Tourist information
Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation
for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of "Little Paris"), Bucharest,
Romania's largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis.
Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest
was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by
a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily
means "joy." His flute playing reportedly dazzled
the people and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards
endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name
to the place. 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.

Remodeled in the late 19th century by French and French-trained architects, the city features
large neoclassical buildings, fashionable parks, and even its very own Arc de Triomphe on the
elegant Soseaua Kiseleff, an avenue longer than the famed Champs-Elysees and home to
the city's mansion district.

Bucharest is laden with historical charm - from the streets of the Old City Centre, which are
slowly being restored, to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and the lush green of
Cismigiu Park. The city also claims a large number of museums, art galleries, exquisite
Orthodox churches and unique architectural sites.

Nicolae Ceausescu's legacy, including 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, provides an interesting introduction to
the dictator's megalomaniac vision.

Bucharest's buzzing cultural scene - 37 museums, 22 theatres, concert halls, opera house,
18 art galleries, jazz clubs and hip nightclubs - will certainly keep you busy. Every two years,
Bucharest is host to the George Enescu International Festival, a prestigious cultural event
named after the famous Romanian musician and composer. Renowned orchestras, conductors
and soloists perform at the Romanian Athenaeum, a hall with acoustics comparable to
Milan's La Scala.
The Arch of Triumpf

Initially built of wood in 1922 to honor the bravery of
Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I,
Bucharest's very own Arc de Triomphe was finished in
Deva granite in 1936. Designed by the architect, Petre
Antonescu, the Arc stands 85 feet high. An interior
staircase allows visitors to climb to the top for a pa-
noramic view of the city.
The sculptures decorating the structure were created
by leading Romanian artists, including Ion Jalea,
Constantin Medrea and Constantin Baraschi.
Adress: Piata Arcul de Triumf

Revolution Square
The square gained worldwide notoriety when TV
stations around the globe broadcasted Nicolae
Ceausescu's final moments in power on
December 21, 1989. It was here, at the balcony
of the former Communist Party Headquarters, that
Ceausescu stared in disbelief as the people
gathered in the square below turned on him.
He fled the angry crowd in his white helicopter,
only to be captured outside of the city a few
hours later.
The square's importance stretches back long before the dramatic events of the 1989
Revolution. On the far side of the square stands the former Royal Palace, now home to the
National Art Museum, the stunning Romanian Athenaeum and the historic Athenee Palace
Hotel. At the south end of the square, you can visit the small, but beautiful, Kretzulescu

The Romanian Atheneum

The work of French architect Albert Galleron, who also
designed the National Bank of Romania,
the Athenaeum was completed in 1888, financed almost
entirely with money donated by the general public.
One of the preeminent public fundraising campaigns
ever in Romania, the "Give a penny for the Athenaeum"
campaign saved the project after the original patrons
ran out of funds. With its high dome and Doric columns,
the Athenaeum resembles an ancient temple. The
lobby has a beautifully painted ceiling decorated in
gold leaf, while curved balconies cascade in ringlets
off a spiral staircase.

A ring of pink marble columns is linked by flowing arches where elaborate brass lanterns hang
like gems from a necklace. Inside the concert hall, voluptuous frescoes cover the ceiling and
walls. Renowned worldwide for its outstanding acoustics, it is Bucharest's most prestigious
concert hall and home of the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic.
Address: Str. Benjamin Franklin 1
Tel: (21) 315.00.26 or 315.25.67

The National Military Club

Standing guard imposingly, this neoclassical
masterpiece, designed by Romanian architect Dimitrie
Maimaroiu, was built in 1912 to serve the social,
cultural and educational needs of the Romanian army.
Banquets and official events are still hosted in the
ballrooms, while the upstairs area is reserved for the
army's library, as well as offices and classrooms for
officer instruction. The main part of the building is
off-limits to civilians, but the sumptuous restaurant
and summer terrace is open to the public.
Address: Blvd. Regina Elisabeta 21
Tel: (21) 313.86.80

Manuc's Inn

Built between 1804 and 1808 by the wealthy Armenian
trader Emanuel Marzaian (called by the Turks,
Manuc Bey), the inn was witness in 1812 to the
preliminary talks of the Peace Treaty that put an end
to the Russian -Turkish War (1806-1812). A favorite
meeting and resting place for tradesmen in those
times, Manuc's Inn has preserved to this day its old
style and flavor. It now serves as a hotel with a
restaurant, a wine cellar and a pastry shop.
Address: Str. Franceza 62-64
Tel: (21) 313.14.11

Parliament Palace

Built by Communist Party leader, Nicolae Ceausescu,
the colossal Parliament Palace (formerly known as the
People's Palace) is the second largest administrative
building in the world after the 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 centre.
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.

Interesting facts:
-It is the world's second-largest office building in surface (after the Pentagon) and the
third largest in volume (after Cape Canaveral in the U.S. and the Great Pyramid
in Egypt).
-The crystal chandelier in the Human Rights Hall (Sala Drepturilor Omului) weighs
2.5 tons.
-Some of the chandeliers have as many as 7,000 light bulbs.

Address: Calea 13 Septembrie 1, Intrarea A3
Tel: (21) 311.36.11
Hours: Mon. - Sun. 10:00am - 4:00pm
Admission charge (English guided tour available)

Metropolitan Church

Set atop one of the city's few hills, known as
Mitropoliei, the Metropolitan Church has been the
centerpiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since
the 17th century. The church was built by
Constantin Serban Basarab, ruler of the province
of Walachia between 1656 and 1658, to a design
inspired by the Curtea de Arges monastery.
It became the Metropolitan Church in 1668 and
the seat of the Romanian Ortodox Church in

The Byzantine interior, containing the most dazzling of the city's iconostasis, as well as a
couple of exquisitely carved side altars, bestows great beauty on the services presided
over by the Romanian Patriarch. A huge crowd gathers here for the Easter midnight
Address: Aleea Dealul Mitropoliei

Village Museum

Founded by royal decree in 1936, this fascinating
outdoor museum, the largest in
Europe, covers some 30 acres on the shores of
Lake Herastrau in Herestrau Park. It features a
collection of 50 buildings representing the
history and design of Romania's rural
architecture. Steep-roofed peasant homes,
thatched barns, log cabins, churches and
watermills from all regions of the country
were carefully taken apart, shipped to the
museum and rebuilt in order to recreate
the village setting. Throughout the year,
the Village Museum hosts special events
where you will have a chance to witness
folk artisans demonstrating traditional
skills in weaving, pottery and other crafts.

Folk arts and crafts are available at the museum gift shop.
Address: Sos. Kiseleff 28-30
Tel: (21) 317.91.03  
Open: Mon. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.;
Tue. - Sun. 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Admission charge

Mogosoaia Palace and Brancovenesc Museum

Located in the village of the same name on the shore
of Mogosoaia Lake, this palace reflects the
Brancovenesc architectural style, featuring traditional
Romanian staircase balconies, arcades and columns.
Built by the Walachian prince Constantin Brancoveanu
between 1698 and 1702 as a summer residence, the
palace features a beautiful Venetian-style loggia
on the facade facing the lake and a balcony with
intricate Brancovenesc-style carvings overlooking the
main courtyard.

Today, the palace houses the Brancovenesc Museum with exhibits of valuable paintings,
wood and stone sculptures, gold and silver embroideries, rare books and precious
manuscripts. Inside the complex, there is also a church built in 1688 and decorated
by a team of Greek artists. The original interior murals have been well-preserved,
including a painting showing Constantin Brancoveanu with his wife, Maria, and their
four sons and seven daughters, all wearing royal dress.
Where: 9 miles north of Bucharest
Access: car, taxi
Address: Str. Valea Parcului 1
Tel: (21) 490.42.37
Open: Mon. - Sun. 8:00am - 6:00pm
Admission charge
Romania Section
Romanian Academy of Technical Sciences

"Politehnica" University of Bucharest
Military Technical Academy

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