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Bucharest travel guide — Bucharest tourism and travel information

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about Bucharest

Bucharest (population 2.3 million, Romanian: Bucureşti) is the capital city and industrial and commercial centre of Romania, located in the southeast of the country, on the Dâmboviţa river.

Bucharest geography

Along a small tributary of Dâmboviţa, named Colentina, several lakes stretch across the city, the most important being Lake Floreasca, Lake Tei and Lake Colentina. In addition, in the center of the capital there is a small artificial lake - Lake Cişmigiu. Surrounded by gardens and parks, it has a rich history, as it was frequented by famous poets and writers.

The city has a total surface of 226 km2 and it is divised in 6 administrative sectors.

Until recently, the regions surrounding Bucharest were largely rural areas, but after 1989, new suburbs were started to be build around Bucharest, in the Ilfov county.

Bucharest sights

Palatul Parlamentului

The Palace of the Parliament was built by the communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu (then known as the Palace of the People) and it is the second biggest building in the world after the Pentagon.

The Village Museum

Established in 1936, the Village Museum is an open air ethnographical museum, extended on 10 hectares, containing 272 authentic buildings and peasant farms from all over Romania.

Arcul de Triumf

The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly, after Romania gained its independence (1878), so that the victorious troops could march under it. Another temporary arch was built on the same site, after World War I. The current arch was built in 1935.

Cişmigiu Gardens

The Cişmigiu Gardens were built as a public garden in the center of Bucharest in 1847 after the plans of the German architect Carl F.W. Meyer.

National Museum of Art

See main article National Museum of Art of Romania.

Located in the former royal palace, the museum features notable collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, as well as the international collection assembled by the Romanian royal family. The modern Romanian collection features sculptures by Constantin Brâncuşi and Dimitrie Paciurea.

Museum of the Romanian Peasant

See main article Museum of the Romanian Peasant A beautifully displayed collection of textiles (especially costumes), icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life. This institution received the "European Museum of the Year 1996" prize.

Bucharest history

The legend says that Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur, another variant, more likely, is that it was established by Mircea cel Bătrân in the 14th century after a victory won over the Turks (bucurie means joy in Romanian, for this reason Bucharest is often called "The City of Joy.").

Like most ancient cities of Romania, its foundation has also been ascribed to the first Walachian prince, the half-mythical Radu Negru (1290-1314). More modern historians declare that it was originally a fortress, erected on the site of some Daco-Roman settlements, then it was used to command the approaches to Târgovişte, formerly the capital of Walachia.

Bucharest is first mentioned under its present name as a residence in 1459 of the Walachian prince Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler). It soon became the summer residence of the court. In 1595 it was burned by the Turks; but, after its restoration, continued to grow in size and prosperity, until, in 1698, Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu chose it for his capital and of the united provinces of Walachia and Moldavia from February 1859 (renamed Romania in December 1861 while still nominally subject to the Ottoman Empire).

During the 18th century the possession of Bucharest was frequently disputed by the Turks, Austrians and Russians. In 1812 it gave its name to the treaty by which Bessarabia and a third of Moldavia were ceded to Russia. In the war of 1828 it was occupied by the Russians, who made it over to the prince of Walachia in the following year. A rebellion against Prince Bibescu in 1848 brought both Turkish and Russian interference, and the city was again held by Russian troops in 1853-1854. On their departure an Austrian garrison took possession and remained till March 1857. In 1858 the international congress for the organization of the Danubian principalities was held in the city; and when, in 1861, the union of Walachia and Moldavia was proclaimed, Bucharest became the Romanian capital. Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the first ruler of the united provinces, was driven from his throne by an insurrection in Bucharest in 1866.

In the second half of the 19th century, the population of the city increased dramatically. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of The Paris of the East (or Little Paris, "Micul Paris"), with Calea Victoriei as its Champs Elysées or Fifth Avenue, but the social divide between rich and poor was described at the time by Ferdinand Lassalle as "a savage hotchpotch."

On December 6, 1916 the city was occupied by the German forces, the capital being moved to Iaşi, but it was liberated in November 1918, becoming the capital of the new united Kingdom of Romania.

Bucharest suffered heavy loses during WWII due to the English and American bombardments. On November 8, 1945, the king's day, the communists suppressed pro-monarchist rallies.

During Nicolae Ceauşescu's leadership, most of the historical part of the city, including old churches, was destroyed, to be replaced with the grandomanic socialist buildings of the Centru Civic, notably the Palace of the Parliament. Some historic districts remain, but Bucharest is certainly no longer the Paris of the East.

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Bucharest real estate

City Travel Guide comes with Bucharest real estate guide with several tips on home valuation, realtors comparison, secrets on finding the "right" home, loans guide and other helpful real estate advices. Our partners also maintain Bucharest property for sale and rental listings, real estate laws and reviews. We will try to help you with buying property in Romania, choosing real estate agents, property finders, relocation help, and information for English speakers wanting to buy real estate in Bucharest.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bucharest".

This city is also known as: Bucharest.

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