Bucuresti (Bucharest)

Bucharest is Romania’s largest city as well as capital. Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.”. His expert flute playing and wonderful wine making endeared him to the locals who decided to name the town to the shepherd.

In the 15th century, the princely court of Vlad Tepes (thought to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula) was established here and by the end of the 17th century, the city had become the capital of the province of Walachia. In 1862, Bucharest became the capital of Romania.

The remaining neoclassical buildings were due to the remodelling of the city in the late 19th centure by French and French trained architects.

Bucharest has its own Arch of Triumph,

which is located on Soseaua Kiseleff, this avenue was constructed in 1935, and is longer than the Champs-Elysees.

Nicolae Ceausescu’s legacy – the Parliament Palace (formerly called the People’s Palace), which at 3.76 million square feet stands as the world’s second largest building after the U.S. Pentagon. It took 20,000 workers and 700 architects to build. The palace boasts 12 stories, 1,100 rooms, a 328-ft-long lobby and four underground levels, including an enormous nuclear bunker.

When construction started in 1984, the dictator intended it to be the headquarters of his government. Today, it houses Romania’s Parliament and serves as an international conference center. Built and furnished exclusively with Romanian materials, the building reflects the work of the country’s best artisans. A guided tour takes visitors through a small section of dazzling rooms, huge halls and quarters used by the Senate (when not in session). The interior is a luxurious display of crystal chandeliers, mosaics, oak paneling, marble, gold leaf, stained-glass windows and floors covered in rich carpets.

Cismigu Park was designed in 1845 by architect Carl Meyer. The name comes from the Turkish cismea, meaning “public fountain.” More than 30,000 trees and plants were brought from the Romanian mountains, while exotic plants were imported from the botanical gardens in Vienna. Cismigiu is Bucharest’s oldest park.

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