Bucharest (Romania)

Bucharest Romania

Capital of Romania

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and one of the largest cities in the country. The city is located in the southern part of Romania, on the Dimbovica River. Bucharest is the cultural, economic and political center of the country. It is home to many historical and cultural monuments, museums, parks and other attractions.
The city has a rich history and cultural heritage, making it an interesting place to visit and explore.

History of Bucharest

Back in Paleolithic times, which began about 2.6 million years ago, the territories of the Romanian city of Bucharest were inhabited by ancient people. But the history of the Romanian capital itself can only be traced back to the 14th century. At that time it was closely connected with Wallachia, a historical region in the southwestern part of modern Romania. Of course, the history of Bucharest is not without legends. According to one of the old tales, in the XIV century shepherd Bucur, who was herding his sheep in these parts, built a church around which a village grew. Everything is logical and clear here: Bucur founded Bucureşti, as the name of the town sounds in Romanian. A legend is a legend, but scientists put forward other versions. One of them, again very logically, explains the name of the city – from the Romanian word bukurie, which means “joy”. The joy felt in the XIV century. people after victory in another battle with the Turks, and the leader of the warriors Mircea Old and founded the city in honor of this.

According to another, the founding father should be considered the Vlach prince Radu Negra, while according to a third, the town was founded by a fortress on the site of ancient Daco-Roman settlements.

In 1450, when Romania was attacked by the Ottoman Empire, Bucharest became one of the frontiers of the country’s defense. During the reign of Vlad Tepes (d. 1476), the prince of Vlach (d. 1476), better known as Count Dracula thanks to the writer Bram Stoker, a powerful fortress appeared in the city. It is mentioned in historical documents (1459) as the residence of Tepes. In 1595 the Turks burned Bucharest, but it was restored surprisingly quickly, the princes began to settle here again, since 1698 it is the main city of Wallachia and, finally, since 1859 the capital of Romania.

From that moment on, Bucharest has never ceded to any other city the predominant role in the life of the state. In the twenties of the nineteenth century, the capital became the main center of the growing national liberation struggle: in 1821, during the Valachian Uprising, battles were fought on the outskirts of Bucharest, and in the summer of 1848, under Prince Bibescu, the revolution began here. The decisive events in the history of Romania, however, were not the capital, but the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, with the beginning of which the country gained its independence. In 1881 Bucharest became the capital of the newly formed Romanian Kingdom.

During World War I, Romania was a member of the Triple Alliance (a military and political union of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). Already in December 1916 German troops entered the city, and it was liberated only two years later, in November 1918. In World War II, the Romanian kingdom again chose to side with Germany, and between 1941 and 1944 Bucharest was occupied by the Germans. By 1944, an uprising had broken out in the city, supported by the Red Army, which approached the city. Thus the Romanian capital was liberated from the Nazis. Many residents of Bucharest were against the occupation, but not against the king, but the Communists took the situation into their own hands, and in 1947 the Socialist Republic of Romania was proclaimed in Bucharest.

Back in the XIX century Bucharest was known as “Little Paris”, during the heyday of the capital Paris really became a kind of style benchmark for it, French architects were gladly invited to work on new projects. In 1870-1920, the so-called Old Town district, located on the left bank of the Dymbovica River, was built on this wave. This part of the city is particularly interesting due to the harmonious combination of ancient local traditions and Western trends in architecture. The same mixture was characteristic of the lifestyle of the townspeople. They strived for elegance always and in everything, while remaining direct in the Romanian way.

In 1922, Bucharest had its own Arc de Triomphe, similar to the one built in Paris on Place de la Star (now Place Charles de Gaulle). The Arc de Triomphe in Romania was erected to commemorate the country’s participation in the First World War.

During the presidency of Nicolae Ceausescu (years of life – 1918-1989, ruled Romania since 1974) the image of Bucharest changed, and the Old Town suffered. Many churches and old residential buildings were demolished to make way for more functional yet fundamental architecture. The culmination of years of work to rebuild Bucharest was the Parliamentary Palace, completed by 1989, after Nicolae Ceausescu, who had ruled the country by totalitarian communist dictatorship, was executed. The palace is still the largest administrative building not only in Romania, but also in the world. It rises 86 meters above the ground, and its underground part goes 92 meters deep, with a total of 1100 offices. The building was decorated almost royally: thousands of tons of crystal, a huge amount of bronze and marble were used for its interior decoration, and the Parliamentary Palace truly justifies its name.

Despite the harsh changes that the 20th century brought to the life of the city, Bucharest still retains a unique atmosphere. Notes of “belle epoque” can be felt in the way the city’s boulevards and parks look. During the same period of Ceausescu’s rule, industry began to develop rapidly in Bucharest. However, concentrating on the electric power, metallurgical and chemical industries, the president overlooked the impending crisis of the light and food industry. Then the shortage of food and fuel was another reason for the overthrow of Ceausescu. Be that as it may, it was during this period that a major leap was made in the industrial development of the city, which eventually led Bucharest to economic success.

Today, the capital of Romania is home to only about 9% of the entire country’s population, yet the city concentrates a fourth of the industrial production, providing about 14.6% of the country’s GDP. Now there are machine-building and metalworking enterprises; enterprises of chemical, food industry. A serious stimulus for economic development is a good infrastructure, and everything is in order in the capital Bucharest: the city is located at the crossroads of important transportation and trade routes.

General information

  • Capital of Romania.
  • Administrative division: 6 sectors.
  • Language: Romanian.
  • Religions: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Greek Catholicism, Islam.
  • Currency unit: leu.
  • The largest river: Dymbovitsa.
  • The largest lake: Mori.
  • The most important airport: Otepen international airport.
  • Area: 228 km2.
  • Population: 1,944,367 (2009).
  • Population density: 8,527.9 people/km2.

Climate and weather

  • Temperate.
  • Average winter temperature: +1ºС.
  • Average summer temperature: +22ºС … +23ºC.
  • Average precipitation: 595 mm.


  • Bucharest accounts for a quarter of the country’s industrial production.
  • Industries: metallurgical, printing, textile, chemical, food, furniture.
  • Services: tourism.


  • Parliamentary Palace
  • Uniria Square
  • Victory Street
  • Triumphal Arch
  • National Art Museum (Royal Palace)
  • Cotroceni Palace
  • Stavropoleos Church
  • National Museum of Kotroceni
  • National Museum of the Village
  • Cismigiu Park
  • Antim Monastery

Fun facts

  • There is a Kiselev highway in Bucharest. Russian Count Pavel Dmitrievich Kiselev (1788-1872), a general and diplomat, became the plenipotentiary representative of the state councils (divans) of Moldova and Wallachia in Romania (1829-34), and as Russian ambassador in Paris, he supported in the diplomatic sphere the unification of the Romanian principalities (1859).
  • The triumphal arch in Bucharest is not only an imitation of Paris, although outwardly it looks so. We should not forget that the history of Romania is closely connected with the history of the city of Rome. And it was from the Romans that Romanians adopted the custom of solemnly welcoming the winners in military battles, raising pine garlands decorated with flowers over their heads. Well and Roman triumphal arches of stone were also in mind when they built their own.
  • The capital of Romania was built on seven hills, like the legendary Rome, Constantinople.
  • The lord of Wallachia, Vlad III, aka Vlad Tepes and Count Dracula, was known for his cruelty in dealing with unruly boyars, as well as Turkish envoys. Legends of Vlad’s allegedly bloody executions are still alive. And yet, contrary to Bram Stoker, he was not a vampire – it is proved.
  • Bucharest has become a place of peace negotiations more than once in its history. In particular, the results of the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812 and the Second Balkan War of 1913 were summarized here, and many other international treaties that put an end to military conflicts were signed in the same city.
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