BUCHAREST - RESTLESS AND PICTURESQUE
Bucharest is the capital of Romania, its political, administrative, economical, financial, educational, scientific and cultural centre. Having a population of more than 3 million people, spread over an area of more than 200 square kilometers, the city of Bucharest is the third most populated capital in the region (after Athens and Istanbul) and the sixth largest city in the European Union.
Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has a broad range of convention facilities, educational facilities, cultural venues, shopping arcades and recreational areas. Nowadays, Bucharest is a real metropolis. As busy as Paris, as restless as New York, and in the same time uniquely picturesque, Bucharest is definitely a city worth visiting, full of history and symbols.
Bucharest has an ancient history, its territory having been inhabited since the Bronze Age. However, the first written attestation of the existence of the city dates back to the 15th century, from, the time of Vlad the Impaler.
In 2014, Bucharest celebrates 555 years from the first documentary attestation. On 20 September 1459 Vlad the Impaler, ruler of the Voivode of Wallachia, signed a document by which the ownership of squire Andrei and his sons over a land in Ponor (Mehedinți) was acknowledged. This represents the first documentary evidence of Bucharest. The citadel of Dâmbovița, as mentioned in the first years of the city of Bucharest, played a strategic role, to monitor the road going from Târgușor to Giurgiu, where an Ottoman garrison was located.
On this occasion, the Bucharest Municipality has created a dedicated branding campaign, including:
THE LEGEND OF BUCHAREST
The foundation of Bucharest is somehow full of mystery. The city is told to have been founded by a shepherd named Bucur, giving his name to a village he established on the bank of Dambovita river.
While the legend about the shepherd is probably apocryphal, the name of Bucureşti is quite likely derived from a person Bucur, as the Romanian suffix -eşti is used for settlements derived from personal names, usually of the owner of the land or of the founder.
THE FIRST ILLUMINATED CITY
Bucharest was the first city in the world illuminated on lamp oil, in 1856, being followed by Vienna, where the first lamps were installed only in 1859.
THE LITTLE PARIS
The end of the 19th century was the most flourishing period of Bucharest. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of the "Little Paris of the East" (Micul Paris). Currently, besides the elegant buildings with French and Italian influence, orthodox churches in the Baroque style, villas in Second Empire style, but also the massive buildings from the communist age can be seen in Bucharest.
LIPSCANI: BUCHAREST'S OLD CITY
While much of Bucharest has changed beyond recognition over the past two decades, nothing compares to the recent transformation of Old City, which in the past years has turned into the Romanian capital’s liveliest entertainment district.
The Old City represents an emblematic area of Bucharest that hosts as well the most representative buildings. Cherished for their architectural value, for their persistence over time, they reveal a complete image of a city center in permanent change that has succeeded to make the whole capital wave around it.
Following the European model, in the Historical Center is abundant in terraces, coffee shops, restaurants, fashion boutiques, as well as shops that remind of the old commercial tradition of the area, all located along the narrow streets which form the pedestrian zone of the city.
(Muzeul National al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti”)
The Village Museum, founded by the sociologist Dimitrie Gusti in 1936, is one of the first and most valuble ethnographic museums in the world. It is the second outdoors ethnographic museum in the world, after the one in Stockholm.
ROMANIAN PEASANT MUSEUM
(Muzeul Taranului Roman)
Founded quite recently, in 1990, the Romanian Peasant Museum shows its visitors more than 150.000 representative objects and documents for those who want to get acquainted with the rural life. The building sheltering it is a historical monument, in the neo-Romanian style.
GRIGORE ANTIPA NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
(Muzeul de Istorie Naturala Grigore Antipa)
One of the first natural history museums in the world, the „Grigore Antipa” Museum was officially open in its current siege in 1908. Originally, it was called the „History and Antiquities Museum” and it was founded in 1834, upon the proposition of the ban Mihalache Ghica. It had many sieges, among which the current „Saint Sava” College of Bucharest. Currently, the Museum shelters around 1.300.000 exemplars, grouped in 130 collections belonging to most of the groups of animals. One can admire here collections of minerals, rocks and fossils. The value of the exhibits is all the greater as among them there are more than 5.000 unique exemplars in the world.
To book your tickets, please access the Social and Touristic program available here.