Bucharest is the capital city, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents as early as 1459. Since then it has gone through a variety of changes, becoming the state capital of Romania in 1862 and steadily consolidating its position as the centre of the Romanian mass media, culture and arts. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of the "Little Paris of the East" ( Micul Paris ). Although many buildings and districts in the historic centre were damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes and Nicolae Ceaușescu's program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.
Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania. Bucharest is situated in the south eastern corner of the Romanian Plain, in an area once covered by the Vlăsiei forest, which, after it was cleared, gave way to a fertile flatland. As with many cities, Bucharest is traditionally considered to have seven hills, similar to the seven hills of Rome. Bucharest's seven hills are: Mihai Vodă, Dealul Mitropoliei, Radu Vodă, Cotroceni, Spirei, Văcărești and Sf. Gheorghe Nou.
Bucharest is situated in the south eastern corner of the Romanian Plain, in an area once covered by the Vlăsiei forest, which, after it was cleared, gave way to a fertile flatland. As with many cities, Bucharest is traditionally considered to have seven hills, similar to the seven hills of Rome. Bucharest's seven hills are: Mihai Vodă, Dealul Mitropoliei, Radu Vodă, Cotroceni, Spirei, Văcărești and Sf. Gheorghe Nou. In the centre of the capital there is a small artificial lake – Lake Cișmigiu (right picture) – surrounded by the Cișmigiu Gardens. The Cișmigiu Gardens have a rich history, being frequented by famous poets and writers. Opened in 1847 and based on the plans of German architect Carl F.W. Meyer, the gardens are currently the main recreational facility in the city centre. Besides Cișmigiu, Bucharest contains several other large parks and gardens, including Herăstrău Park and the Botanical Garden. Herăstrău is a large public park located in the north of the city, around Lake Herăstrău, and the site of the Village Museum, while the Bucharest's botanical garden is the largest in Romania and contains over 10,000 species of plants, many of them exotic; it was once a pleasure park for the royal family.
Until recently, the regions surrounding Bucharest were largely rural, but after 1989, new suburbs started to be built around Bucharest, in the surrounding Ilfov county.
Bucharest has a diverse and growing cultural scene, with cultural life exhibited in a number of various fields, including the visual arts, performing arts and nightlife. Unlike other parts of Romania, such as the Black Sea coast or Transylvania, Bucharest's cultural scene is much more eclectic, without a defined style, and instead incorporates various elements of Romanian and international culture. Bucharest has an eclectic mixture of elements from traditionally Romanian buildings to buildings that are influenced by French architects. It is because of this French influence that Bucharest was once called "the Paris of the East" or "Little Paris."
Bucharest has a large number of landmark buildings and monuments. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Palace of the Parliament, built in the 1980s during the reign of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and it is the largest building in Europe and the second-largest in the world, the Palace houses the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The building also boasts one of the largest convention centers in the world.
Another well-known landmark in Bucharest is Arcul de Triumf (The Triumphal Arch), it was built in its current form in 1935 and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The Romanian Athenaeum building is considered to be a symbol of Romanian culture and since 2007 is on the list of the Label of European Heritage sights. Other cultural venues include the National Museum of Art of Romania, Museum of Natural History "Grigore Antipa", Museum of the Romanian Peasant ( Muzeul Ţăranului Român ), National History Museum, and the Military Museum.
In terms of visual arts, the city contains a number of museums featuring both classical and contemporary Romanian art, as well as selected international works. The National Museum of Art of Romania is perhaps the best-known of Bucharest museums. It is located in the former royal palace and features extensive collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, including works by renowned sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, as well as a prominent international collection assembled by the former Romanian royal family. Other smaller museums contain more specialized collections of works. The Zambaccian Museum, which is situated in the former home of Armenian-Romanian art collector Krikor H. Zambaccian contains works by many well-known Romanian artists as well as international artists such as Paul Cézanne, Eugène Delacroix, Henri Matisse, Camille Pissarro and Pablo Picasso.
The palace of the National Bank of Romania houses the national numismatic collection. Exhibits include banknotes, coins, documents, photographs, maps, silver and gold bullion bars, bullion coins, dies and moulds. The building itself was constructed between 1884 and 1890. The thesaurus room contains notable marble decorations.
Bucharest's cultural life has, especially since the early 1990s, become colorful and worldly. Traditional Romanian culture, however, continues to have a major influence in arts such as theatre, film and music. Additionally, Bucharest has two internationally-renowned ethnographic museums, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the open-air Village Museum. The Village Museum, in Herăstrău Park, contains 272 authentic buildings and peasant farms from all over Romania. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant was declared the European Museum of the Year in 1996, and displays a rich collection of textiles (especially costumes), icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life. The Museum of Romanian History is another important museum in Bucharest, containing a collection of artifacts detailing Romanian history and culture from the prehistoric times, Dacian era, medieval times and the modern era.
Bucharest is the seat of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, one of the Eastern Orthodox churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. Orthodox believers say that Saint Demetrius is the saint patron of the city. Bucharest is also a center for various other religions and cults in Romania, including the main Romanian-ethnic Catholic organization, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest.
There are 16 public universities in Bucharest, the largest of which are the University of Bucharest, the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST
BUCHAREST ACADEMY OF ECONOMIC STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF MEDICINE AND PHARMACY " CAROL DAVILA "
The first modern educational institution was the Princely Academy of Bucharest, founded in 1694 and divided in 1864 to form the present-day University of Bucharest and the Saint Sava National College, both of which are amongst the most prestigious of their kind in Romania. Princely Academy SAINT SAVA NATIONAL COLLEGE
THIS MATERIAL WAS DEVELOPED BY PROFESSOR DAVIDOIU MARILENA