Bucharest. Why a city-break?
As I previously said, the legend behind Bucharest is a shepherd, named Bucur, here comes the name Bucharest (Bucuresti, locally) . Actually, shepherds are legendary figures in Romanian folklore and local legends. Romanian most representative folkloric poem is “Little sheep” (“Miorita ” in Romanian), the story of three shepherds and the attitude of Romanian shepherd in front of death.
The date of establishment is uncertain. Certain it is that in 1474 there was already built a Princedom curt as secondary residence of Prince of Wallachia. I am mentioning 1474 as that was the last year of Vlad the Impaler, the one people know as Dracula, leadership, his third lordship.
Context: During medieval times, once with the development of Ottoman Empire, Romanian states, as well as neighboring country, Bulgaria, were under constant attacks of Ottoman ( Turks) army. This countries were a defending gate for Christianity and, considering around 75% of Romanian Christian population in Romania and that the rest of Europe Christianity still exists, they did a good job! Bucharest was in army’s way to Occident at that time. Bucharest it is said to have been surrounded by forest (Vlasia Forest) and mashes, a type of natural protection. Most favorite way of Romanian defense was to poison fountains and to attract enemies into the marshes or unfriendly terrain or weather.
Besides outside enemies, constant fights between boyar “houses” was a reason for short leadership for Princes/ leaders of Romanian Princedoms. Vlad the Impaler himself, the most known Romanian leader worldwide, was involved in such a local fight. The battle between Draculesti and Danesti(adverse house) crashed Wallachia within during those times. It is much to be said here, even the story behind the name Dracula, but it will come into another post.
Considering all these battles, within and, mostly, outside, Wallachia did not have the environment to be on the same line as western countries. As they used to pay tribute to Ottoman Empire and they were repeatedly under suzerainty of Ottoman Empire for a long time, the influences during that period were obviously coming from Orient.
Starting with Phanariote rulers in first two decades of 1700s, Bucharest became capital of Wallachia, many boyars moved to Bucharest, building their residence in the city. In 1862, once with the small union ( Moldavia+ Wallachia) under Alexandru Ioan Cuza leader, Bucharest to become the capital of Romania. This is the time of major changes in Bucharest look.
In 1866, Romania became reign and this was the period of major changing. The German thinking of Romanian kings descendants of Hohenzollern family with the help of many French architects involved in creation of numerous now historical buildings in Bucharest, changed Bucharest into little Paris of East.
In December 1947 King Michael of Hohenzollern abdicated and Romania, Bucharest inclusively, was highly influenced by communist rulers and their way of thinking. Industrialization was the main word. After the earthquake in 1976, Nicolae Ceausescu planned a new global look for Bucharest. Most of the district or suburbs houses were demolished and replaced with tall blocks of flats in order to gather in the same city a larger population. During this period was also the time when it was taken the decision to build House of Parliament ( or the People House as it was named during communism), a building meant to impress Phenian.
After the Revolution of December 1989, modern, glass buildings showed into Bucharest landscape, sometimes in an uncontrolled way.
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