From Moldova I took low cost company TAROM and landed to Bucharest. And I was surprised. 🙂 My friend insisted to order an Uber for me as the local taxi drivers are fatal serial killers trying to scam the tourists. So I decided to accept the advice.
As my Uber driver and I were approaching the city, I have to say I did not expect broad avenues and green boulevards. At all.
Also, Bucharest is very proud to have long past connections with Paris. Maybe sometimes trying too much to explain to be French-alike but let them be.
For example Arcul de Triumf – a triumphal arch. The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly, after Romania gained its independence in 19th century, so that the victorious troops could march under it. The new one is more sober Neoclassical design and more closely modelled in the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The river Danube flows through the city but it is not very attractive.
Upon my arrival to Victoria square, I noticed the Government building covered with the big Romanian flag:
Very imposing. I continued to take some beautiful photos of the 19th century buildings and admire the elegancy of this city – in certain moments.
However, I started with the 0ld town (Lipscani) of Bucharest. It is still under re-construction in order to shape the tourist boom with many bars and restaurants.
The buildings are mostly from the time of Ottoman control (16th century) and later when Bucharest was occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy and Imperial Russia (in 18th and 19th century). During the second half of the 19th century, the city’s population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began. During this period, gas lighting, horse-drawn trams, and limited electrification were introduced and the canalization of the river.
But let’s go back again to the Old city with many beautiful places like the Biserica Stavropoleos neo-romanian 18th century monastery and church.
As I did not have the proper clothes, I was not able to enter, but I managed to sneak inside to the atrium of the monastery and inside the church to make some photos.
There is even a little Italy in Bucharest: Biserica Italiana of the Most Holy Redeemer. It is a Roman Catholic church made of Lombard Romanesque red brick.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop for a drink at least, because my time was limited. I needed to catch the bus to Galati (to attend my friend’s wedding) but this would be definitely my place to chill: old, charming, historical but vivid!
The Manuc’s inn is the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest. The inn was built in 19th century as a khan, and originally owned by a wealthy and flamboyant Armenian entrepreneur.
The last I saved for the metro. I took the line towards the Uniri square in order to reach the Parliament Palace. It is the largest parliament building in the world, formerly named “Casa Poporului” (People’s House). The building, which was built in 1984 by Nicolae Ceauşescu, spans 12 stories, 3100 rooms and covers over 330,000m2.
Unfortunately, I came to late to enter. Apparently, the visitors can enjoy the tour which leads through the building’s vast collection of marble rooms and even go out on the balcony where from president Ceaucescu had his memorable speeches as the one in 1989 which caused the outbreak of fall of the communism in Europe (it started here, from this very place and started to spread amongst Europe) 🙂