Bucharest was a nice find in the East!

As I began to crawl myself into the Eastern part of Europe I did with hesitation. I know the history and dreadful devastation of having gone thru nazism and communism and remind me of my enfant /child years; therefore avoided it. Finally, it took my turn to go on business trips and it has been a pleasant surprise on how people can survive and even improve their lives.

Bucharest was a nice find indeed, and I have been lucky to be able to visited and know the city well.  It will certainly stayed as a good souvenir of my travels and of course looking forward for more. I have done several blog entries on Bucharest especially and would like to remind you all of them below

Bucharest a new found backyard : https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/05/05/a-new-found-backyard-bucharestthe-little-paris/

Bucharest I am back again: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/02/15/bucharest-here-i-am-again-lol/

Hey Bucharest I am back :https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/04/27/bucharest-one-more-time/

And yes one more time Bucharest: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/07/26/returning-to-bucharest-oh-yes/

This is becoming a routine affairs Bucharest: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/03/16/its-becoming-routine-bucharest-again-looks-wonderful/

We are getting alone fine Bucharest: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/01/29/bucharest-is-coming-along-just-fine/

One more time Bucharest : https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/12/11/one-more-time-in-bucharest/

Bucharest is an important transport node, on the way to the European Road 81 from Pitești to Constanţa, the starting point of three highwayss (the A1 towards Pitești, the A2 towards Constanţa and the A3 towards Ploiești) and the new National roads (DN1 to Oradea , DN1A to Braşov, DN2 to Suceava, DN3 to Călărași, DN4 to Oltenița, DN5 to Girgiu, DN6 to Timişoara and Cenad, DN7 to Nădlac and DN71 to Sinaia).   In which I have ridden about 800 kms on the A2 and DN6 alone many times. At the heart of the Romanian railway network, the North station is the main train station. It has several lines of metros, trams, trolleybus and buses operated by the RATB (Regia Autonomă de Transport București). The airport my in and out to the city and country is the Henri-Coanda International Airport. There is a train service but stops at Otopeni the town where the airport is located and then need a shuttle or taxi to Bucharest.

Bucharest

And as I have covered many angles let me tell you a bit about the history I like

The city is mentioned for the first time in 1459 as a fortified market at the crossroads of trade routes between Târgoviște, then the capital of Wallachia, Braşov in Transylvania, and the port of San Giorgio founded by the Genoese on the Danube. This market quickly developed and, in the 17C, became the capital of the Principality of Wallachia, then, in 1859, of Romania.

According to the legend attested in the 19C, Bucharest (București) would come from Bucur , a shepherd who would have established the first settlement on the present site. Like, in Romanian, bucur means “joy”, many Romanian writers name Bucharest “The City of Joy” Indeed, the city was founded in the 14C by Mircea the Elder (Mircea cel Bătrân), after his victory over the Turks, as “Fortress of Bucharest” (and It is then possible that Bucur could have been the first military governor) in the 19C, while Romania served as a theatre of operations in the wars of the neighboring empires and that the Romanians took part in the Revolutions of 1821 and 1848. Bucharest was frequently occupied and looted by the Ottomans, the Austrians and the Russians. It was occupied at length twice by the latter, in 1828-1833 and in 1853-1854, then by an Austrian garrison in 1854-1857. In 1861, in the Union of Wallachia and Moldova, Bucharest became the capital of the new Principality of Romania.

Between December 6, 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by the Germans and the capital was transferred to Iaşi. After WWI, Bucharest became the capital of the Kingdom of Unified Romania, which now includes Transylvania and Bukovina until then Austro-Hungarian, and eastern Moldova (annexed by the Russian Empire in 1812). Between the two wars, the city had the nickname of Petit Paris, as the French are numerous (Romania forms, with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the “small agreement” allied with France) like all of Romania, Bucharest had to undergo dictatorial regimes Carlist, fascist and communist from February 1938 to December 1989. During WWII, Bucharest suffered from both Anglo-American bombardments (during the Antonescu regime, allied with the third Reich) and Nazi (after Romania joined the Allies).

In power  from March 6, 1945 to December 22, 1989, the Communists develop a deliberate urbanism, disconnected from the realities and needs of the population, which translates into the field by a series of historical monument destructions (including statues and of churches, judged to bear the memories of the past).  Since 1990, with the restoration of democracy and the opening of borders, the city evolves rapidly.

The Dâmbovița river crosses the city in the west  at the level of Chiajna, and  east, at the level of Glina. The Dâmbovița river flows into the Argeş, a tributary of the Danube.  The Colentina flows into the northern part of Bucharest, throwing itself further downstream from the city in the Dâmbovița.  The two rivers are the subject of many natural or artificial lakes within the city, particularly for Colentina  at Lake Herastrau, Lake Floreasca, Tei Lake or Colentina Lake.  A lake is located in the centre of the city, Lake Cișmigiu, which is located in the park with the same name. This lake, which was used for baths in medieval times, is surrounded by the Cișmigiu Park, inaugurated in 1847.

Of the medieval city architecture , most of the buildings that survived until the modern era were destroyed under the Communist regime with the process of systematization committed to the aftermath of the 1977 earthquake. Some medieval and Renaissance buildings have been preserved, the most notable are in the Lipscani district. This district contains remarkable buildings such as Hanul him Manuc and the ruins of Curtea Veche. The city center has retained the architecture of the late 19C and early 20C, and in particular the period between the two wars, which is often considered the “golden Age” of Bucharest architecture. At that time, the city was greatly enlarged and enriched, competing with other major European capitals such as Paris.

Some streets are lined with sumptuous néobaroques palaces such as:

Curtea Veche: Ancient princely court dating from the 15C built under the orders of Vlad III the Impaler.  Hanul him Manuc:  the Inn was built in 1808. The hostel is located Strada Franceză not far from the Curtea Veche (eating here very nice indeed). Villa Monteoru or writers ‘ house; Casa Lenș-Vernescu: Built in 1820 on the Avenue de la Victoire.

Bucharest

Palazzo Kantakouzenos ,located on the Avenue de la Victoire, the Palatul Cantacuzino , whose construction ended in 1902, in a Baroque style of the Louis XVI era. It was intended for Prince Georges Grégoire Kantakouzenos, former prime Minister of Romania. In 1956, he welcomed the George-Enescu Memorial Museum, named after the great Romanian composer, who had become the National Museum since 1990.
Palais Suțu, located in Sector 3, the Palatul Suțu is a classified Gothic-style building erected in 1835. It hosts the Municipal Museum of Bucharest.  Palazzo Crețulescu, located along the Cișmigiu Park, the Palatul Crețulescu French Renaissance style. It was ceded in 1972 to UNESCO for its European Center for higher education.  Palazzo Cotroceni , at the base of a monastery erected by Șerban I Kantakouzenos on Cotroceni Hill, the Cotroceni Palace became the main residence of King Carol I in a classical Venetian style. It later became the seat of the Presidency of the Republic of Romania. CEC Palace, also on the base of a monastery already restored by Constantine II Brâncoveanu.  Palazzo Ghica, Still named Ghika Tei Palace, it is a palace erected according to the will of Grigore IV Ghica.

The Arc de Triomphe, the present Arc de Triomphe was erected in 1936 on the ruins of a first and a second arch.  Romanian Athenaeum: The Ateneul Român is a concert hall located on the Avenue de la Victoire built in 1888.  National Theater ,still called Teatrul Național Ion Luca Caragiale is a building in 1982, on the bases of the reconstructed theater it is also located on the Avenue of Victory. Renaissance Memorial, the Memorialul Renașterii is a memorial that commemorates the victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 (free from Communism). It consists of a sharp 25 meters high marble column where a metal column is attached.

Bucharest

Courthouse of Bucharest; the courthouse was completed in 1895. It is located on the Splaiul Independenței, (independence square) along the Dâmbovița river . Palace of parliament or Palace of the people; this gigantic construction was built between 1984 and 1989. The original project was aimed at consolidating all the state institutions and the residence of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Piața Revoluției (Revolution Square), was at the heart of the fighting during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which overthrew the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Union Boulevard built on the orders of Ceaușescu, it is 30 centimeters wider than the avenue des Champs-Elysées of Paris . And, is also the longest boulevard (or avenue) of Europe with 3 500 meters.  There are nice museums amongst my favorites are the National Museum of Art of Romania, the National Museum of History of Romania, the National Natural History Museums «Grigore Antipa».

Burcharest

The Churches ,I like the Cathedral of Saint-Basile-the Great of Bucharest (Greek-Romanian Catholic), the first Roman Catholic rites Church in Bucharest.  Church of the monastery Stavropoleos, and the theater Odeon, located on the Avenue of Victory, (before 1989, Teatrul Muncitoresc CFR Giulești), founded in 1946, the troupe being welcomed From 1911 to 1946 in the National Theater of Bucharest. It is composed mainly of two halls (Majestic and Giulești).

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Romania on Bucharest : http://romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html

Bucharest tourist page : http://www.tourism-bucharest.com/

There you go hope you like it, it is a city to detour in Europe. Hope it helps your decision.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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