Bucharest. Why a city-break?
Roads in Bucharest
Calea Victoriei (Victoriei Avenue)
Placed in the center of Bucharest- from Victoriei Palace, meeting Dambovita river on the other end- it is and it has been the greatest attraction of Bucharest. It was named the Large Street and it had that muddy Balkan look, so there was a layer of wood in order to prevent this. Thus, in late 17 century the road was named Mogosoaia Wood-Paved Road. Only in 1842, wood was replaced with asphalt. In 1878, after the Independence War (1877-1878) the road was name Victoriei ( Victory’s road).
Calea Victoriei was the street lighten road in Bucharest, sheltered the many important buildings and still does. Calea Victoriei remains the “high end” road. Besides all the Historical buildings along the road, many boutiques or luxury shops can be found on Calea Victoriei.
Important Buildings on Calea Victoriei
– Romanian Athenaeum- designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, it was built by public donation. It was a saying “donate a leu (Romanian currency) for the Athenaeum”. It was finished in 1888. Inside the Athenaeum ceiling, in the grand hall, it is painted the entire history of Romania starting with Roman times.
– National Museum of Art of Romania- former Royal Palace. It was built at the beginning of 19th century, but it becomes Princedom residence in 18376 with Alexandru Ghica Voda. It was also the residence of Carol Ist Hohenzollern.At the end of 19th century, It was the first building on Calea Victoriei with electrical lightening. Following to a great fire, the entire building is rebuilt in 1937. After communism coming to lead, it became National Museum of Art.
– Kretzulescu Church- It was built in 1722 by local boyar Iordache Cretulescu.
– Piata Revoluţiei (Revolution Square). It is situated in from of former Communist party headquarter and it is the place where Romanian Revolution started in Bucharest in December 1989.
– Palatul Telefoanelor ( Telephony Palace)- Built in 1933. It was the most modern building on those times.
– National Museum of History of Romania-It was built at the end of 19th century as Post Palace. Since 1970s it shelters the National Museum of History of Romania.
– Casa de Economii si Consemnaţiuni ( CEC- Economy house)- it was finished in 1900 as Economy house. The plans were made by French Architect Paul Gottereau.
Soseaua Kiseleff ( Kiselef Road)
Road name after the Russian count Paul Kiseleff (Kiseliov) who lead the Russian Military administration in Romania between 1829 to 1834.
Buildings on Kiseleff:
National Museum of Geology- Built at the beginning of 20th Century for Institute of Geology
Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History- the present building of Museum was built between 1893 – 1944. The National Museum of Natural History was established and developed by Grigore Antipa. It has a great collection of natural science exhibitons.
The Romanian Peasant Museum –The actual building was finished in 1941. The collections exhibited within the museum are samples of folklore, customs and living of Romanians in rural side of Romania.
Elisabeta Palace- Built in 1936 for Elisabeta of Greece ( born princess of Romania) as combination of Romanian Brancovenesc and Mauro style , King Michael ask permission for residing there. It is the place where he abdicated and also still have his residence.
Village Museum- It is an outdoor museum offering a significant representation houses and villages all over Romania. I recommend visiting while in Bucharest. Opened since 1936.
It is the district where former communist leaders had their residence houses. It was initially build for the Union in Gas field. Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej used the houses as conspiratorial houses, then little by little it became a communist leaders cluster. Under pretext of offering the inhabitants a priviledge of leaving there, Nicolae Ceausescu rather took measures to supervise lower rank communist party leaders.
Old Center of Bucharest
Situated close to km 0 of Bucharest, the historical center is the place where you can find anything: from fun to culture or religion. This area is mainly pedestrian and all over, in old historical buildings, you can find pubs, coffee –shops, clubs, restaurants , pub-theatres… In this area, where once used to be the area of small traders or artisans, but also the Old court of Vlad the Impaler residence, now is the nucleus of fun and joy of Bucharest. During summer, Old Center is a delight: restaurant with cuisines all around the world, pubs and cafes of all sorts, terraces all around, clubs, pub concerts …anyone can find something on its own taste.
A realist description of changes around the Old Center can be found also here: Read also
Palace of Parliament
The Palace of Parliament is the biggest building in Bucharest and not only. People House, how it was named during its construction period – in Communism- it is the largest civilian administrative building in the world. The enormous building shows the show off attitude of former Communist leader, Nicolae Ceausescu.
The story behind this megalomaniac building started after the earthquake in March 1977. Nicolae Ceausescu considered to redesign Bucharest entirely and to include in this plan a building for Communist party leaders.
In order to chose the best project to suite “the new face of Bucharest” there was a contest, taking around one year for nominating the winning project. The architect winning the project was Anca Petrescu, very young at that time. Even if the Palace of Parliament concept was initiated by Nicolae Ceausescu, he did not reach to see it finalize as in 1898 the Revolution took place, culminating with Ceausescu’s death sentence. The Palace was inaugurate in 1997 and now it is MP’s house.
Palace of Parliament in figures:
length – 270 m
width – 245 m
height – 86 m
underground – 92 m
Marble: 1.000.000 m³
Crystal : 3.500 tones
Leather: 3.500 m²
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