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Bucharest Insights

History • Sights • Architecture • Bucharest in Literature • Did you Know that…?


Bucharest in the pre-modern period -The Oriental City

For several centuries up to the modern times, Bucharest was a picturesque and cosmopolitan town with a diverse and mixed population of many nations. Along with Romanians here lived Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Armenians, Jews… A transit town at the crossroads of major trade routes linking central European cities with Constantinople, Bucharest acquired its characteristic air of lively, colourful Oriental bazaar. For much of its history Bucharest was a Balkan city through atmosphere and appearance. READ MORE…

Bucharest in the 19th century – From the Oriental City to “The Little Paris” 

Starting with the third and fourth decades of the 19th century, the young sons of noble boyar families and of the new rising bourgeoisie made their studies in Western Europe, in Italy, Germany and especially in France, where they came in contact with the Western culture and ideas. Back home, they profoundly influenced the Romanian society… In just one generation, almost overnight in historical terms, the Principalities made a spontaneous and spectacular turn toward the West. READ MORE…

1980s Demolitions

In 1977, Bucharest was struck by a devastating earthquake whose consequences were to affect the city in an unexpected way: the cataclysm was used by the totalitarian regime as a pretext to launch a large urban reorganization project, intended to replace the old “decayed” city with a new socialist-type one. It is significant that the Historical Monuments Commission was disbanded soon after the earthquake… At the beginning of the 1980s started the most massive demolition operation Bucharest has ever undergone. READ MORE…



The Historical Center

After a long period of neglect, Bucharest’s historical center is finally starting to regenerate. Many of its superb buildings have been refurbished or restored, regaining their brilliance, while others, whose beauty contrasts sharply with their state of degradation, are still waiting for their time. Nevertheless, the gracious French style eclectic architecture, the numerous old churches, the outdoor terraces and cafés, and the romantic atmosphere, make the historical center a most attractive area of the city. READ MORE…

Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue)

The history of Podul Mogosoaiei (“Mogosoaia Bridge”, today Calea Victoriei, “Victory Avenue”) begins in the late 17th century when Prince Constantin Brancoveanu wanted a road to link his palace by the Dambovita River with the land he owned in the Mogosoaia village. The name “bridge” comes from the street’s oak trunks pavement-it wasn’t until 1825 that Podul Mogosoaiei received a stone paving. No other street in Bucharest has had such a bright destiny. READ MORE…



Ion Mincu and the Neo-Romanian architectural style

In the last decades of the 19th century, Europe was dominated by the idea of the affirmation of national identity in arts. Returning in 1884 to his country, which had only recently gained its Independence, Mincu was convinced that architecture, as a means of artistic expression, can serve the national interest as well as do painting and literature. He studied reference monuments of the Romanian medieval architectural patrimony -both secular and religious- such as the Brancovan Mogosoaia Palace, as well as the Wallachian folk architecture. From these models Ion Mincu took over technical and stylistic solutions, and integrated them into an original synthesis, creating a new national architectural style, the Neo-Romanian. READ MORE…


»Bucharest in Literature 

Bucharest in literature and quotations on/about Bucharest.

“A city whose age you can feel”
“The Village Museum”, poem by Marin Sorescu
The Brancovan Palace of Mogosoaia


»Did you know that…?

Interesting facts and stories about Bucharest worth reading!


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