The historical background of Bucharest

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is located in the South – East part of the country, where hundreds of years ago large forests stretched unhinged and of which only a few scattered clumps are still preserved. The historical background of Bucharest is reflected just by this replacement of forests by buildings, of old by new, of traditions by modernism.

The beginnings …

The identity of the founder of this city seems to be disputed between Bucure the Shepherd (who is presented as such by old legends and traditions) and the medieval prince Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who was the first to historically certify the existence of Buchareston 20 September 1459. In reality, archaeological and historical research mainly revealed the remains of a fortress, probably the first, dating from the second half of the 14th century. This was the place whereBucharest was born.  Around that first fortifications of 160 square meters, there successively followed The Royal Court, theChurch of Mircea the Shepherd (1558-1559), the streets of merchants and craftsmen, therefore, an entire city. The town developed gradually around the old historical center bringing together the villages around and extending mainly towards the North (where there are many lakes). The memory of the old villages is preserved today in the mind of the inhabitants ofBucharest in the names of important neighborhoods as Berceni, Floreasca, Pantelimon or Colentina.

The most important town in the country

In 1659, Bucharestpermanently became the capital of the country. This led to its constant development: churches, large fortified inns, the first street paved with wooden beams, the MogosoaiaBridge(1692) – renamed the Victoria Avenuein 1878.  In 19th century, Bucharest was the largest city in South-Eastern Europe after Istanbul. Pavements appeared, first in wood, and then in Scotland and Sicily granite; then lighting, sanitation and public parks followed. Towards the end of the century, the two main axes that structure the city North-South and East-West were drawn. The reign of Carol I (1866-1914) is representative for great and important edifices: the Athenaeum (1888), the Ministry of Agriculture (1894), the Palace of Justice (1890-1895), the Post Office Palace (1894-1900), the Sturdza Palace (1899), the Patriarchal Palace (1907), the Athenee Palace Hotel (1914) and many more. After World War I (1914-1918),Bucharest became one of the most beautiful European capitals, rightly called “Little Paris”.

Nowadays…

The natural and harmonious development ofBucharestwas brutally interrupted the communist regime (1945-1989). The city became the subject of a devastating social and urban experiment. Hundreds of thousands of people were brought toBucharestfor the enforced industrialization of the city. Dozens of churches, including monuments of exceptional historical and architectural value, became victims of bulldozers: the Holy Thursday Church, the Vacaresti monastery, etc. Today, the city is a blending of old and new, traditional and modern, East and West, which makes it messy and disarrayed but also original and charming.

As you have seen, the historical background of Bucharest pays many tributes to a glorifying past and tries to make amends for a confused and disoriented present.

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