Founded in 1459, on the banks of the Dambovita River, by ruler Vlad Tepes, Bucharest become later the capital city of the Princely Court.

The tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur who was either a princely person, an outlaw, a fisher or a shepherd according to different legends.

But a fact doubtless: the name of Bucur is of a Thracian-Geto-Dacian origin.

Bucharest is surrounded by forests and lakes; ancient Palaces and Monasteries are set amongst them like Snagov Monastery, dating from 1408 and the elegant 18th century Mogosoaia Palace.

Bucharest Highlights

Bucharest civic center was completely rebuilt starting 1972 by Nicolae Ceausescu as part of his scheme of systematization and includes lot of government offices and apartments.

Parliament Palace - Ceausescu's systematization program consisted in demolition, resettlement, and construction - over one fifth of central Bucharest, including churches and historic buildings, was demolished in the 80s to rebuild the city in a socialist style.
Best example is the House of the People ("Casa Poporului"), nowadays the Parliament House, the world's second largest building after Pentagon.

University square: is the place in central Bucharest where students were shot dead during Romania's 1989 anti-communist revolution.

Victory Avenue on the site of the wood-paved Podul Mogosoaiei, has been Bucharest's most fashionable street since boyars first built their residences along it.

Romanian Athenaeum is the landmark of Bucharest like the Eiffel Tower is for Paris. It was intended to be a "home of arts" with a concert hall, exhibition halls, library and a picture gallery. Most famous Romanian and international artists performed on its stage: Hubermann, Kubelik, Enescu, Menuhin, Voicu, Sauer, Paderewski, Ursuleasa, Cortez, Nicolesco, Carusso, Celibidache are a few of them.

Stavropoleos Church built in 1724 using a combination of Romanian and Byzantine architecture and surrounded by a peaceful garden is an architectural jewel, with beautiful frescoes and religious icons.

Village Museum, lying in a specific Romanian setting, on the Herastrau lake shore is one of the biggest and the oldest outdoor museums in Europe.

Snagov Monastery, situated 40 kms North of Bucharest, is a rustic cloister from 1364, on a small isolated island in the middle of Snagov Lake, is the reputed burial place of Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula, who, it is claimed, lies beneath the floor of the church. It is situated 40 kms North of Bucharest.
The imposing forest and the nice lake surrounding the island or the generous architecture of the monastery (built here by Vlad the Impaler's grandfather, Mircea cel Batran) witnessed throughout the centuries lots of crimes and dramas.
Vlad the Impaler built a jail with special torture chambers where the prisoners were killed by fire or iron and then thrown straight into the lake by a sort of canon.
In 1476, he was mysteriously killed in a battle and the legend says that he was buried in Snagov Monastery. The archaeological digging discovered the tomb but removing the marble that was supposed to cover the Vlad's grave, they found an empty six foot pit. Is it Vlad the Impaler-Dracula?
Better to come and see yourself.

Bucharest - general, useful information and addresses:

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