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Linda Garrison

Things to Do and See in Bucharest, Romania

By August 22, 2013

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Bucharest is only an hour's bus ride from the Danube River at Oltenita, and cruises such as the Viking River Cruises' Eastern European Odyssey from Bucharest to Nuremberg often visit the city.
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Bell Tower
To those of us who lived in the late 20th century, Bucharest is best-known for its tyrant dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was overthrown and executed in 1989.

Bucharest was founded in the 14th century, and the city once was filled with elegant boulevards that looked much like Paris. Ceausescu tore down many of these French-style buildings and replaced them with ugly utilitarian Communist structures.

Today, Bucharest is rebuilding its remaining old town area and working hard to capture tourism dollars.

Bucharest - Capital of Romania - Things to Do and See in Bucharest

Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

Comments
January 18, 2010 at 3:54 am
(1) Bucharest Apartments says:

The beginnings of urban Bucharest were around the Old Princely Court (Curtea Veche), a former noble residence on the left bank of the Dambovita.

The documents give the merit to Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) (1456-1462) for building the fortress, but the recent restoration works have provided historians and archeological the surprise of bringing to light medieval fortifications from the second half of the XIV century, which pushes a hundred years ago, during the reign of Mircea the Old (1386-1418) evidence of the existence of the town. The Old Princely Court building was rebuilt accordingly to the original building when it served as residence to the first Wallachian rulers, becoming one of the most original tourist attractions of the capital (now museum).

Curtea Veche – Bucuresti
Close by, Mircea Ciobanul (1545 – 1554 and 1558-1559) built the Church of the Old Court (30 Decembrie street no. 33), the oldest building that have been preserved in Bucharest. Turkish invasions and fires have damaged it several times.

Three other valuable monuments belonging to the sixteenth century are: Marcuta Monastery, Plumbuita and Mihai Voda.

Plumbuita Monastery (Matei Basarab street nr. 58), started by Peter the Young (1559-1568), son of Mircea Ciobanul, was finished during the reign of Mihnea Turcitul.

The thick walls that surround the monastery show the specific of the feudal society of XVI century when, under Turkish oppression, Wallachian rulers were forbidden to construct military fortresses.

The eighteenth century debuts under the influence of the personality of Constantin Brancoveanu, the voivode that encouraged the development of culture and art in Wallachia. The Brancoveanu style, following the natural evolution of Wallachian architecture, represents an artistic zenith for a whole epoch, not only in Brancoveanu’s work, but of its followers as well.

Another element which characterizes the contribution of Brancoveanu to the eighteenth century architecture is the big number of non-religious buildings. Among them are Coltea hospital (B-dul. Bratianu #1), built in 1704 by Mihail Cantacuzino and, rebuilt later. Besides a large number of houses built on the banks of Dimbovita and transformation of old princely residences, Constantin Brancoveanu built palaces in Bucharest at Potlogi and around the capital in Mogosoaia. Mogosoaia palace, the splendid architectural accomplishment completed in 1702, defines in a brilliant way the new style.

It has been restored in the recent decades, and starting in 1957, hosts the Brancoveanu Museum of Art.
From this period are worthy of being noticed as well, some of the religious construction in the historic downtown.

Bucharest Apartments

January 19, 2010 at 8:13 am
(2) Unseen Romania says:

Is nice to see conversations about Romania. If you want to discover Romania, we created an website whick we promote Romania and beautiful places from it. Visit it and give us an feedback :)

July 29, 2010 at 7:48 am
(3) Axel S. says:

Bucharest is indeed a city slowly becoming a tourist attraction. I have noticed lots of improvements and the old city center was beautifully improved since my last visit there, about 5 years ago. I recommend visiting the city if you have the chance. Visit the many parks (like Cismigiu garden), take a walking tour http://bucharest-guided-tours.com/) or visit the old city center for fun, drinks and food (http://www.romanian-guide.info/tours/bucharest/62-bucharests-old-city-center).

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