Bucharest - The Capital of Romania

The capital of Romania is first documented for the first time in 1462 during the time of Radu cel Frumos brother of Vlad the Impaler.

It first, became the capital of Romania in 1859 when Alexandru IoanCuza established the capital of the new state Romania in Bucharest. Bucharest was developed very well during the time of Carol I our first king of the Hohenzollern -Sigmaringen dynasty. He developed the city changing it into a new architectural style which give it the nickname of „Little Paris“.

Later in time the city grew and today even though Ceausescu destroyed many buildings we can still visit buildings such as the ones that I will describe.

First of all you arrive in the Revolution Square and near the statue of the King Carol I riding a horse. In front of it you will find The Royal Palace built on this site, where stood the house of the Grand Chancellor DinicuGolescu.

After the union of Moldova and Romanian Country it was the residence of prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Rebuilt between 1930 -1937 it became the royal palace. This was thee place where Romania took the decision to change sides in the World War II turning their weapons against the Germans, in 1944 and where in 1947, on December 31st the King Mihai I was forced to abdicate and the communist regime proclaimed The Peoples Republic.

Bucharest - Romanian Athenaeum Behind it , is the Library of the University and a little bit to the right, the Romanian Athenaeum, having a round shape,was built by public subscription, in neoclassical style, with concert and lecture halls. On the left side of the statue is the monument for the heroes from the 1989 Revolution and near it a massive building with three black doors and a small balcony above, from where Nicolae Ceausescu spoke to the people. On the other side of the street stands Kretzulescu Church which was moved from its place about 12 meters on the south to avoid being observed by Nicolae Ceausescu from his balcony during his speeches. Then continuing along the Boulevard Victoria you’ll pass the Ramada Hotel while on the left will appear Capsa Hotel, the place where the writers, painters and artists from the period of the years 1870-1940 met.

Progressing on the same left side, you will discover Lipscani street. It leads from the old Bucharest close beside the Old royal Court. On the street you can find now some places where the foundations of the old houses and inns or even old streets were exposed to the public. If you continue on the streets always keeping parallel to the Victoria Boulevard you arrive at the Stavropoleos Church, and to Carul cu Bere an old and famous restaurant in Bucharest, and to the old royal Court and Church. Close to it is situated Manuc’s Inn another very famous Inn in Bucharest.

Stavropoleos Church, it was reopened as a monastery but on April 1, 2008, 120 years afterwards, it was closed as a convent. The abbot Ioanichie, built an inn and in the year 1724 also the Stavropoleos church and near it the rooms for the monks. In 1733 the monastery took its final shape. The paintings and the stone decoration are the same as today. At the beginning of the XX-th century some old buildings were replaced and those completed being the bell tower and the buildings which are today the main office, the rooms for the nuns, the library and the refectory. All Stavropoleos belongs in style, to the post Brancovenesc era and shows a mixing together of the oriental tradition with the occidental influences of the time.

Bucharest - Royal Court The Royal Court was re-inaugurated in 1972, being the oldest medieval monument in Bucharest starting in 1660 as the capital of Wallachia and from 1862 the capital of the Romanian Principality and then of Romania. In the second half of the 14th century was built a brick citadel of 160 Square meters, developed by Vlad Tepes - Dracula between 1458 -1459. During the time of the voivodMirceaCiobanul after the year 1550 a large palace was built here, having, extensive cellarsand, the church which can still be found near the palace. This new palace extended its surface area to 3000-5000 square meters (32292.78 square feet) on the perimeter between the Dambovita river and Lipscani street to the south and north, and Selari/Smardan Streets and the Boulevard Bratianu from west to the east. At the end of the 17-th century and the beginning of the next, other rullers especially Constantin Branvoveanu also extended the palace. These improvements included a water tank and a Turkish bath. The fires, the earthquakes, the floods, the plagues, the wars all had as a consequence, the degradation of the Court. In 1798 Constantin Hangerli sold it and over the ruins of the court especially to the north and east another building was built.

The visitors coming here can see the material proofs of the past of Wallachia which demonstrate very well the history of this part of Romania.

The Royal Church, is the oldest church in Bucharest having been built by MirceaCiobanul, on the same place as a former church built by the Voivode Mircea the Elder, founder of the Princely Court in Bucharest. In 1715, Prince Stefan Cantacuzino added an impressive stone porch at the church entrance.

On March 23-rd 1847, the church of the capital was burnt down by a devastating fire which also destroyed part of the royal Church. The painting was restored by the famous painter Constantin Lecca. Today, the church it is a functioning church situated near the Manuc’s Inn one of the most important hotels, restaurants, and buildings of Bucharest.

Bucharest Arriving at the River Dambovita which crosses Bucharest and going against the stream you’ll see in about 10 – 15 minutes on the left side, the imposing silhouette of The Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world in dimensions after the U.S. Pentagon. The building began in 1984, on a site where old districts of the city were demolished. Its dimensions are: 270 m. long , 240 m. wide and 84 m. (275 ft) tall. It is entirely of Romanian manufacture: decorated with marble from Ruschita, Moneasa, Capriori and Alun, ornaments with gold leaf, panelling of oak, beech, cherry, walnut; curtains and carpets, crystals chandeliers from Medias.
Now it is an official building of the state as the Romanian Parliament.

National George Enescu Museum is situated at the entrance to the Victoria Boulevard from the Victoria Square. The sumptuous entrance covered by the big canopy in the Art Nouveau style, announces that here the luxury and the refinement from the era met here to build one of the most bright and imposing palaces in Bucharest.

The palace it was built between 1901 -1903 for Gheorghe GrigoreCantacuzino (former mayor of the capital, prime minister, leader of the Conservative Party) and after his death in 1913 the palace was owned by his son and his widow Maria, who after the death of her husband, Mihai Cantacuzino, remarried in 1937 to George Enescu the most important Romanian composer and the violin teacher of the jewish conductor Yehudi Menuhin.

During the 1940-s the palace was the headquarters of the Council of Ministers and since 1947 the Institute of Romanian - Soviet Studies.

From 1956 here functioned the National Museum George Enescu and since 2007 the building appears on the European Heritage List.