Bucharest.

Bucharest, the little Paris of the East. Why a city-break?

Legend and general stuff

First I will explain the sub-title” yes, between the Two World Wars, Bucharest was considered the little Bucharest of the east. If you ever have the privilege to up on the Arch of the Triumph in Bucharest, the landscape convinces you that Bucharest is little Paris, established on the gates to the Balkan world.

The legend says that the shepherd Bucur during his yearly  transhumance from Charpatians to south, down to Danube river, he got tired and decided to find a place in the field to rest with his sheep. In Vlasia Forest he found this river, Dambovita river. He settled there with his daughter and some shepherds that were helping him with the herd. His descendants and her daughter descendants were the settlers of Bucharest. On a small hill in center of Bucharest, next to Dambovita river, there a church named Bucur. It is said that  the church was established by Bucur and his family.

Palace of Parliament Bucharest. the second greatest administrative building in the world.
Palace of Parliament Bucharest. the second greatest administrative building in the world.

As this is a legend, it is difficult to date back in time. It is certain thought that during Vlad the Impaler, so wrongly imagined as Dacula,  has his second residence in Bucharest. Considering that the latest of three princedoms  and year of his death was 1474, the tow must have existed there long before that date.  The ruins of Old Court can be still seen  in the Old city, during night the lighted statue of Vlad the Impaler is dominating the place.

As a fact, in Romanian “(ma) bucur” mean “I feel joy”. In a sense you can interpret  Bucharest (Bucuresti in Romanian) as city of joy or just simply enjoy it.

I am not going to say the entire Romanian history, but I will name key periods that influenced Bucharest as a town/ city and its inhabitants.

In the early medieval time, from 11 to 14th century, after the Roman pullback, on the Romanian territory there were formed 3 states: Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia.

Situated in southern side of actual Romania, Bucharest is present capital of Romania and  part of former Wallachia.  There were several capitals/residences of  Wallachia. The main capital of Wallachia were Curtea de Arges, followed Campulung for a short while,  Targoviste was for a longer period of time capital  of Wallachia (1396-1714), Bucharest became the capital of Wallachia, once the phanariotes rulers came to lead Romanian Princedom.

Back to Bucharest now: it is inhabited by almost 2 million citizens, it is the most populated city in Romania and it is the city with the biggest contributor to Romanian GDP. It has a surface of  228 sqkm and it has colorful architecture: mall, communist buildings and historical once, all in the same city.

I am not going to go through the entire history of Bucharest, but I will enhance periods important in Bucharest development into what Romanian capital is today.

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