B U C H A R E S
is the capital
and largest city of Romania,
located in the southeastern part of the country. The city is situated
km north of the Danube
River, near Ploieşti, on the
River. Bucharest lies
on a generally level plain
and, including suburban districts, occupies an area of about 300 sq km.
The first written appearance
name Bucuresti dates from 1459, when it was recorded in a document of
the Impaler, the ruler of Walachia.
built the fortress of Bucharest--the
first of many fortifications--with the aim of holding back the Turks
threatening the existence of the Walachian state. By
the end of the 16th century, Bucharest
South-Eastern Europe's largest christian city. In 1640, a traveller
that the population of the city exceed 100,000. Under the Ottoman
that was eventually established, Bucharest
developed rapidly as the main economic centre of Walachia,
becoming the capital in 1659.
became the administrative center of the united principalities of Walachia and Moldavia, under Ottoman
By the decisions of the Congress of Berlin, which provided for a
settlement of the Balkan situation after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877
1878, Romania was recognized as an independent country with Bucharest
capital. German troops occupied Bucharest
from December 1916 until mid-1918 during World War I. During World War
Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu admitted
German troops into Romania
in October 1940, and the Germans occupied Bucharest
until 1944. Weakened by Romanian insurrection and Allied bombings, the
surrendered when Soviet forces entered the city in August. Soviet
occupation lasted until 1958.
The city is divided into two sections by the Dīmboviţa River and is crossed by two wide
contains six administrative districts; the adjacent rural area forms a
district. Most industrial areas are located in the suburbs, while the
primarily residential. Bucharest,
known as the “Paris
of the Balkans” in the early 20th century, was a cosmopolitan city
1944 when its architecture, city
planning, and culture were French-inspired. After a Communist
to power following World War II (1939-1945), French cultural qualities
ended, although the architecture remains. During the 1980s, under the
Nicolae Ceauşescu, a vast area
on the banks of the Dīmboviţa was razed,
including houses and historical monuments. Buildings of North Korean
architectural style were then erected.
the beginning of the 20th century, the city's streets were lit by
bulbs and petrol lamps. In 1904, the public trasportation system saw
of electric street cars. After World War I, Bucharest strengthened its position
most important city of a greatly enlarged country.
1930 the population of Bucharest was 631,288. By the 1950s,
result of industrialization and urbanization policies, the population
and it has continued to increase steadily. The population was 2,037,000
is a major
industrial center and the main financial and trade center of Romania.
city accounts for about 20 percent of the country's industrial
Industries include heavy machinery, aviation, precision machinery,
tools, furniture, electronics, chemicals, textiles, leather goods,
cosmetics, and food processing.
secular structures include the Palace of Justice (1864), the Stirbey
(1835), the National Bank (1885), the Presidential Palace (previously
Palace; 17th century with later additions), and the buildings of the
Library of the University (1893). In the 20th century, the Cantacuzino Palace
(1900), the Central
(1900), the Central Savings Bank (1900), the Royal Palace
(1935), the Central Army House (1913), and the Arch of Triumph (1920)
built. Among Bucharest's
outstanding religious structures are the Antim Monastery (1715) and the
Church (1665). Bucharest has
many parks and wooded areas,
including Herăstrău, a large park with lakes.
The city has a large
number of churches, usually small, in Byzantine style. Apart from the
Veche (Old Court)
church, the Antim Monastery (1715) and the churches of Stavropoleos
Spiridon (1747) are of considerable architectural interest. The most
centres for higher education are the Technical Institute of Bucharest
1819) and the University
1694). In addition, there are several academies in both arts and
well as numerous research institutes.