Bucharest (Romanian: București) is the capital of Romania. With just over 1.8 million inhabitants and an urban agglomeration of 2.2 million inhabitants, it is the seventh largest city in the European Union.

After Bucharest had finally replaced Târgoviște as the state capital of the Principality of Wallachia in 1659, it became the political, economic and cultural center of Wallachia and later Romania. The city has several universities, various other colleges and numerous theatres, museums and other cultural institutions.

The city's cosmopolitan high culture and the dominant French influence of neo-baroque architecture earned it the nickname Micul Paris ("Little Paris", also "Paris of the East"). During the tenure of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, large areas of the historic district were destroyed to make way for the head of state's monumental confectionery style.



Unlike other parts of Romania, such as the Black Sea coast or Transylvania, the culture of Bucharest does not have a specific style, but includes elements of Romanian and international culture.



There are notable buildings and monuments in the city. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Palace of the Parliament, which was built under the rule of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in the 1980s. It is the largest parliamentary building in the world, which houses the Romanian Parliament (the House of Representatives and the Senate) and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The building boasts one of the largest convention centers in the world.

Another landmark of Bucharest is the Arcul de Triumf (The Arch of Triumph), which in its current form was built in 1935 and was modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The building of the Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) is considered a symbol of Romanian culture. It was built between 1886 and 1888 by the architect Paul Louis Albert Galeron. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's most prestigious concert hall and home to the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and the George Enescu Festival.

The InterContinental Bucharest is a five-star hotel near the University Square and is also one of the landmarks of the city.

The House of the Free Press (Casa Presei Libere, formerly: Casa Scânteii) is a copy of the famous "Lomonosov" Moscow State University. Between 1956 and 2007, it was the tallest building in the city. The name of the building that houses the country's main printing house comes from the name of the newspaper Scînteia, which was the main written propaganda tool of the Romanian Communist Party.


Main attractions

The Parliament (wd) building
Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) (1888), neoclassical concert hall, the most prestigious concert hall in the city
Church of Stavropoleos Monastery (wd) in Brâncoveanu style (1724)
Arcul de Triumf (The Triumphal Arch). The first wooden triumphal arch was completed after the independence of Romania (1878). This was replaced in 1935 by the current neoclassical style building.
the Mogoșoaia Palace (1702) near Bucharest
Kretzulescu Palace (1902-1904), under Stirbei Vodă Street 39
The Patriarchal Cathedral (Catedrala Patriarhală din București) (1655-1659)
Antim Monastery (1715)
Radu Vodă Orthodox Monastery

Other religious
Cathedral of the Redemption of the Nation (Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului)

Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum (open-air museum)
Peasant Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Taranului Român) is one of Europe's popular art and tradition museums

Parks (Herăstrău, Cismigau)



Bucharest was built in the south of Romania, on both banks of the Dâmbovița River, 68 km north of the Danube and 280 km west of the Black Sea. The city is located on the Vlăsiei plain (Câmpia Vlăsiei), which is part of the Romanian lowland. To the east is the Bărăgan plain, to the west is the Găvanu Burdea plain, and to the south is the Burnazului plain. The plain area around Bucharest is also called the Bucharest Plain (Câmpia Bucureștiului).


Its geology and geomorphology

The Vlăsiei Plain was formed in the Quaternary, when the Black Sea retreated from the foreland of the Carpathians and Subcarpathians. Thick layers of loess were deposited on the alluvial plain in the Pleistocene. The area rose again in the Holocene. During this period, the valleys of the rivers crossing the plain were formed, which in some places cut deeply into the loess layers, thereby dividing the area. The height of the plain is around 100-115 m in the northwestern part and around 50-60 m in the southeastern part, on the coast of Dâmbovița. Bucharest lies at an altitude of 80-90 m above sea level.

The plain was divided into several parts by the crossing rivers. The northern part is the Băneasa Plain, which lies north of the Colentina River, followed by the Colentina River Valley. After the river was regulated, a number of reservoirs formed in its territory, which determine the geomorphological profile of the northern part of Bucharest. These are Plumbuita, Ostrov, Dobroești and Pantelimon lakes. The Colentina Plain or Giulești-Floreasca Plain (Câmpul Colentinei) accounts for 36% of the city's area. It is followed by the Dâmbovița valley to the south. The river valley is regulated, as a result of which the former sand dunes and islands have disappeared. South of the river there are some lower mounds: Uranus-Mihai Vodă, Dealul Mitropoliei, Colina Radu Vodă, Movila Mare. The geomorphological unit south of the Dâmbovița river is the Cotroceni-Berceni or Cotroceni-Văcărești plain.



Its climate is temperate continental. Spring and autumn are short, summer usually arrives at the end of April. The hottest month is July. Winter usually starts in the first week of December, and the biggest snowfalls can also be expected in this month. This month is usually rainy and foggy, but the temperature hardly drops below -3 °C. The coldest month is January.


Water drawing

Bucharest is crossed by two rivers, the Dâmbovița and the Colentina, both of which have a regulated channel to the southeast. During the settlement of the Colentina, which crosses the northern part of the city, the swamps of the area were cleared and several collecting lakes were created. The most important of these are Herăstrău, Tei and Floreasca. In 1984, Nicolae Ceaușescu ordered a canal to be dug to the Danube, which would have made Bucharest a port city. According to surveys, about 70% of the canal was completed by the 1989 revolution.



According to legend, Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur. This legend was first recorded in 1761 by a Franciscan monk, Blasius Kleiner. According to the story, the pastor built a church that still bears his name today, but investigations have shown that the church was only built around 1743. The legend is based on the fact that the elements of the Romanian name of Bucharest (București) are the Romanian words "bucurie" (happiness) and "-esti" (place name-former, plural of -escu). According to another legend, the city was founded by Negru Vodă. This legend was first mentioned by Giacomo di Pietro Luccari from Ragusa, who visited Havasalföld during the reign of Mihály Vitéz and compiled a detailed monograph about the country.

Official documents mention it for the first time on September 20, 1459, namely a document signed by Prince Vlad Țepes confirming the property of a farmer in Bucharest. A princely document from 1460 mentions it as castro fluvii Dombovicha, while in 1461 it is listed as castro Bokoresth.

On the order of Mircea Ciobanu, the Curtea Veche (Old Prince's Court) was rebuilt between 1558 and 1559 and the Biserica Domnească (Prince's Church), Bucharest's first major buildings, was built. Both were significantly damaged in the 17th and 18th centuries. during the 19th century Turkish invasions, earthquakes and fires; a museum currently operates in the ruins of the yard, the church has been rebuilt several times and is currently considered the oldest building in the city.

It was first mentioned as the capital in 1659, during the reign of Gheorghe Ghica, and this is when the real development of the city begins. The first paved roads appeared (1661), the first higher education institution was founded, the Academia Domnească (Prince's School, 1694) and the Mogoșoaia Palace was built (1698), where the Brâncoveanu Museum is now located.

Colțea hospital was built in 1704 with the support of Mihai Cantacuzino. Within a short time, Bucharest was also covered by the masters, and the first guilds were established. While in 1798 there were only 30,030 inhabitants, in 1831 this number doubled. The first buildings of public interest appear, such as the National Theater and Cișmigiu Park. In 1862, the city became the capital of Romania, united in 1859.

After Romania declared war on the Central Powers in August 1916, the Austro-Hungarian and German troops occupied Bucharest on December 6. In the spring of 1918, Romania asked for a separate peace and concluded. In the Second World War, the city was not under siege, so it suffered less, the Soviet troops were able to occupy it without resistance due to the Romanian transition.

In November 1956, students organized anti-communist demonstrations, but the military suppressed and retaliated against the action. In December 1989, revolution swept Romania and the people of Bucharest overthrew the Ceaușescu dictatorship.


Constructions during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu

The infamous Romanian dictator considered reshaping the image of the capital to be a matter of his heart. He bulldozed five hundred hectares of downtown Bucharest (the largest peacetime urban destruction recorded in the history of mankind) in order to build a new city center modeled after North Korea in what he called his regime's lovely socialist realist style, but which was actually neoclassical.

The gigantic Palace of the Republic, otherwise known as the House of the People (Casa Poporului), was built on an artificial hill in the middle of the city, currently the Palace of the Parliament, which Ceaușescu intended as his own residence. This building currently houses the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Constitutional Court. The building is also listed in the Guinness Book of Records: it is the third largest building in the world, after the Pentagon, with a floor area of 330,000 m². An avenue wider than the Champs-Élysées in Paris (Victoria Socialismului, currently Bulevardul Unirii) runs east from the palace, and the elite of the party state could move into the panels erected along it.

Due to the outbreak of the revolution, many Grandoman buildings were left unfinished and are currently empty (National Library, Youth House, Museum of Socialism / Radio House, market complexes, etc.).



1459 Bucharest is mentioned for the first time in an official document
1465 It became the residence of Prince Radu cel Frumos
1659 Gheorghe Ghica made it the capital of Havasalföld
1661 The first paved roads appeared
1808 The Hanul lui Manuc inn is opened, the Turkish-Russian pact is signed here in 1812
1847 A fire destroyed one third of the city
1869 The first railway station was opened (Gara Filaret)
1872 The first tram was put into operation
1912 Băneasa (today Aurel Vlaicu) Airport opens
1916 The German army occupied the city and left it only two years later
1922 The Triumphal Arch (Arcul de Triumf) was built
1929 The first regular radio broadcast began
1936 The Herăstrău park is completed on an area of about 187 ha, and next to it is the Village Museum, one of the first ethnographic museums in the world
1944 The II. after exiting World War II, Romanian troops cleared the city of German troops. They were replaced by the Soviets, who left the country only in 1958
1954 The Romanian Opera House was opened
1956 The first Romanian TV broadcast was broadcast on New Year's Eve
1968 Otopeni (today Henri Coandă) airport opens
1977 An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale destroyed most of the historic center of the capital
1979 The first metro line was built




According to nationality, 97-98% of the population is Romanian.

More significant ethnic groups are the Roma, Hungarians, Turks, Jews, Germans (mainly the Regati Germans), and the Chinese.


Hungarian community

The number of Hungarians in Bucharest is officially 5,800, but according to estimates, their number is ten to twenty thousand, and in addition, thousands of Hungarian civil servants, politicians and journalists work here. The Hungarian-language Ady Endre Theoretical Lyceum (formerly Industrial Lyceum No. 33) operates in the city; the university also has a department of Hungarian studies. From November 2013, the paper Bucharesti Magyar Élet, published as a monthly supplement to the Brasov Newspapers, was edited here, and after its termination, the Bucharest Papers from 2018. RTV produces a 5-hour Hungarian program a week, Bucharest Radio broadcasts a one-hour Hungarian program a day. The spread of Hungarian culture is also ensured by the Hungarian Cultural Institute and the Petőfi Sándor Cultural Center. Hungarian amateur actors also operate under the name Petőfi Színkör, and more recently an amateur folk dance group was established under the name Bercsényi Baráti Tánckör. In the Bărăția Roman Catholic church, mass is held twice a week in Hungarian. The Calvineum and Szőlőskert Reformed churches hold services in Hungarian several times a week. Bucharest had a Hungarian representative in the Romanian parliament until 2004.

Famous Hungarians
Biochemist Júlia Ibolya Kovács was born here in 1935.
Hungarian dance singer János Koós was born here in 1937.
Hungarian-born Romanian singer Daniela Györfi was born here in 1968.



During the 2011 census, 87.6% of the population declared themselves religious, including 84.3% Orthodox, 1.2% Roman Catholic, 2.1% adherents of other minor denominations, 0.6% non-religious and atheist. . No data is available for 11.8% of the population.

Cathedral of the Redemption of the Nation (Romanian: Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului), Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lord and Andrew the Apostle, the cathedral under construction of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Bucharest. It will be the see church of the current Romanian patriarch, and at the same time it will be one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. It stands in the center of the city, on the Spirea Hill, next to the Palace of the Parliament.



Bucharest is crossed by two major international routes: IV. and IX. pan-European transport corridor.

It is a hub of the country's national railway network, operated by Căile Ferate Române. The main train station is Gara de Nord ('North Station'), which provides connections to all major cities in Romania, as well as international destinations: Belgrade, Sofia, Varna, Chisinau, Kiev, Thessaloniki, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, etc.

Bucharest has two international airports:
Henri Coandă International Airport (IATA: OTP, ICAO: LROP), located 16.5 km north of Bucharest city center in Otopeni, Ilfov. In terms of passenger traffic, it is the busiest airport in Romania.
Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (IATA: BBU, ICAO: LRBS) is Bucharest's business and VIP airport. It is located just 8 km north of the city center of Bucharest, within the city limits.