The city of Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is situated in the south of the country, in the center of Romanian Plain, at an average altitude of 70-80 m and at about 60 km from the Danube, 100 km from the Carpathians and 250 km from the Black Sea.
288 kmp in surface and about 2.000.000 in population, Bucharest is nowadays the first of the cities of Romania, both in size and importance (political, economical, financial, commercial, cultural-scientific, touristic, etc.). The city is crossed by the Dambovita river (on a distance of 24 km) and its tributary, Colentina river. The climate of Bucharest is continental-moderate, with an average annual temperature of 10ºC.
A little history
According to the legend, a shepherd named Bucur, whose name has evolved into Bucuresti, founded the town. The official document in which the city is for the first time mentioned, dates from the 20th September 1459 and was issued by Vlad Tepes (The Impaler), the king of Valacchia at that time.
In 1859, Bucharest became the capital of the United Principalities.
During November 1916 – October 1918, the city was occupied by the German army. After the Great National Meeting at Alba-Iulia, on 1st of December 1918, Bucharest became the capital of Great Romania, having a spectacular economical, banking and cultural flourishment.
Due to the many beautiful buildings in neoclassical style and to an elegant and rich way of life until the beginning of the Second World War, the town has truly deserved the nickname of “the little Paris of the East”.
On December 1989, the city of Bucharest was one of the main centers of the Revolution that ended in the crumbling of the communist system in Romania.
Welcome to Bucharest City Tour!
The Arch of Triumph – inaugurated on 1st December 1936, glorifies the bravery of the Romanian soldiers who fought in the First World War, celebrating at the same time the 1918 Union of Romanian provinces. Designed by the architect Petre Antonescu, the monument is 27 m high.
The Village Museum – one of the world’s most interesting ethnographical parks in open air. Founded in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti following a Royal Decree, this museum illustrates the perpetual spring of surprising originality. The house and house holding samples gathered from all regions of the country are exhibited according to ethnographical areas. Here you can see 50 complete homesteads, churches, windmills and even sunken houses from rural Romania.
The Revolution Square – one of the most important square in the history of the city. It is surrounded by emblematic buildings such as: Hilton Hotel – the former Athenee Palace Hotel built in 1883 and the highest building in Bucharest at that time.
The Romanian Athaeneum – this was the headquarters of Romanian Athenaeum Society, seated up at 28 January 1965, which had as purpose spreading cultural and scientific information. The land was the Vacaresti family’s property, where a church was built and then became the property of Romanian Equestrian Society, who wanted to build a manege. This seems to be explanations for the round shape of the building. The projects of the building are made by Albert Galleron (France) helped by C.Baicoianu and was inaugurated in February 1888.
The National Museum of Art – located in the building of the former Royal Palace. After more than 10 years of restoration to the extensive damage caused during the revolution in 1989, one can admires treasure painted by Rembrandt, Veneziano, Monet, Sisley, El Greco, Breughel and Rubens. During the fighting in December 1989, 448 works of art were destroyed or went missing and another 716 were damaged. A total of 18 valuable paintings were generously restored and cleaned by museums in the Netherlands, USA, Italy and France.
The Kretzulescu Church – a monument synthesizing in its architecture, the art of the Brancoveanu epoch. It was built in 1720-1722, through the care of great cancelor Iordache Kretzulescu and his wife, Safta (one of the daughters of Constantin Brancoveanu). The interior wall painting was realized (1859-1860) by Gheorghe Tattarescu – famous Romanian painter.
The Memorial of Rebirth – commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Anticomunism Revolution of 1989. The monument was inaugurated in August 2005 in front of the balcony where the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had his last speech.
The Central University Library – the first building was designed by french arhitect Paul Gottereau and erected between 1891-1893. During the Romanian Revolution in 1989, the building was destroyed and reconstructed between 1990-1995.
The Palace of Parliament – (the House of People or the House of Ceausescu) has been built between 1984-1989 and it represents the grandest administrative construction in Europe. It has hundreds of offices, halls for receptions or for other events (scientific, cultural, social-political), dozens of conference rooms. It covers 265.000 sqm interior surface, being the second biggest in the world after the Pentagon building in Washington. It is also the third in the world considering its volume, after Cape Canaveral building, USA (where the cosmic shuttles are assembled) and after the Quetzalcoatl pyramid in Mexico.