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10 facts about Bucharest

Updated on May 4, 2016

Reasons to Visit Bucharest

One may think Bucharest is the place where Dracula's Stoker lived and rule. Well, in 2016, Bucharest is the only capital in the world where 5 of 6 mayors are charged for corruption. Of course, this is no reason to visit the city.

  1. Bucharest is also the only capital in the world where almost a quarter of the territory was put to the ground and it happened in peaceful times not at war. The reason? You will find it immediately.
  2. Bucharest is also the only place on Earth where the Church has been trying for more than 100 years to build a cathedral. And, it is still trying.
  3. Bucharest also had such a good beer that it exported huge quantities to...Germany. Well, yes. Let's see ten awesome things about Bucharest!
  4. What about the legends about free love in Bucharest?

The Heaviest Building on Earth

  • Bucharest is the capital of Romania, a country member of the European Union and NATO. With more than 2 billions inhabitants, Bucharest is the largest city in the country. It is a safe city, very friendly with tourists and its young inhabitants or almost all of them speak English or French.

Are there unknown facts about this city?

Well, we have learned at least 10 unknown things about the Romanian capital.


Palace of Parliament in Bucharest

House of the People or Palace of Parliament in Bucharest
House of the People or Palace of Parliament in Bucharest | Source
  • Bucharest is the only capital in the whole world, where, in time of peace, the authorities has undergone the destruction of about one fifth part of its center. And we are talking about the central built area. It happened after the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s return from China and North Korea in the 80s. But, also, after the devastating earthquake in 1977.
  • The Romanian president decided to build a bigger boulevard than Champs-Elysee and also one of the biggest civil constructions in the world. House of the People, now headquarters of the Parliament and the Unification Boulevard, both part of the new Civic Center to glorify socialism and the Ruler, Ceausescu, were built in less than 10 years. Now, the House of the People is the second largest civilian building in the world, after the Pentagon. Unification Boulevard has 3.5 km, 1.6 km more than Champs-Elysee.
  • 18 churches, 8 synagogues and a stadium were destroyed and 400.000 people had to move for their houses also vanished in a few days. House of the People is the heaviest construction on Earth.

House of the People in Bucharest in 2016

People's Salvation Cathedral

  • Bucharest will have one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Called The Cathedral for People Salvation, this massive structure is being built near the House of the People.
  • The Cathedral of People's Salvation project was the first idea politicians thought about after Romania's war for independence was over in 1978. The Liberal Party at the time found 5 billions to build this huge worship place. Then, the Conservative took the power, took the money and built schools. Then the wars came, then, the communist came, then the crisis came.
  • Thus, The Cathedral of People's Salvation, an useless project in such a poor country, is still under construction. People's faith is still under construction, too.

A Project for More Than 150 Years

People Salvation Cathedral. Photo: March, 2016
People Salvation Cathedral. Photo: March, 2016 | Source

When Did Dracula Came?

  • Where Dracula lived - Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, as everyone knows him, is the one who wrote about Bucharest for the first time. No joke. As ruler in the Romanian Country in September, 30, 1459, he signed some official papers. The Bucharest fortress was the place where Dracula ruled 4 years from. The Old Court is in the bloody heart of Bucharest, the ruins are still here and the buildings which appeared in the area in the 20th century are also ruins.
  • Pubs are the main attraction, although people drink beer today, not blood. But you can try a bloody Mary.

The Ruins of Dracula's Castle

The Ruins of the old fortress which belonged to Vlad The Impaler, called Dracula, are to be seen in the Old City of Bucharest
The Ruins of the old fortress which belonged to Vlad The Impaler, called Dracula, are to be seen in the Old City of Bucharest | Source

The First Open-air Museum

  • Do you remember that amazing year, 1936? Keep calm, neither do we. But it was the year when the Village Museum in Bucharest was opened. It was the first of this type, open-air, in South-Eastern Europe and a very interesting one. You know why? Do you remember that amazing year, 1450? Keep calm, neither do we. But, here, at the Village Museum in Bucharest you can see how people lived underground in the 15th century. You can visit their houses. You will be welcomed. You have guide.
  • Anyway, It was the third open-air museum ethnographic museum in Europe, after Skansen Museum in Stockholm, Bigdo Museum in Lellehamer, Norway.

Village Museum in Bucharest

The Village Museum in Bucharest is a country life in the 18 century for real nowadays.
The Village Museum in Bucharest is a country life in the 18 century for real nowadays. | Source

A Brewery from Bucharest Sold Beer to Germans?

  • Well, yes.

Bucharest sold beer in Germany because it was very good and Germans have always loved beer. Might this be a reason for their conquering Bucharest in the first half of World War I? Well, no. They started buying beer from Bucharest in 1806. Near Mogosoaia's bridge, there was a store in that time. Iohan was the owner.

  • After that, a young man called Marinescu bought some land and made beer. He made a beer no German could resist. Thus, the Germans bought it. He was invited to Berlin and when King Carol the Ist of Romania, a German king after all, offered him the Ministry of Industry, he refused. Marinescu said he could not accept for he didn't know how to read or write. In 2016, beer can be bought in the Old City of Bucharest for only 1,5 Euros. And it is still good. For it is from Germany.

Where to Drink a Beer in Hot Summer Bucharest

A beer in the Old City is only 1,5 Euros.
A beer in the Old City is only 1,5 Euros.

Bucharest and Free Love Legend

  • Free love in Bucharest? Yes and no. One must be or smart to have beautiful women in Bucharest, or very rich to have the beautiful women the smart one loves, or be funny. We should not forget that, according to scholars, when Romania became a modern country, women decided to be more modern than women in Western Europe.
  • It was in 1830. So, what happened? At a party, the great Romanian historian, Neagu Djuvara, wrote, they came with a guy, said hello to other 2 guys they used to cheat the guy they came in with, while smiling to the fourth guy who would love to become one of them. Yet, there is no free love in Bucharest as it was in 1830. But who knows? Lovely women and men are for sure.

Bucharest and the Free Love Legend

Bucharest or Vienna?

  • The Old City of Bucharest will remind every foreigner of Vienna. Interesting, paved streets, old buildings, the feeling you go back to the beginning of the 20th century and so on, all these make the Old City of Bucharest a great destinations for history lovers to walk under Dracula's eye.
  • Few know that the so-called Old City of Bucharest was built on the ruins of the old fortress and that they can be seen, under glass near the National Bank of Romania. That is quite a show to see under your feet the places where some other people lived more than 200 or 300 years ago.

Bucharest Old City

Was Bucharest the Little Paris?

  • Why is Bucharest called the Little Paris? The answer to this question can be found if we go back in time. It was in the beginning of the 19 century. The local boyars from Bucharest but also from Moldavia payed a lot of money for their children to study abroad. The main universities in the Western Europe rich youth were sent to where in Paris and Vienna. But to be a student in Paris was a glorious victory. It was the moment, as the revolt in 1848 took place in Romania, when the local elite decided it was time for this small country to break up with the Turkish Empire and the Oriental way of life, wherein corruption was the queen of the deeds, and to follow the West.
  • Thus, youth returned to Bucharest, after studying in Paris, also brought architects, scholars and, of course, investors, in Bucharest, as friends. French was the second language spoken in high-class. Everybody behaved as though they were in Paris. Bucharest became a cosmopolitan city where Western culture found its home. Many constructions were built by French architects and so on. This is the reason for Bucharest was The Little Paris.

Little Paris Bucharest

Bucharest and the little Paris. How far is fantasy from reality?
Bucharest and the little Paris. How far is fantasy from reality?

Revolution and Bloodbath in 1989

  • Bucharest was the theater of the bloodiest revolution. How did the communists leave history in Eastern Europe in 1989? Well, they didn't. Many of them have kept their places in the new political power structure after 1989 in Romania. And that is rather strange. The bloodiest revolution in Eastern Europe did not end in a complete rejection of communists' children. They rule Romania today. Romania is not a communist country. During the Great Revolution in 1989, The Great Wall in Berlin was down in November 1989, the Communist Parties gave up power, including Jivkov in Bulgaria.
  • In Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu thought he might resist. Also, Bush and Gorbachev had met at Malta and decided that communism was to fall. More than 1100 people were killed from 17 to 25 December and more than 3000 wounded. Security Forces, unknown fighters brought from all military structures to pay allegiance to the new, so-called democratic power shot in innocent people. Their memorials can be seen at Revolution Square or at 21 December 1989 Square or University Square.

Where the Revolution in 1989 took place...

And something to come in 2016. A delta inside Bucharest...

  • Vacaresti Delta is an amazing urban natural reservation in Bucharest. Such green islands can be visited in Poland, at Las Łagiewnicki, in Portugal, at Parque Florestal de Monsanto or in UK, at Sutton Park, Birmingham. Urban reservations are also in Buneos Aires, Toronto or Hong Kong.
  • In Bucharest Vacaresti Delta live more than 100 species of wild birds, many of them under the protection of the EU laws, right in their natural environment. But the ecosystem consists in fish, wild ducks, lizards and so on. It is a delta behind the old communist blocks of flats, near the center of the city. How could this be possible? Well, this is an area where nature did it its own way, no human intervention could be possible for more than 23 years, just near the center of the capital. Well, it was for there were no laws. Now, there are about to be. This is a reason you should visit this place which is not at all far away from Unification Square.

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