks, and not at last, the coffee-shops and pubs.