Romania's capital is the city of Bucharest, the largest city in the country. Bucharest is known for its tree-lined boulevards and was named Little Paris back in the early 20th century. Even though it has become a bustling metropolis, Bucharest has been able to preserve its Belle Ãƒâ€°poque buildings. A city known for its high life, Bucharest's roots were thought to have originated from the banks of the Dambovita River. Romanian legend has it that it was Bucur, a shepherd whose name means joy who founded the city. He won the hearts of the people through his wine and music. Thus, the people named the city after him. It was during the 17th century when the city became the capital of Walachia, a province in Romania. But by 1862, Bucharest was named the capital of the country.
The city experienced major reformations during the 19th century. The French architects and their trainees built the fashionable parks, neoclassical monuments and buildings, and even made their own version of the Arc de Triomphe along the Soseaua Kiseleff Avenue, which was longer than the Champs-Elysees. The Arcul de Triumf, in their language, was built in 1922 honoring the Romanian soldiers during World War I. In 1936, it was completed with Deva granite as designed by Petre Antonescu. Aside from these structures that make Bucharest a charming old city, other sites that will attract you are the Royal Palace, the Cismigiu Park, and the streets along the Old City Center. Of course, don't forget to visit one of the art galleries, museums, or Orthodox churches scattered all over Bucharest. Bucharest's love for the arts can be seen through the numerous cultural centers throughout the city. They've got approximately 18 art galleries, 22 theaters and 37 museums, not to mention the opera house, concert halls, jazz clubs, and dance clubs among many others. Indeed, you will surely enjoy a trip to Bucharest. You could plan a trip during one of the festivals here. The George Enescu International Festival is a major cultural event held here every two years. Soloists, orchestras, and conductors perform during this prestigious festival. Bucharest is where you'll also find one of the largest buildings in the world. It may not beat the U.S. Pentagon, but the Parliament Palace comes in second. It was previously named the People's Palace when Nicolae Ceausescu established this 3.76 million square feet building. Another Bucharest attraction is the House of the Free Press or the Casa Presei Libre. It stands magnificently by the entrance of the capital. The House of the Free Press is more popularly called the Casa Scanteii. It houses the printing presses and newsrooms since it was completed in 1956. Drop by the oldest and probably most charming street in the city, the Calea Victoriei. What was once a link between the Old Princely Court and the Mogosoaia Palace is now one of the hippest and trendiest streets in Bucharest. More attractions like the Palatul Cantacuzino, Piata Revolutiei, Ateneul Roman, and Athenee Palace Hotel, among many others, are waiting to be discovered. Plan a visit to the city and see for yourself!
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