Bucharest
Overview
 
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57"N 26°06′14"E, and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița is a river in Romania. It has its sources in the Făgăraş Mountains, on the Curmătura Oticu. The upper reach of the rivers, upstream of the confluence with the Boarcăşu River is also known as Izvorul Oticului River or Oticu 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.
Quotations

"I came to Bucharest two years ago with a legion of conquering heroes. I leave with a troupe of gigolos and racketeers!"

German Field Marshal August von Mackensen, on the moral effects of the German occupation of Bucharest during the World War I

Encyclopedia
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57"N 26°06′14"E, and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița is a river in Romania. It has its sources in the Făgăraş Mountains, on the Curmătura Oticu. The upper reach of the rivers, upstream of the confluence with the Boarcăşu River is also known as Izvorul Oticului River or Oticu 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. Its eclectic architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

), interbellum (Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 and Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris). Although many buildings and districts in the historic centre were damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and Nicolae Ceaușescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

's program of systematization
Systematization (Romania)
Urban planning in communist countries was subject to the ideological constraints of the system. Except for the Soviet Union where the communist regime started in 1917, in Eastern Europe communist governments took power after World War II....

, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.

According to 1 July 2010 official estimates, Bucharest proper has a population of 1,942,254. The urban area
Largest urban areas of the European Union
This is a list of all the urban areas of the European Union which have greater than 750,000 inhabitants each in 2011.This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for urban areas in the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.-Important...

 extends beyond the limits of Bucharest proper and has a population of 2 million people. Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area
Bucharest metropolitan area
According to Eurostat, Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, has a Larger Urban Zone of 2,151,880 residents on an area of 662 km2.The Bucharest metropolitan area is a proposed metropolitan area project that includes Bucharest and surrounding communes...

 of Bucharest would have a population of 2.33 million people. According to unofficial data, the population is more than 3 million. Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by population within city limits.

Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has a broad range of convention facilities, educational facilities, cultural venues, shopping arcades, and recreational areas.

The city proper is administratively known as the Municipality of Bucharest (Municipiul București), and has the same administrative level as a county
Counties of Romania
The 41 judeţe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.-Overview:...

, being further subdivided into six sectors
Sectors of Bucharest
The Municipality of Bucharest is divided into six administrative sectors , each of which has their own mayor and council, and has responsibility over local affairs, such as secondary streets, parks, schools and the cleaning services.Each of the six sectors contains a number of informal districts ...

.

Etymology

The name of Bucur has an uncertain origin: tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur who was either a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a hunter, according to different legends.
In Romanian the word stem bucur means 'glad', 'joy'.

The official city name in full is The Municipality of Bucharest .

A native or resident of Bucharest is called a Bucharester .

History

Bucharest's history alternated periods of development and decline from the early settlements of the Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 and until its consolidation as capital of Romania late in the 19th century.

First mentioned as the "Citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 of București" in 1459, it became a residence of the Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

n prince Vlad III the Impaler
Vlad III the Impaler
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia , also known by his patronymic Dracula , and posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler , was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans...

. The Old Princely Court
Curtea Veche
Curtea Veche , built as a place or residence during the rule of Vlad III Dracula in the 15th century, now operates as a museum in the centre of Bucharest, Romania. The residence was moved under the rule of Radu cel Frumos, who moved the princely residence and the Wallachian capital to Bucharest...

 (Curtea Veche) was built by Mircea Ciobanul
Mircea Ciobanul
Mircea the Shepherd was the Prince of Wallachia three times: January 1545 –16 November 1552; May 1553–28 February 1554 ; and January 1558–21 September 1559.-Biography:He was the fifth son of Radu cel Mare...

, and under subsequent rulers, Bucharest was established as the summer residence of the court, competing with Târgoviște
Târgoviste
Târgoviște is a city in the Dâmbovița county of Romania. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomiţa River. , it had an estimated population of 89,000. One village, Priseaca, is administered by the city.-Name:...

 for the status of capital after an increase in the importance of southern Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

 brought about by the demands of the suzerain
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 power, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

Burned down by the Ottomans and briefly discarded by princes at the start of the 17th century, Bucharest was rebuilt and continued to grow in size and prosperity. Its centre was developed around the Ulița Mare (lit. Grand Street), which starting with 1589 became known as Lipscani
Lipscani
Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia...

. Before the 18th century, it became the most important trade centre of Wallachia and became a permanent location for the Wallachian court after 1698 (starting with the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu was Prince of Wallachia between 1688 and 1714.-Ascension:A descendant of the Craioveşti boyar family and related to Matei Basarab, Brâncoveanu was born at the estate of Brâncoveni and raised in the house of his uncle, stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino...

).

Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea's plague
Caragea's plague
Caragea's plague or Caradja's plague was a bubonic plague epidemic that occurred in Wallachia, mainly in Bucharest, in the years 1813 and 1814. It coincided with the rule of the Phanariote Prince John Caradja.-Alleged source:...

in 1813–1814, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia (three times between 1768 and 1806). It was placed under Russian administration
Regulamentul Organic
Regulamentul Organic was a quasi-constitutional organic law enforced in 1834–1835 by the Imperial Russian authorities in Moldavia and Wallachia...

 between 1828 and the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

, with an interlude during the Bucharest-centred 1848 Wallachian revolution, and an Austrian
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 garrison took possession after the Russian departure (remaining in the city until March 1857). Additionally, on 23 March 1847, a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings, destroying a third of the city.

In 1861, when Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 were united to form the Principality of Romania
Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common...

, Bucharest became the new nation's capital; in 1881, it became the political centre of the newly-proclaimed Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 under Carol I
Carol I of Romania
Carol I , born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was reigning prince and then King of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected prince of Romania on 20 April 1866 following the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup...

. During the second half of the 19th century, due to its new status, the city's population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began. During this period, gas lighting
Gas lighting
Gas lighting is production of artificial light from combustion of a gaseous fuel, including hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, propane, butane, acetylene, ethylene, or natural gas. Before electricity became sufficiently widespread and economical to allow for general public use, gas was the most...

, horse-drawn trams
Horsecar
A horsecar or horse-drawn tram is an animal-powered streetcar or tram.These early forms of public transport developed out of industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, and from the omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel...

 and limited electrification
Electrification
Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line...

 were introduced. The Dâmboviţa was also chanelled in 1883, thus putting a stop tgo previously endemic floods. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of "The Paris of the East" (or "Little Paris", Micul Paris), with Calea Victoriei
Calea Victoriei
Calea Victoriei is a major avenue in central Bucharest. It leads from Splaiul Independenţei to the north and then northwest up to Piaţa Victoriei, where Şoseaua Kiseleff continues north....

 as its Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

.

Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest
Battle of Bucharest
The Battle of Bucharest, also known as the Argeş-Neajlov Defensive Operation in Romania, was an important battle of the Romanian Campaign in World War I, in which the Central Powers occupied the Romanian capital and forced the Romanian Government, as well as the remnants of the Romanian Army to...

, with the legitimate capital temporarily moved to Iași
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

. After World War I, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania
Greater Romania
The Greater Romania generally refers to the territory of Romania in the years between the First World War and the Second World War, the largest geographical extent of Romania up to that time and its largest peacetime extent ever ; more precisely, it refers to the territory of the Kingdom of...

. The interwar years saw continued development, with the city gaining an average of 30,000 new residents each year. Also, some of the city's main landmarks were built in this period, including Arcul de Triumf
Arcul de Triumf
Arcul de Triumf is a triumphal arch located in the northern part of Bucharest, on the Kiseleff Road.The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly, after Romania gained its independence , so that the victorious troops could march under it...

 and Palatul Telefoanelor
Palatul Telefoanelor
Bucharest Telephone Palace is an office building located on Calea Victoriei in Bucharest, Romania. It serves as the headquarters of Romtelecom.-Bucharest:Palatul Telefoanelor in Bucharest is an art deco style building...

. However, the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 took its toll on Bucharest's citizens, culminating in the Griviţa Strike of 1933
Grivita Strike of 1933
The Grivița Strike of 1933 was a railway strike which was started at the Grivița Workshops, Bucharest, Romania, on 16 February 1933 by workers of Căile Ferate Române . The strike was brought about by the increasingly poor working conditions of railway employees in the context of the worldwide Great...

.

In January 1941, the city was the scene of the Legionnaires' rebellion and Bucharest pogrom
Legionnaires' Rebellion and Bucharest Pogrom
The Legionnaires' rebellion and the Bucharest pogrom occurred in Bucharest, Romania, between 21 and 23 January 1941.As the privileges of the Iron Guard were being cut off by Conducător Ion Antonescu, members of the Iron Guard, also known as the Legionnaires, revolted...

. As the capital of an Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 country and a major transit point for Axis troops en route to the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

, Bucharest suffered heavy damage during World War II due to Allied bombings
Bombing of Bucharest in World War II
The Bucharest World War II bombings were primarily Allied bombings of railroad targets and those of the Oil Campaign of World War II, but included a bombing by Nazi Germany after the royal coup. Bucharest stored and distributed much of Ploiești's refined oil products....

, and, on 23 August 1944, was the site of the royal coup which brought Romania into the Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 camp, suffering a short period of Luftwaffe
History of the Luftwaffe during World War II
The German Luftwaffe was one of the strongest, most doctrinally advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world when World War II started in Europe in September 1939. Officially unveiled in 1935, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, its purpose was to support Adolf Hitler's...

 bombings as well as a failed attempt by German troops to take the city by force.

After the establishment of communism in Romania
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

, the city continued growing. New districts were constructed, most of them dominated by tower block
Tower block
A tower block, high-rise, apartment tower, office tower, apartment block, or block of flats, is a tall building or structure used as a residential and/or office building...

s. During Nicolae Ceaușescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

's leadership (1965–1989), much of the historic part of the city was demolished and replaced with Socialist realist development such as the Centrul Civic (the Civic Centre), including the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

, where an entire historic quarter was razed to make way for Ceaușescu's megalomaniac constructions. On 4 March 1977, an earthquake centered in Vrancea, about 135 km (83.89 mi) away, claimed 1,500 lives and caused further damage to the historic centre.

The Romanian Revolution of 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

 began with mass anti-Ceaușescu protests in Timișoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

 in December 1989 and continued in Bucharest, leading to the overthrow of the Communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

. Dissatisfied with the post-revolutionary leadership of the National Salvation Front, student leagues and opposition groups organized large-scale protests continued in 1990 (the Golaniad
Golaniad
The Golaniad was a protest in Romania in the University Square, Bucharest. It was initiated by students and professors at the University of Bucharest....

), which were violently stopped by the miners of Valea Jiului (the Mineriad
Mineriad
See also The 1990s: the rise and decline of miners' unionsA Mineriad is the term used to name any of the successive violent interventions of miners in Bucharest. These interventions were generally seen as aimed at wrestling policy changes or simply material advantages from the current political...

). Several other Mineriads followed, the results of which included a government change.

After the year 2000, due to the advent of significant economic growth in Romania, the city has modernized and is currently undergoing a period of urban renewal. Various residential and commercial developments are underway, particularly in the northern districts, while Bucharest's historic centre is currently undergoing restoration. In the city's central are, in Piata Universitatii, stands a massive statue of Cristocea, one of its finest philanthropists.

Treaties signed in Bucharest

  • Treaty of 28 May 1812, at the end of the Russo-Turkish War
    Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812
    The Russo-Turkish War was one of many wars fought between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire.- Background :The war broke out in 1805–1806 against the background of the Napoleonic Wars...

  • Treaty of 3 March 1886, at the end of the Serbo-Bulgarian War
    Serbo-Bulgarian War
    The Serbo-Bulgarian War was a war between Serbia and Bulgaria that erupted on 14 November 1885 and lasted until 28 November the same year. Final peace was signed on 19 February 1886 in Bucharest...

  • Treaty of 10 August 1913, at the end of the Second Balkan War
    Second Balkan War
    The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

  • Treaty of 4 August 1916, the treaty of alliance between Romania and the Entente
    Triple Entente
    The Triple Entente was the name given to the alliance among Britain, France and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1907....

  • Treaty of 6 May 1918, the treaty between Romania and the Central Powers
    Central Powers
    The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...


General information

Bucharest is situated on the banks of the Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița River
Dâmbovița is a river in Romania. It has its sources in the Făgăraş Mountains, on the Curmătura Oticu. The upper reach of the rivers, upstream of the confluence with the Boarcăşu River is also known as Izvorul Oticului River or Oticu River....

, which flows into the Argeș River
Arges River
Argeș is a river of Southern Romania. It starts at the junction of headwaters Buda and Capra in the Făgăraș Mountains, in the Southern Carpathians and flows into the Danube at Oltenița.The main city on the Argeş is Piteşti...

, a tributary of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. Several lakes the most important of which are Lake Herăstrău, Lake Floreasca, Lake Tei, and Lake Colentina stretch across the northern parts of the city, along the Colentina River
Colentina River
The Colentina River is a tributary of the Dâmboviţa River in Romania.The following lakes are built on the river:* Lake Moarta* Lake Ciocăneşti I* Lake Ciocăneşti I* Lake Crevedia VI* Lake Buftea* Lake Mogoşoaia* Lake Chitila...

, a tributary of the Dâmbovița. In addition, in the centre of the capital there is a small artificial lake Lake Cișmigiu 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
Herastrau Park
Herăstrău Park is a large park on the northern side of Bucharest, Romania, around Lake Herăstrău.The park has an area of about 1.1 km², of which 0.7 km² is the lake. Initially, the area was full of marshes, but these were drained between 1930 and 1935, and the park was opened in 1936...

 and the Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden of Bucharest
The Bucharest Botanical Garden , now named after its founder, Dimitrie Brândză, is located in the Cotroceni neighbourhood of Bucharest, Romania. It has a surface of 17.5 hectares , and has more than 10,000 species of plants....

. Herăstrău is located in the north of the city, around Lake Herăstrău, and is the site of the Village Museum
Village Museum
The Village Museum is an open-air ethnographic museum located in the Herăstrău Park , showcasing traditional Romanian village life. The museum extends to over 100,000 m2, and contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over Romania.It was created in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti, Victor Ion...

, while the Botanical Garden is the largest of its kind in Romania and contains over 10,000 species of plants, many of them exotic; it was once a pleasure park for the royal family.

Bucharest is situated in the south eastern corner of the Romanian Plain
Romanian Plain
The Romanian Plain is located in southern Romania and the easternmost tip of Serbia. Part of the historical region of Wallachia, it is bordered by the Danube River in the east, south and west, and by the Getic Plateau in the north. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is located in the central part...

, 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
Dealul Mitropoliei
Dealul Mitropoliei , also called Dealul Patriarhiei or "Patriarchate Hill", is a small hill in Bucharest, Romania and an important historic, cultural, architectural, religious and touristic point in the national capital...

, Radu Vodă, Cotroceni
Cotroceni
Cotroceni is a neighbourhood in western Bucharest, Romania located around the Cotroceni hill, in Bucharest's Sector 6.The Hill of Cotroceni was once covered by the forest of Vlăsia, which covered most of today's Bucharest...

, Spirei, Văcărești
Vacaresti, Bucharest
Văcăreşti is a neighbourhood in south-eastern Bucharest, located near Dâmboviţa River and the Văcăreşti Lake. Nearby neighbourhoods include Vitan, Olteniţei and Berceni. Originally a village, it was included in Bucharest as it expanded...

 and Sf. Gheorghe Nou.

The city has a total area of 226 square kilometres (87 sq mi). The altitude varies from 55.8 metres (183.1 ft) at the Dâmbovița bridge in Cățelu, south-eastern Bucharest and 91.5 m (300.2 ft) at the Militari
Militari
Militari is a district in the western part of Bucharest, in Sector 6. It is home of more than 100,000 inhabitants.In the past a village called "Militari" existed here, but today they are only few houses left from this time....

 church. The city has a relatively round shape, with the centre situated approximately in the cross-way of the main north-south/east-west axes at University Square
University Square, Bucharest
University Square is located in downtown Bucharest, near the University of Bucharest.Four statues are located in the University Square, in front of the University; they depict Ion Heliade Rădulescu , Michael the Brave , Gheorghe Lazăr and Spiru Haret .The square was the site of the 1990 Golaniad,...

. The milestone for Romania's Kilometre Zero
Kilometre Zero
In many countries, Kilometre Zero or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location , from which distances are traditionally measured...

 is placed just south of University Square in front of the New St. George Church (Sfântul Gheorghe Nou) at St. George Square (Piaţa Sfântul Gheorghe). Bucharest's radius, from University Square to the city limits in all directions, varies from about 10 to 12 km (6.25–7.5 mi).

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
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

. Further urban consolidation is expected to take place in the late 2010s, when the Bucharest metropolitan area will become operational, incorporating various communes and cities of Ilfov
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

 and other surrounding counties.

Climate

Bucharest has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfa). Due to its position on the Romanian Plain
Romanian Plain
The Romanian Plain is located in southern Romania and the easternmost tip of Serbia. Part of the historical region of Wallachia, it is bordered by the Danube River in the east, south and west, and by the Getic Plateau in the north. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is located in the central part...

, the city's winters can get windy, even though some of the winds are mitigated due to urbanisation. Winter temperatures often dip below 0 °C (32 °F), sometimes even dropping to -20 C. In summer, the average temperature is approximately 23 °C (73 °F) (the average for July and August), despite the fact that temperatures frequently reach 35 °C (95 °F) to 40 °C (104 °F) in mid-summer in the city centre. Although average precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 and humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 during summer are low, there are occasional heavy storms. During spring and autumn, average daytime temperatures vary between 17 °C (63 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be higher than in summer, with more frequent yet milder periods of rain.

Administration

Bucharest has a unique status in Romanian administration, since it is the only municipality that is not part of a county
Counties of Romania
The 41 judeţe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.-Overview:...

. Its population, however, is larger than that of any Romanian county, and hence the power of the Bucharest General City Hall (Primăria Generală), which is the city's local government body, is about the same as, if not greater than, that of Romanian county councils.
The city government is headed by a General Mayor
Mayor of Bucharest
The Mayor of Bucharest , sometimes known as the General Mayor, is the head of the Bucharest City Hall in Bucharest, Romania, which is responsible for city-wide affairs, such as the water system, the transport system and the main boulevards...

 (Primar General), currently (as of 2010) Sorin Oprescu
Sorin Oprescu
Sorin Mircea Oprescu is a Romanian independent politician and medical doctor who is currently serving as Mayor of Bucharest.-Political activity:...

. Decisions are approved and discussed by the General Council
General Council of Bucharest
The General Council of Bucharest is the legislative body of the Municipality of Bucharest, and is made up of 55 councillors elected every four years...

 (Consiliu General) made up of 55 elected councilors. Furthermore, the city is divided into six administrative sectors
Sectors of Bucharest
The Municipality of Bucharest is divided into six administrative sectors , each of which has their own mayor and council, and has responsibility over local affairs, such as secondary streets, parks, schools and the cleaning services.Each of the six sectors contains a number of informal districts ...

 (sectoare), each of which has their own 27-seat sectoral council, town hall and mayor. The powers of local government over a certain area are therefore shared by the Bucharest City Hall and the local sectoral councils with little or no overlapping of authority. The general rule is that the main City Hall is responsible for citywide utilities such as the water system, the transport system and the main boulevards, while sector halls manage the contact between individuals and the local government, secondary streets, parks, schools and cleaning services.

The six sectors are numbered from one to six and are disposed radially so that each one has under its administration an area of the city centre. They are numbered clockwise and are further divided into neighborhoods (cartiere), which are not an official administrative division:
  • Sector 1
    Sector 1 (Bucharest)
    Sector 1 is a sector in Bucharest. It includes the northern part of the city centre as well as the northwestern districts of Băneasa and Pipera. It is the wealthiest sector in Bucharest.-Quarters:*Aviatorilor*Aviaţiei*Băneasa*Bucureştii Noi*Dămăroaia...

    (population 227,717): Dorobanți
    Dorobanti
    Dorobanţi is a neighborhood in Sector 1, Bucharest. The neighborhood is dominated by red brick buildings and glass buildings. Main intersections/squares are Perla, Dorobanţi Square, Lahovari, Charles de Gaulle and Quito Square. Main streets are Calea Dorobanţilor, Iancu de Hunedoara Avenue, Lascăr...

    , Băneasa
    Baneasa
    Băneasa is a borough in the north side of Bucharest, near the Băneasa Lake . Like all north-side districts of Bucharest, it is relatively sparsely populated, with large areas of parkland...

    , Aviației, Pipera
    Pipera
    Pipera is a district of Voluntari city, situated in the north part of Bucharest, Romania.Until 1995, it was an ordinary village. After that, an "el dorado" of land transactions began. Plots of land that were 1 USD/m² reached in 2005 the amount of 250 USD/m²...

    , Aviatorilor, Primăverii, Romană, Victoriei, Herăstrău Park
    Herastrau Park
    Herăstrău Park is a large park on the northern side of Bucharest, Romania, around Lake Herăstrău.The park has an area of about 1.1 km², of which 0.7 km² is the lake. Initially, the area was full of marshes, but these were drained between 1930 and 1935, and the park was opened in 1936...

    , Bucureștii Noi
    Bucurestii Noi
    Bucureştii Noi is a district situated in north-west of Bucharest and of Sector 1.-Overview: Bucurestii Noi district is growing by housing and supermarkets...

    , Dămăroaia, Strǎulești, Grivița
    Grivita
    Griviţa is an area of Bucharest, Romania, centered on the Griviţa Railway Yards , which were and still are an important landmark within the manufacturing landscape of the city...

    , 1 Mai, Băneasa Forest
    Baneasa Forest
    Băneasa Forest is a wood in the north of Bucharest, Romania. Covering some 80,000 hectares, the ground is located in proximity to Băneasa neighborhood and Băneasa Airport...

    , Pajura, Domenii
  • Sector 2
    Sector 2 (Bucharest)
    Sector 2 is a sector in Bucharest.-Demographics:Sector 2 is the city's most multicultural sector. In particular, it contains Romania's largest community of Chinese people, who mainly live in the districts of Colentina and Obor....

    (population 357,338): Pantelimon
    Pantelimon, Bucharest
    Pantelimon is a working-class neighborhood located in south-eastern Bucharest, Romania, in Sector 2. Outside Bucharest, there is an adjacent town named Pantelimon, administered separately....

    , Colentina
    Colentina, Bucharest
    Colentina is one of the main neighborhoods in Bucharest's 2nd district located on the north-east of the city. A local folk etymology says that the name is derived from "colea-n-tină" , this being the answer given by a spătar to Matei Basarab, who asked the former where he had defeated the Ottoman...

    , Iancului
    Iancului
    Iancului is the name of a district in the northeastern part of Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Piaţa Iancului is also the name of an intersection in the same district, and has a connection to the Iancului metro station....

    , Tei
    Tei, Bucharest
    Tei is a neighborhood in Bucharest, Romania - Sector 2. The name comes from the name of the lake in this area: Lacul Tei . The name of the lake comes from the linden woods that existed around him in the past...

    , Floreasca, Moşilor
    Mosilor
    Moşilor is a residential quarter in Bucharest's Sector 2.It houses the Foişorul de Foc and Silvestru Church. Its name derives from the main avenue Calea Moşilor which in turn is named after a well-known fair held in Obor square from the 18th century up to the 1950s...

    , Obor
    Obor
    Obor is the name of a square and the surrounding district of Bucharest, the capital of Romania. There is also a Bucharest Metro station named Obor, which lies in this area....

    , Vatra Luminoasă, Fundeni, Plumbuita, Ștefan cel Mare, Baicului
  • Sector 3
    Sector 3 (Bucharest)
    Sector 3 is a sector in Bucharest.-Quarters:*Balta Albă*Centrul Civic*Dristor*Dudeşti*Lipscani*Muncii*Titan*Unirii*Vitan*Timpuri Noi*Decebal-Politics:...

    (population 399,231): Vitan, Dudești
    Dudesti, Bucharest
    Dudeşti is a neighbourhood in south-eastern Bucharest, along the Calea Dudeşti. Nearby neighbourhoods include Vitan, Văcăreşti and Dristor....

    , Titan
    Titan, Bucharest
    Titan is a neighborhood of Eastern Bucharest, part of Sector 3. It surrounds the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park, formerly known as "Titan", "I.O.R." , and "Balta Albă" ....

    , Centrul Civic, Dristor
    Dristor
    Dristor is a neighborhood located in the southeastern part of Bucharest. Nearby districts include Dudeşti, Vitan, Văcăreşti and Titan. The Dristor metro station is a major node of Bucharest Metro's network....

    , Lipscani
    Lipscani
    Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia...

    , Muncii, Unirii
  • Sector 4
    Sector 4 (Bucharest)
    -Politics:The mayor of the sector is Cristian Popescu Piedone, from the Conservative Party. The Local Council of Sector 4 has 27 seats, with the following party composition :...

    (population 300,331): Berceni
    Berceni, Bucharest
    Berceni is a district of southern Bucharest.-Location:Geographically, it has a trapezoidal shape, bordered by Oltenitei Road and Turnu Magurele Street in the north and south, respectively. Built during the 1960s, it is a typical Communist-era working class district, lacking any major green spaces...

    , Olteniței
    Oltenitei
    Olteniţei is a quarter in Bucharest's Sector 4....

    , Giurgiului
    Giurgiului
    Giurgiului is a small neighborhood in Bucharest situated in the south, near Berceni and Ferentari. As Berceni, Giurgiului has a plenty of 10 floors blocks of flats which were built by the communists during the early 1970s. The average population is between 30000 and 40000...

    , Progresul
    Progresul
    Progresul is a district in southern Bucharest's Sectorul 4....

    , Văcărești
    Vacaresti, Bucharest
    Văcăreşti is a neighbourhood in south-eastern Bucharest, located near Dâmboviţa River and the Văcăreşti Lake. Nearby neighbourhoods include Vitan, Olteniţei and Berceni. Originally a village, it was included in Bucharest as it expanded...

    , Timpuri Noi, Tineretului
  • Sector 5
    Sector 5 (Bucharest)
    Sector 5 is a sector in Bucharest.-Quarters:*13 Septembrie*Cotroceni*Dealul Spirii*Giurgiului*Ferentari*Rahova-Politics:...

    (population 288,690): Rahova
    Rahova
    Rahova is a neighbourhood of southwest Bucharest, Romania, situated in Sector 5, west of Dâmboviţa River. It is named after the Bulgarian town Rahovo , site of a battle in the Romanian War of Independence....

    , Ferentari
    Ferentari
    Ferentari is a neighbourhood located in the 5th Sector of Bucharest, Romania.-Etymology:It is considered that the name of "Ferentari" contributes in a great measure to its reputation due to its exotic sound: the word "Ferentari" comes from the Latin word "Ferentarius" meaning "soldier in the old...

    , Giurgiului
    Giurgiului
    Giurgiului is a small neighborhood in Bucharest situated in the south, near Berceni and Ferentari. As Berceni, Giurgiului has a plenty of 10 floors blocks of flats which were built by the communists during the early 1970s. The average population is between 30000 and 40000...

    , Cotroceni
    Cotroceni
    Cotroceni is a neighbourhood in western Bucharest, Romania located around the Cotroceni hill, in Bucharest's Sector 6.The Hill of Cotroceni was once covered by the forest of Vlăsia, which covered most of today's Bucharest...

    , 13 Septembrie, Dealul Spirii
  • Sector 6
    Sector 6 (Bucharest)
    Sector 6 is a sector in Bucharest.-Politics:The mayor of the sector is Cristian Poteraş, from the Democratic Liberal Party. The Local Council of Sector 6 has 27 seats, with the following party composition :...

    (population 371,060): Giulești
    Giulesti
    Giuleşti is a neighbourhood in northwestern Bucharest, in Sector 6. The Giuleşti Stadium, Giuleşti Theatre, Podul Grant are located in Giuleşti...

    , Crângași
    Crângasi
    Crângaşi is one of the smallest neighbourhoods in the 6th Sector of Bucharest, Romania. It is situated on the west side of the city near the Dâmboviţa River, where it flows into Lacul Morii. Its name means "people living in a young forest". Nearby neighbourhoods include Giuleşti....

    , Drumul Taberei
    Drumul Taberei
    Drumul Taberei is a neighbourhood located in the south-west of Bucharest, Romania, roughly between Timişoara Avenue and Ghencea Avenue, neighboring Militari to the North, Panduri to the East and Ghencea and Rahova to the South and South-East.It is one of the few examples of successful urban...

    , Militari
    Militari
    Militari is a district in the western part of Bucharest, in Sector 6. It is home of more than 100,000 inhabitants.In the past a village called "Militari" existed here, but today they are only few houses left from this time....

    , Grozǎvești (also known as Regie), Ghencea
    Ghencea
    Ghencea is a district of the Romanian capital city Bucharest, which is home to the famous football team FC Steaua Bucureşti. It is also home to the rugby team Steaua Bucureşti Rugby.-Notable landmarks:*Stadionul Steaua, home stadium of Steaua Bucureşti...



Like all other local councils in Romania, the Bucharest sectoral councils, the city's General Council
General Council of Bucharest
The General Council of Bucharest is the legislative body of the Municipality of Bucharest, and is made up of 55 councillors elected every four years...

 and the mayors are elected every four years by the population. Additionally, Bucharest has a prefect, who is appointed by Romania's central government. The prefect is not allowed to be a member of a political party. The prefect's role is to represent the national government at local level, acting as a liaison and facilitating the implementation of National Development Plans and governing programs at local level. The current prefect of Bucharest (as of 2010) is Mihai Cristian Atanasoaiei.

The Municipality of Bucharest, along with the surrounding Ilfov county
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

, forms the Bucharest development region, which is equivalent to NUTS-II regions in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and is used by the European Union and the Romanian Government for statistical analysis and regional development. The Bucharest development region is not, however, an administrative entity.

Justice system

Bucharest's judicial system is similar to that of the Romanian counties. Each of the six sectors has its own local first instance court (judecătorie), while appeals from these courts' verdicts, and more serious cases, are directed to the Bucharest Tribunal, the city's municipal court. The Bucharest Court of Appeal judges appeals against decisions taken by tribunals in Bucharest and in five surrounding counties (Teleorman, Ialomiţa, Giurgiu, Călăraşi and Ilfov). Bucharest is also home to Romania's supreme court, the High Court of Cassation and Justice
High Court of Cassation and Justice
The High Court of Cassation and Justice is Romania's supreme court, and the court of last resort. It is the equivalent of France's Cour de cassation and serves a similar function to other courts of cassation around the world...

, as well as to the Constitutional Court of Romania
Constitutional Court of Romania
The Constitutional Court of Romania is the institution which rules on whether the laws, decrees or other bills enacted by Romanian authorities are in conformity with the Constitution....

.

Bucharest has its own municipal police force, the Bucharest Police (Poliția București), which is responsible for policing of crime within the whole city, and operates a number of special divisions. The Bucharest Police are headquartered on Ştefan cel Mare Blvd. in the city centre, and has a number of precincts throughout the city. From 2004 onwards, each Sector City Hall also has under its administration a Community Police force (Poliția Comunitară
Politia Comunitara
Poliţia Comunitară is the generic name for the local police in Romania - on city or commune level. They are subordinated to the mayors and their main duties are to enforce the local ordinances and to assist the National Police and the Gendarmerie in maintaining and restoring the public order.-See...

), dealing with local community issues. Bucharest also houses the General Inspectorates of the Gendarmerie and the National Police
Romanian Police
The Romanian Police is the national police force and main civil law enforcement agency in Romania. It is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform.-Duties:The Romanian Police are responsible for:...

.

Crime

Bucharest's crime rate is rather low in comparison to other European capital cities, with the number of total offenses declining by 51% between 2000 and 2004. The violent crime rate in Bucharest remains very low, with 11 murders and 983 other violent offenses taking place in 2007. Although in the 2000s there have been a number of police crackdowns on organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 gangs, such as the Cămătaru clan, organized crime generally has little impact on public life. Petty crime, however, is more common, particularly in the form of pickpocketing
Pickpocketing
Pickpocketing is a form of larceny that involves the stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without their noticing the theft at the time. It requires considerable dexterity and a knack for misdirection...

, which occurs mainly on the city's public transport network. Confidence trick
Confidence trick
A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

s were common in the 1990s, especially in regards to tourists, but the frequency of these incidents has since declined. Levels of crime are higher in the southern districts of the city, particularly in Ferentari
Ferentari
Ferentari is a neighbourhood located in the 5th Sector of Bucharest, Romania.-Etymology:It is considered that the name of "Ferentari" contributes in a great measure to its reputation due to its exotic sound: the word "Ferentari" comes from the Latin word "Ferentarius" meaning "soldier in the old...

, a socially-disadvantaged area.

Although the presence of street children
Street children
A street child is a child who lives on the streets of a city, deprived of family care and protection. Most children on the streets are between the ages of about 5 and 17 years old.Street children live in junk boxes, parks or on the street itself...

 was a problem in Bucharest in the 1990s, their numbers have declined significantly in recent years, currently lying at or below the average of major European capital cities. A documentary called Children Underground
Children Underground
Children Underground is a 2001 documentary film directed by Edet Belzberg.Homeless children are the casualties of Romania's recent history. In an effort to increase the nation's work force, former communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu outlawed contraception and abortion in 1966. Thousands of unwanted...

 depicted the life of Romanian street kids in 2001. There are still an estimated 1,000 street children in the city, some of whom engage in petty crime and begging.

Quality of life


As stated by the Mercer
Mercer (consulting firm)
Mercer is a human resource and related financial services consulting firm, headquartered in New York City. The firm operates internationally in more than 40 countries, with more than 19,000 employees, and is the world's largest human resource consulting firm....

 international surveys for quality of life in cities around the world, Bucharest occupied the 94th place in 2001 and slipped lower, to the 108th place in 2009 and the 107th place in 2010. Compared to it, Vienna occupied No. 1 worldwide in 2011 and 2009. Budapest ranked 73rd (2010) and Sofia 114th (2010). Mercer Human Resource Consulting issues yearly a global ranking of the world's most livable cities based on 39 key quality-of-life issues. Among them: political stability, currency-exchange regulations, political and media censorship, school quality, housing, the environment, public safety. Mercer collects data worldwide, in 215 cities. The difficult situation of the quality of life in Bucharest is confirmed also by a vast urbanism study, done by the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism
The Universitatea de Arhitectură şi Urbanism Ion Mincu din Bucureşti is a public university in Bucharest, Romania, founded in 1952....

.

Demographics

The city's population, according to the 2002 census, is 1,926,334 inhabitants, or 8.9% of the total population of Romania. A significant number of people (possibly hundreds of thousands) commute to the city every day, mostly from the surrounding Ilfov
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

 county, however official statistics regarding their numbers do not exist.

Bucharest's population experienced two phases of rapid growth, the first beginning in the late 19th century when the city was consolidated as the national capital and lasting until the Second World War, and the second during the Ceauşescu years (1965–1989), when a massive urbanization campaign was launched and many people migrated from rural areas to the capital. At this time, due to Ceauşescu's decision to ban abortion and contraception, natural increase was also significant.

Approximately 96.9% of the population of Bucharest are Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

. The second largest ethnic group being are Roma (Gypsies), which make up 1.4% of the population. Other significant ethnic groups are Hungarians (0.3%), Jews (0.1%), Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 (0,1%), Chinese (0,1) and Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 (0,1%). A relatively small number of Bucharesters are of Greek
Greeks in Romania
There has been a Greek presence in Romania for at least 27 centuries. At times, as during the Phanariote era, this presence has amounted to hegemony; at other times , the Greeks have simply been one among the many ethnic minorities in Romania.-Ancient and Medieval Period:The Greek presence in what...

, North American
North American
North American generally refers to an entity, people, group, or attribute of North America, especially of the United States and Canada together.-Culture:*North American English, a collective term used to describe American English and Canadian English...

, French, Armenian
Armenians in Romania
Armenians have been present in what is now Romania and Moldova for over a millennium, and have been an important presence as traders since the 14th century...

, Lippovan
Lipovans
Lipovans or Lippovans are the Old Believers, mostly of Russian ethnic origin, who settled in the Moldavian Principality, in Dobruja and Eastern Muntenia...

 and Italian descent. One of the predominantly Greek neighborhoods was Vitan – where a Jewish population also lived; the latter was more present in Văcărești
Vacaresti, Bucharest
Văcăreşti is a neighbourhood in south-eastern Bucharest, located near Dâmboviţa River and the Văcăreşti Lake. Nearby neighbourhoods include Vitan, Olteniţei and Berceni. Originally a village, it was included in Bucharest as it expanded...

 and areas around Unirii Square.

In terms of religious affiliation, 96.1% of the population are Romanian Orthodox
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

, 1.2% are Roman Catholic, 0.5% are Muslim
Islam in Romania
Islam in Romania is followed by only 0.3 percent of population, but has 700 years of tradition in Northern Dobruja, a region on the Black Sea coast which was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries . In present-day Romania, most adherents to Islam belong to the Tatar and Turkish ethnic...

 and 0.4% are Romanian Greek Catholic
Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic
The Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic is an Eastern Catholic Church which is in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It is ranked as a Major Archiepiscopal Church and uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language....

. Despite this, only 18% of the population, of any religion, attend a place of worship once a week or more. The life expectancy of residents of Bucharest in 2003–2005 was 74.14 years, around 2 years higher than the Romanian average. Female life expectancy was 77.41 years, in comparison to 70.57 years for males.

Economy

Bucharest is the centre of the Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n economy and industry, accounting for around 22.7% (2010) of the country's GDP and about one-quarter of its industrial production, while being inhabited by only 9% of the country's population. Almost one third of national taxes are paid by Bucharest's citizens and companies. In 2007, at purchasing power parity, Bucharest had a per-capita GDP of €20,057, or 92.2% that of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 average and more than twice the Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n average. After relative stagnation in the 1990s, the city's strong economic growth has revitalized infrastructure and led to the development of many shopping malls, residential estates and high-rise office buildings. In September 2005, Bucharest had an unemployment rate of 2.6%, significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.7%.
Bucharest's economy is mainly centred on industry and services, with services particularly growing in importance in the last ten years. The headquarters of 186,000 firms, including nearly all large Romanian companies are located in Bucharest. An important source of growth since 2000 has been the city's rapidly expanding property and construction sector. Bucharest is also Romania's largest centre for information technology and communications and is home to several software companies operating offshore delivery centres.
Romania's largest stock exchange, the Bucharest Stock Exchange
Bucharest Stock Exchange
The Bucharest Stock Exchange is a stock exchange in Bucharest, capital of Romania. On December 1, 2005, Bucharest's electronic over-the-counter stock market, Rasdaq, was merged with the Bucharest Stock Exchange....

, which was merged in December 2005 with the Bucharest-based electronic stock exchange Rasdaq, plays a major role in the city's economy.

There are a number of major international supermarket chains such as Carrefour
Carrefour
Carrefour S.A. is an international hypermarket chain headquartered in Levallois-Perret, France. It is one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world...

, Cora
Cora (hypermarket)
Cora is a retail group based in Belgium which owns several supermarket and hypermarket chains internationally. Formed in 1974, the corporation's brands include Match, Profi, Truffaut, Ecomax, Animalis, Sovena and Houra, as well as Cora-branded hypermarkets....

 and METRO
Metro AG
Metro AG is a diversified retail and wholesale/cash and carry group based in Düsseldorf, Germany. It has the largest market share in its home market, and is one of the most globalised retail and wholesale corporations. It is the fourth-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues . In English...

 operating in Bucharest. At the moment, the city is undergoing a retail boom, with a large numbers of new supermarkets and hypermarkets opened every year (see supermarkets in Romania
Supermarkets in Romania
This is a list of supermarket and other retail chains in Romania . The concept of supermarkets or hypermarkets came to Romania after 1989 and most supermarkets are made up of joint ventures between Romanian and foreign investors...

). Numerous malls and large shopping centres have been built since the late 1990s, such as AFI Palace Cotroceni, Sun Plaza
Sun Plaza
Sun Plaza is a shopping mall in Bucharest, Romania, developed by EMCT Romania and Sparkassen Immobilien AG, under the design of the Spanish architect Chapman Taylor.The mall has:* 1 hypermarket Cora * 1 DIY Baumax...

, Băneasa Shopping City
Baneasa Shopping City
Baneasa Shopping City is a shopping mall in Bucharest, Romania.-External links :* *...

, Plaza Romania
Plaza Romania
The Plaza Romania is a shopping mall in Bucharest, Romania. The construction, based on an uncompleted hunger circus abandoned after fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu, has 3 distinguishible parts — a central structure with a dome 40 metres in diameter, and two new and complex wing structures...

, Liberty Center and Unirea Shopping Center
Unirea Shopping Center
Unirea Shopping Center is a large shopping centre located in Unirii Square, Bucharest, Romania.Opened in 1976 and enlarged in 1989, it was the largest department store in Communist Romania. Converted, in 1990's, into a shopping centre, the complex has a total area of and 1000 parking spaces...

. There are also a large number of traditional retail arcades and markets such as the one at Obor
Obor
Obor is the name of a square and the surrounding district of Bucharest, the capital of Romania. There is also a Bucharest Metro station named Obor, which lies in this area....

.

Transport


Public transport

Bucharest's extensive public transport system is the largest in Romania and one of the largest in Europe. It is made up of the Bucharest Metro
Bucharest Metro
The Bucharest Metro is an underground urban railway network that serves the capital of Romania, Bucharest. The network is run by Metrorex. It is one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with a ridership of 177.23 million passengers in 2010...

, as well as a surface transport system run by RATB (Regia Autonomă de Transport București), which consists of bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

es, trams, trolleybus
Trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...

es, and light rail
Bucharest Light rail
The Bucharest light rail is a light rail transit system in Bucharest, Romania.Operated by the Regia Autonomă de Transport Bucureşti , the municipal public transit operator, the service is technically similar to a light rail and not to a light metro system.-History:Light rail use more modern...

. In addition, there is a private minibus system. As of 2007, there is a limit of 10,000 taxicab licenses, down from 25,000 in the 1990s, and the even higher demand is supplied by taxis registered in Ilfov county.

Railways

Bucharest is the hub of Romania's national railway network, run by Căile Ferate Române
Caile Ferate Române
Căile Ferate Române is the official designation of the state railway carrier of Romania. Romania has a railway network of of which are electrified and the total track length is . The network is significantly interconnected with other European railway networks, providing pan-European passenger...

. The main railway station is Gara de Nord
Gara de Nord
București Gara de Nord is the main railway station in Bucharest and the largest railway station in Romania...

, or North Station, which provides connections to all major cities in Romania as well as international destinations:: Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 (Београд): Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

: Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

 (София), Varna
Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

 (Варна): Chişinău
Chisinau
Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

: Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 (Київ), Chernivtsi
Chernivtsi
Chernivtsi is the administrative center of Chernivtsi Oblast in southwestern Ukraine. The city is situated on the upper course of the River Prut, a tributary of the Danube, in the northern part of the historic region of Bukovina, which is currently divided between Romania and Ukraine...

 (Чернівці), Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

 (Львів): Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 (Θεσσαλονίκη): Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 (Wien): Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (İstanbul): Moscow (Москва)

The city also has five other railway stations run by CFR, most important are Basarab (in proximity of North Station), Obor, Baneasa, Progresu, which are in the process of being integrated in a commuter railway serving Bucharest and the surrounding Ilfov county
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

. 7 main lines radiate out of Bucharest.

Air

Bucharest has two international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

s:
  • Henri Coandă International Airport
    Henri Coanda International Airport
    Henri Coandă International Airport is Romania's busiest international airport, located northwest of the city of Bucharest, within Otopeni city limits. One of two airports serving the Romanian capital, the other being Băneasa, it is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of...

     (IATA: OTP, ICAO: LROP), located 16.5 km (10.3 mi) north of the Bucharest city center, in the town of Otopeni, Ilfov. Currently the airport has one terminal divided into two inter-connected buildings (Departures Hall and Arrivals Hall). The International Departures Hall consists of 36 check-in desks, one finger with 24 gates (14 equipped with jetways), while the Domestic Hall has an extra four gates. Today's Arrivals Hall is actually the old Otopeni terminal, while the new Departures Hall, including the finger and the airbridges was built and inaugurated in 1997. An expansion of the finger was opened in March 2011, other expansions of Departure Hall and Arrivals Hall are underway and a new terminal on the east side is in project phase. The airport received 5,064,230 passengers in 2008.

  • Aurel Vlaicu International Airport
    Aurel Vlaicu International Airport
    -Terminated destinations:-See also:*Aviation in Romania*Transport in Romania*Blue Air-External links:**...

     (IATA: BBU, ICAO: LRBS) is situated only 8 km (5 mi) north of the Bucharest city center and is accessible by RATB buses 131, 335, 301, tramway 5 and Airport Express 783 and taxi. An extension of Line M2 of the Bucharest Metro to Aurel Vlaicu International, which will link it to the Main Train Station and the larger Henri Coandă International Airport, was approved in June 2006 and is currently in its planning stage. In 2010, the airport received 2,118,150 passengers.

Roads

Bucharest is also a major intersection of Romania's national road network. A few of the busiest national roads and motorways, link the city to all of Romania's major cities as well as to neighbouring countries such as Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Bulgaria and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. The A1
A1 freeway (Romania)
The A1 is currently a 111 kilometre motorway linking Bucharest, the capital of Romania, with Piteşti, a city in Argeş County. The Sibiu motorway bypass is also designated as part of the A1...

 to Piteşti and the A2 Sun Motorway to the Dobrogea region and Constanta both start from Bucharest. The future A3 and A5 motorways will radiate from Voluntari
Voluntari
Voluntari is a town in Ilfov county, Romania. It is located at a distance of 1 km from the northern border of Bucharest and is thus frequently viewed as a suburb of Bucharest....

, a town in the city's northern outskirts.

The city's municipal road network is centred around a series of high-capacity boulevards, which generally radiate out from the city centre to the outskirts. The main axes, which run north-south, east-west and northwest-southeast, as well as one internal and one external ring road, support the bulk of the traffic. The city's roads are usually very crowded during rush hours, due to an increase in car ownership in recent years. Every day, there are more than one million vehicles travelling within the city. This results in occasional wear and pothole
Pothole
A pothole is a type of disruption in the surface of a roadway where a portion of the road material has broken away, leaving a hole.- Formation :...

s appearing on busy roads, particularly secondary roads, this being identified as one of Bucharest's main infrastructural problems. In recent years, there has been a comprehensive effort on behalf of the City Hall to boost road infrastructure and according to the general development plan, 2,000 roads have been repaired by 2008. On 17 June 2011, the Basarab Overpass was inaugurated and opened to traffic, thus completing the inner city traffic ring. The overpass took 5 years to build and is the longest cable-stayed bridge
Cable-stayed bridge
A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns , with cables supporting the bridge deck....

 in Romania and the widest such bridge in Europe; upon completion, traffic on the Grant Bridge and in the Gara de Nord
Gara de Nord
București Gara de Nord is the main railway station in Bucharest and the largest railway station in Romania...

 area became noticeably more fluid.

Water

Although it is situated on the banks of a river, Bucharest has never functioned as a port city, with other Romanian cities such as Constanța
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

 and Galați
Galati
Galați is a city and municipality in Romania, the capital of Galați County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, in the close vicinity of Brăila, Galați is the largest port and sea port on the Danube River and the second largest Romanian port....

 acting as the country's main ports. The unfinished Danube-Bucharest Canal
Danube-Bucharest Canal
The Danube–Bucharest Canal is a long canal project that is planned to link Bucharest, Romania, to the Danube via Argeş River.The earliest plans, made by engineer Nicolae Cucu in 1880, sought to link Bucharest to the Danube at Olteniţa. In 1927, a study by Alexandru Davidescu was published at the...

, which is 73 km (45 mi) long and approximately 70% completed, could link Bucharest to the Danube River and, via the Danube-Black Sea Canal
Danube-Black Sea Canal
The Danube – Black Sea Canal is a canal in Romania which runs from Cernavodă on the Danube to Agigea and Năvodari on the Black Sea...

, to the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Works on the canal were suspended in 1989, but there have been recent proposals to resume construction as part of the European Strategy for the Danube Region.

Culture

Bucharest has a diverse and growing cultural scene, with cultural life exhibited in a number of various fields, including the visual arts
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

, performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

 and nightlife. Unlike other parts of Romania, such as the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 coast or Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, 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."

Landmarks

Bucharest has a large number of landmark buildings and monuments. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

, built in the 1980s during the reign of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. Currently the largest building in Europe and the second-largest in the world, the Palace houses the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Romania
The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house in Romania's bicameral parliament. It has 315 seats, to which deputies are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms...

 and the Senate
Senate of Romania
The Senate of Romania is the upper house in the bicameral Parliament of Romania. It has 137 seats , to which members are elected by direct popular vote, using Mixed member proportional representation in 42 electoral districts , to serve four-year terms.-Former location:After the Romanian...

), as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The building also boasts one of the largest convention centres in the world.

Another well-known landmark in Bucharest is Arcul de Triumf
Arcul de Triumf
Arcul de Triumf is a triumphal arch located in the northern part of Bucharest, on the Kiseleff Road.The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly, after Romania gained its independence , so that the victorious troops could march under it...

 (The Triumphal Arch), built in its current form in 1935 and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

 in Paris. A newer landmark of the city is the Memorial of Rebirth
Memorial of Rebirth
The Memorial of Rebirth is a memorial in Bucharest, Romania that commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism...

, a stylized marble pillar unveiled in 2005 to commemorate the victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, which overthrew Communism. The abstract monument sparked a great deal of controversy when it was unveiled, being dubbed with names such as "the olive in the toothpick", ("măslina-n scobitoare"), as many argued that it does not fit in its surroundings and believed that its choice was based on political reasons.

The Romanian Athenaeum
Romanian Athenaeum
The Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall in the center of Bucharest, Romania and a landmark of the Romanian capital city. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and home of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and of the George Enescu annual international...

 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
National Museum of Art of Romania
The National Museum of Art of Romania is located in the former royal palace in Revolution Square, central Bucharest, Romania, completed in 1937...

, Museum of Natural History "Grigore Antipa", Museum of the Romanian Peasant
Museum of the Romanian Peasant
The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a museum in Bucharest, Romania, with a collection of textiles , icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life...

 (Muzeul Ţăranului Român), National History Museum
National Museum of Romanian History
The National Museum of Romanian History is a museum on Calea Victoriei in Bucharest, Romania, which contains Romanianhistorical artifacts from prehistoric times up to modern times....

, and the Military Museum
National Military Museum (Romania)
The National Military Museum , located at 125-127 Mircea Vulcănescu St., Bucharest, Romania, was established in 1923 by King Ferdinand. It has been at its present site since 1988, in a building finished in 1898.- External links :...

.

Visual arts

In terms of visual arts
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

, 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
National Museum of Art of Romania
The National Museum of Art of Romania is located in the former royal palace in Revolution Square, central Bucharest, Romania, completed in 1937...

 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
Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brâncuşi was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. As a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest, then to Munich, then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris...

, as well as a prominent international collection assembled by the former Romanian royal family.

Other, smaller museums, contain more specialised collections of works. The Zambaccian Museum
Zambaccian Museum
The Zambaccian Museum in Bucharest, Romania is a museum in the former home of Krikor Zambaccian , an Armenian businessman and art collector. The museum was founded in 1947, closed by the Ceauşescu regime in 1977, and re-opened in 1992. It is now a branch of The National Museum of Art of Romania...

, 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
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

, Eugène Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school...

, Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

, Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas . His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as he was the only artist to exhibit in both forms...

 and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

.

The Gheorghe Tattarescu
Gheorghe Tattarescu
Gheorghe Tattarescu was a Moldavian-born Romanian painter and a pioneer of neoclassicism in his country's modern painting.-Early life and studies:...

 Museum contains portraits of Romanian revolutionaries in exile such as Gheorghe Magheru
Gheorghe Magheru
General Gheorghe Magheru was a Romanian revolutionary and soldier from Wallachia, and political ally of Nicolae Bălcescu.-A Pandur and radical conspirator:...

, Ștefan Golescu
Stefan Golescu
Ştefan Golescu was a Wallachian Romanian politician who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for two terms from March 1, 1867 to August 5, 1867 and from November 13, 1867 to April 30, 1868, and as Prime Minister of Romania between November 26, 1867 and May 12, 1868.-Biography:Born in a boyar...

, Nicolae Bălcescu
Nicolae Balcescu
Nicolae Bălcescu was a Romanian Wallachian soldier, historian, journalist, and leader of the 1848 Wallachian Revolution.-Early life:...

 and allegorical compositions with revolutionary (Romania's rebirth, 1849) and patriotic (The Principalities' Unification, 1857) themes.
The Theodor Pallady Museum
Theodor Pallady Museum
The Theodor Pallady Museum is a museum situated in one of the oldest surviving merchant houses in Bucharest, Romania. It includes many works by the well-known Romanian painter Theodor Pallady, as well as a number of European and Oriental furniture pieces....

 is situated in one of the oldest surviving merchant houses in Bucharest and includes many works by Romanian painter Theodor Pallady
Theodor Pallady
Theodor Pallady was a Romanian painter.-Biography:Pallady was born in Iaşi, but at a young age, his family moved to Dresden, where he studied engineering at the Dresden University of Technology between 1887 and 1889. At the same time, he studied art with Erwin Oehme, who, recognising his artistic...

 as well as a number of European and Oriental furniture pieces.
The Museum of Art Collections
Museum of Art Collections
The Museum of Art Collections is a branch of the National Museum of Art of Romania and is situated in Bucharest. It contains 44 collections donated to the Romanian State beginning with 1927 by the families of: Hurmuz Aznavorian, Dumitru and Maria Ştefănescu, Josefina and Eugen Taru, Emanoil Romulus...

 contains the collections of a number of well-known Romanian art aficionados, including Krikor Zambaccian and Theodor Pallady.

Despite the extensive classical art galleries and museums in the city, there is also a contemporary arts scene that has become increasingly prominent in recent times. The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), situated in a wing of the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

, was opened in 2004 and contains a widespread collection of Romanian and international contemporary art, in a number of expressive forms. The MNAC also manages the Kalinderu MediaLab, which caters specifically to multimedia and experimental art. There is also a range of smaller, private art galleries throughout the city centre.

The palace of the National Bank of Romania houses the national numismatic collection. Exhibits include banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

s, coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

s, documents, photographs, maps, silver and gold bullion bars, bullion coins, dies and moulds
Molding (process)
Molding or moulding is the process of manufacturing by shaping pliable raw material using a rigid frame or model called a pattern....

. The building itself was constructed between 1884 and 1890. The thesaurus room contains notable marble decorations.

Performing arts

Performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

 are one of the strongest cultural elements of Bucharest, and the city has a number of world-renowned facilities and institutions. The most famous symphony orchestra is National Radio Orchestra of Romania
National Radio Orchestra of Romania
National Radio Orchestra of Romania is the Romanian National symphony orchestra.- History :* National Radio Orchestra was founded in 1928 by the composer and conductor Mihail Jora and is the principal ensemble of the Musical ensembles of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society.- Chief conductors...

. One of the most prominent buildings is the neoclassical Romanian Athenaeum
Romanian Athenaeum
The Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall in the center of Bucharest, Romania and a landmark of the Romanian capital city. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and home of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and of the George Enescu annual international...

, which was founded in 1852, and hosts classical music concerts, the George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.-Biography:Enescu was born in the village of Liveni , Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical...

 Festival, and is home to the "George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.-Biography:Enescu was born in the village of Liveni , Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical...

" Philharmonic. Bucharest is also home to the Romanian National Opera
Romanian National Opera
The Romanian National Opera is one of the national opera companies of Romania, situated in a historical building in Bucharest, near the Cotroceni neighbourhood....

, as well as the I.L. Caragiale National Theatre. Another well-known theatre in Bucharest is the State Jewish Theatre
State Jewish Theater (Romania)
Teatrul Evreiesc de Stat in Bucharest, Romania is a theater specializing in Jewish-related plays. Its contemporary repertoire includes plays by Jewish authors, plays on Jewish topics, and plays in Yiddish...

, which has gained increasing prominence in recent years due partly to the fact that it features plays starring world-renowned Romanian-Jewish actress Maia Morgenstern
Maia Morgenstern
Maia Morgenstern is a Romanian film and stage actress, described by Florin Mitu of AMOS News as "a symbol of Romanian theater and film". In the English-speaking world, she is probably best known for the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ...

. There is also a large number of smaller theatres throughout the city that cater to specific genres, such as the Comedy Theatre, the Nottara Theatre, the Bulandra Theatre
Bulandra Theatre
The Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest, Romania was founded in 1947 as Teatrul Municipal; its first director was Lucia Sturdza Bulandra, one of the leading Romanian stage actresses of her generation...

, the Odeon Theatre, and the Constantin Tănase
Constantin Tanase
Constantin Tănase was a Romanian actor and writer for stage, a key figure in the revue style of theater in Romania.-Life:Born into a working-class family living in a peasant house in Vaslui, Romania...

 Revue Theatre.

Music and nightlife

Bucharest is home to Romania's largest recording labels, and is often the residence of Romanian musicians. The city's music scene is eclectic
Eclecticism in music
Eclecticism is used to describe a composer's conscious use of styles alien to his nature, or from one or more historical styles. The term is also used pejoratively to describe music whose composer, thought to be lacking originality, appears to have freely drawn on other models .-Sources:* Kennedy,...

. Many Romanian rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Iris
IRIS (Romanian band)
Iris is a Romanian hard rock band established in 1977 by Ioan Dumitrescu , Ion Olteanu and Emil Lechinţeanu...

 and Holograf, continue to be popular, particularly with the middle-aged, while since the beginning of the 1990s the hip hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

/rap
Rapping
Rapping refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into “content”, “flow” , and “delivery”...

 scene has developed a unique sound and style indigenous to eastern Bucharest. Hip-hop bands and artists from Bucharest such as B.U.G. Mafia
B.U.G. Mafia
B.U.G. Mafia is a Romanian hip hop group from Pantelimon, Bucharest, widely regarded as one of the seminal acts of gangsta rap in Romania. Founded in 1993, it was among the first Romanian hip hop acts.The original line-up consisted of Vlad "Tataee" Irimia, Dragoş "Caddillac" Vlad-Neagu and two...

, Paraziţii
Parazitii
Paraziţii is a Romanian three-man rap and hip hop group founded in 1994. It consists of Cheloo , Ombladon , and FreakaDaDisk .The group is largely known for their dark beats and political humorous lyricism.-History:The group was subject to multiple restrictions by the Romanian National Audiovisual...

, La Familia enjoy national and international recognition.

The eclectic pop-rock band Taxi
Taxi (band)
----Taxi are a Romanian pop-rock band. Their sound is an eclectic mix of rock and contemporary pop, occasionally introducing other influences such as hot Nashville-style guitar licks.The band was founded March 13, 1999 in Bucharest...

 have been gaining international respect, as has Spitalul de Urgenţă
Spitalul de Urgenta
Spitalul de Urgenţă, literally "Emergency Hospital", is a Romanian pop band, integrating elements of traditional Romanian music into a sometimes hard-edged rock sound, although also incorporating influences as diverse as Balkan folk music, European classical music, and cartoon soundtrack music.The...

's raucous updating of traditional Romanian music. While many neighbourhood discos play manele
Manele
Manele is a music style from Romania, generally associated with the Romani minority, though not exclusively....

, an Oriental- and Roma-influenced genre of music that is particularly popular in Bucharest's working class districts, the city has a rich jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 scene, and, to an even larger extent, house music
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

/trance
Trance music
Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that developed in the 1990s.:251 It is generally characterized by a tempo of between 125 and 150 bpm,:252 repeating melodic synthesizer phrases, and a musical form that builds up and breaks down throughout a track...

 and heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

/punk scenes. Bucharest's jazz profile has especially risen since 2002, with the presence of two thriving venues, Green Hours and Art Jazz, as well as an American presence alongside established Romanians. The city's nightlife, particularly its club
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 scene grew significantly since 1990, and continues to develop.

There is no central nightlife strip, with many entertainment venues dispersed throughout the city, with clusters in Lipscani
Lipscani
Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia...

 and Regie. The city hosts some of the best electronic music clubs in Europe such as Studio Martin and Kristal Glam Club
Kristal Glam Club
Kristal Glam Club is a club in Bucharest, Romania, located in Floreasca on Johann Sebastian Bach street. It is regarded as one of the best venues in Romania and Southeast Europe, and has consistently appeared in DJmag's Top 100 Clubs since 2005...

. Some other notable venues are Gaia, Bamboo, Fratelli, Kulturhaus and Fabrica.

Traditional culture

Bucharest's cultural life has, especially since the early 1990s, become colourful 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
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 museums, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant
Museum of the Romanian Peasant
The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a museum in Bucharest, Romania, with a collection of textiles , icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life...

 and the open-air Village Museum
Village Museum
The Village Museum is an open-air ethnographic museum located in the Herăstrău Park , showcasing traditional Romanian village life. The museum extends to over 100,000 m2, and contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over Romania.It was created in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti, Victor Ion...

. The Village Museum, in Herăstrău Park
Herastrau Park
Herăstrău Park is a large park on the northern side of Bucharest, Romania, around Lake Herăstrău.The park has an area of about 1.1 km², of which 0.7 km² is the lake. Initially, the area was full of marshes, but these were drained between 1930 and 1935, and the park was opened in 1936...

, 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 artefacts detailing Romanian history and culture from the prehistoric times, Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

n era, medieval times and the modern era.

Cultural events and festivals

There are a number of cultural festivals in Bucharest throughout the year, in various domains, even though most festivals take place in the summer months of June, July and August. The National Opera organises the International Opera Festival every year in May and June, which includes ensembles and orchestras from all over the world. The Romanian Athaeneum Society hosts the George Enescu Festival
George Enescu Festival
The George Enescu Festival , held in honor of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu, is the biggest classical music festival and classical international competition held in Romania and one of the biggest in Eastern Europe...

 at various locations throughout the city in September every two years (odd years). Additionally, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the Village Museum organise a number of events throughout the year showcasing Romanian folk arts and crafts.

In the first decade of the 21st century, due to the growing prominence of the Chinese community in Bucharest, several Chinese cultural events have taken place. The first officially-organised Chinese festival was the Chinese New Year's Eve
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 Festival of February 2005 which took place in Nichita Stănescu Park and was organised by the Bucharest City Hall.
In 2005, Bucharest was the first city in Southeastern Europe to host the international CowParade
CowParade
CowParade is an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major world cities. Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city centre, in public places such as train stations, important avenues, and parks. They often feature artwork and...

, which resulted in dozens of decorated cow sculptures being placed at various points across the city.

Since 2005 Bucharest has its own contemporary art biennale
Art exhibition
Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or...

, the Bucharest Biennale
Bucharest Biennale
The Bucharest Biennale is a contemporary art festival held every two years in Bucharest, Romania. The first Biennale was held in 2005, with the following one held in May-June 2006. From 2006 onwards, the festival will be held every two years...

. The next edition will be in 2010.

Religious life

Bucharest is the seat of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

, one of the Eastern Orthodox churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople
Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome – ranking as primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox communion, which is seen by followers as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church....

, and also of its subdivisons, the Metropolis of Muntenia and Dobrudja and the Archbishopric of Bucharest. Orthodox believers say that Saint Demetrios is the patron saint 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
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest, Romania was established on 27 April 1883. There had been a Catholic presence in the city since at least the 18th century, but it was only in 1847 that Bishop Josephus Molajoni was able to establish his residence there...

.

Architecture

Bucharest's architecture is highly eclectic
Eclecticism
Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.It can sometimes seem inelegant or...

 due to the many influences on the city throughout its history. The city centre is a mixture of medieval, neoclassical and art nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 buildings, as well as 'neo-Romanian' buildings dating from the beginning of the 20th century and a remarkable collection of modern buildings from the 20s and 30s. The mostly-utilitarian Communist-era architecture dominates most southern boroughs. Recently built contemporary structures such as skyscrapers and office buildings complete the landscape.

Historical architecture

Of the city's medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 architecture, most of what survived into modern times was destroyed by Communist systematization
Systematization (Romania)
Urban planning in communist countries was subject to the ideological constraints of the system. Except for the Soviet Union where the communist regime started in 1917, in Eastern Europe communist governments took power after World War II....

, numerous fires and military incursions. Still, some medieval and renaissance edifices remain, the most notable are in the Lipscani
Lipscani
Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia...

 area. This precinct contains notable buildings such as Manuc's Inn and the ruins of the Curtea Veche
Curtea Veche
Curtea Veche , built as a place or residence during the rule of Vlad III Dracula in the 15th century, now operates as a museum in the centre of Bucharest, Romania. The residence was moved under the rule of Radu cel Frumos, who moved the princely residence and the Wallachian capital to Bucharest...

 (the Old Court), during the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 this area was the heart of commerce in Bucharest. From the 1970s onwards, the area went through urban decline, and many historical buildings fell into disrepair. In 2005, the Lipscani area was entirely pedestrianised and is currently slowly undergoing restoration.

The city centre has also retained architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, which is often seen as the "golden age" of Bucharest architecture.
During this time, the city grew significantly in size and wealth therefore seeking to emulate other large European capitals such as Paris. Much of the architecture of the time belongs to a remarkably strong Modern (rationalist) Architecture current, led by Horia Creanga and Marcel Iancu, which managed to literally change the face of the city.

Two notable buildings from this time are the Crețulescu Palace
Cretulescu Palace
Creţulescu Palace is a historic building near the Cişmigiu Gardens on the Ştirbei Vodă street nr. 39 in Bucharest, Romania...

, currently housing cultural institutions including UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's European Centre for Higher Education, and the Cotroceni Palace
Cotroceni Palace
Cotroceni Palace is a palace in Bucharest which is the residence of the President of Romania, located at Bulevardul Geniului, nr. 1.On Cotroceni Hill, in 1679, Şerban Cantacuzino built a monastery...

, the current residence of the Romanian President
President of Romania
The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term . An individual may serve two terms...

. Many large-scale constructions such as Gara de Nord
Gara de Nord
București Gara de Nord is the main railway station in Bucharest and the largest railway station in Romania...

, the busiest railway station in the city, National Bank of Romania's headquarters and the Telephone Palace date from these times. In the first decade of the 21st century, a wide variety of historic buildings in the city centre underwent restoration. In some residential areas of the city, particularly in high-income central and northern districts, there are many turn-of-the-century villas, most of which were restored beginning with the late 1990s.

Communist architecture

A major part of Bucharest's architecture is made up of buildings constructed during the Communist era
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 replacing the historical architecture with high density apartment blocks – significant portions of the historic center of Bucharest
Ceausima
Ceauşima is a vernacular word construction in Romanian, sarcastically linking former Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu to Hiroshima. This portmanteau term was sometimes coined in the 1980s to describe the huge urban areas of Bucharest that Ceauşescu ordered torn down, comparing the results with...

 were demolished in order to construct one of the largest buildings in the world, the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

 (then officially called the House of the Republic). In Nicolae Ceaușescu's project of systematization
Systematization (Romania)
Urban planning in communist countries was subject to the ideological constraints of the system. Except for the Soviet Union where the communist regime started in 1917, in Eastern Europe communist governments took power after World War II....

 many new buildings were built in previously-historical areas, which were razed
Ceausima
Ceauşima is a vernacular word construction in Romanian, sarcastically linking former Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu to Hiroshima. This portmanteau term was sometimes coined in the 1980s to describe the huge urban areas of Bucharest that Ceauşescu ordered torn down, comparing the results with...

 and then built upon from scratch.

One of the best examples of this type of architecture is Centrul Civic, a development that replaced a major part of Bucharest's historic city centre with giant utilitarian buildings, mainly with marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 or travertine
Travertine
Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot...

 façades, inspired by North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n architecture. Communist-era architecture can also be found in Bucharest's residential districts, mainly in blocuri, which are high-density apartment blocks that house the majority of the city's population.

Contemporary architecture

Since the fall of Communism in 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, several Communist-era buildings have been refurbished, modernised and used for other purposes. Perhaps the best example of this is the conversion of several obsolete retail complexes into shopping malls and commercial centres. These giant circular halls, which were unofficially called hunger circus
Hunger circus
"Hunger circus" was a colloquial name for any in a series of identical buildings which were to be completed as part of Nicolae Ceauşescu's program of systematization during his period as ruler of Romania. Officially designated by the communist regime as "agro-alimentary complexes", the large domed...

es due to the food shortages experienced in the 1980s, were constructed during the Ceaușescu era to act as produce markets and refectories
Refectory
A refectory is a dining room, especially in monasteries, boarding schools and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminaries...

, although most were left unfinished at the time of the Revolution.

Modern shopping malls like Unirea Shopping Center
Unirea Shopping Center
Unirea Shopping Center is a large shopping centre located in Unirii Square, Bucharest, Romania.Opened in 1976 and enlarged in 1989, it was the largest department store in Communist Romania. Converted, in 1990's, into a shopping centre, the complex has a total area of and 1000 parking spaces...

, Bucharest Mall, Plaza Romania
Plaza Romania
The Plaza Romania is a shopping mall in Bucharest, Romania. The construction, based on an uncompleted hunger circus abandoned after fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu, has 3 distinguishible parts — a central structure with a dome 40 metres in diameter, and two new and complex wing structures...

 and City Mall emerged on pre-existent structures of former hunger circuses. Another example is the modernisation and conversion of a large utilitarian construction in Centrul Civic into a Marriott Hotel
Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. is a worldwide operator and franchisor of a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by son J.W. Marriott, Jr...

. This process was accelerated after 2000, when the city underwent a property boom, and many Communist-era buildings in the city centre became prime real estate due to their location. In recent years, many Communist-era apartment blocks have also been refurbished to improve urban appearance.

The newest contribution to Bucharest's architecture took place after the fall of Communism, particularly after 2000, when the city went through a period of urban renewal and architectural revitalization on the back of Romania's rapid economic growth. Buildings from this time are mostly made of glass and steel, and often have more than ten storeys. Examples include shopping malls (particularly the Bucharest Mall, a conversion and extension of an abandoned building), office buildings, bank headquarters, the Bucharest World Trade Center
Bucharest World Trade Center
The Bucharest World Trade Center is a business centre in Bucharest, Romania. Among other things, it houses the headquarters of Michelin Romania, ABN AMRO Bank as well as Bucharest's Pullman Hotel....

 and the Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

, which lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița
Dâmbovita River
Dâmbovița is a river in Romania. It has its sources in the Făgăraş Mountains, on the Curmătura Oticu. The upper reach of the rivers, upstream of the confluence with the Boarcăşu River is also known as Izvorul Oticului River or Oticu River....

.

As of 2005, there is a significant number of office buildings in construction, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the city. Additionally, there has been a trend in recent years to add modern wings and façades to historic buildings, the most prominent example of which is the Bucharest Architects' Association Building, which is a modern glass-and-steel construction built inside a historic stone façade.

Aside from buildings used for business and institutions, various new residential developments are currently underway, many of which consist of high-rise office buildings and suburban residential communities. These developments are increasingly prominent in northern Bucharest, which is less densely-populated and is home to a significant number of middle- and upper-class Bucharesters due to the process of gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

.

Media

Bucharest is the most important centre of the Romanian media, since it is the headquarters of all the national television networks as well as national newspapers and radio stations. The largest daily newspapers in Bucharest include Evenimentul Zilei
Evenimentul Zilei
Evenimentul Zilei is one of the leading newspapers in Romania. Based in Bucharest, the Romanian-language daily has a paid daily circulation of 110,000...

, Jurnalul Național
Jurnalul National
Jurnalul Naţional is a Romanian newspaper, part of the Intact media group led by Dan Voiculescu, which also includes the popular TV station Antena 1....

, Cotidianul
Cotidianul
thumb|right|Old logo of Cotidianul newspaper, used in the [[inter-war period]], and in the early 1990sthumb|right|The logo used between 2003 and 2007...

, România Liberă
România Libera
România Liberă is one of the leading newspapers in Romania. Based in Bucharest, the Romanian-language daily has a paid daily circulation of 40,000....

, Adevărul
Adevarul
Adevărul is a Romanian daily newspaper, based in Bucharest. Founded in 1871 and reestablished in 1888, it was the main left-wing press venue to be published during the Romanian Kingdom's existence, adopting an independent pro-democratic position, advocating land reform and universal suffrage...

, Gardianul
Gardianul
Gardianul was a Romanian daily newspaper published in Bucharest. It claimed to have had an anti-corruption stance, investigating organized crime and high-level corruption....

and Gândul
Gândul
Gândul is a Romanian daily newspaper published in Bucharest. It was founded in May 2005 by Mircea Dinescu, who used to write a daily editorial called "Vorba lu' Dinescu", and Cristian Tudor Popescu, who was also the editor-in-chief until January 2008. Its initial circulation was about 52,000...

. During the rush hours, tabloid newspapers Click!
Click!
Click! is a Romanian tabloid newspaper owned by Adevărul Holding media company. In 2009, Click! had the top sales in Romania, with 208,903 sold on issue.- External links:* - official web site...

, Libertatea
Libertatea
Libertatea is a Romanian tabloid newspaper published in Bucharest. Libertatea was the first newspaper that appeared after Romanian Revolution, the first edition was in 22 December 1989 at midday, first newspaper announcing the people the fact the president dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu fled the...

and Ziarul are very popular for commuters.

A significant number of newspapers and media publications are based in Casa Presei Libere
Casa Presei Libere
Casa Presei Libere is a building in northern Bucharest, Romania, the tallest in the city between 1956 and 2007.A horse race track was built in 1905 on the future site of Casa Presei Libere...

 (The House of the Free Press), a landmark of northern Bucharest, originally named Casa Scânteii after the Communist-era official newspaper Scînteia
Scînteia
Scînteia was the name of two newspapers edited by Communist groups at different intervals in Romanian history...

. Casa Presei Libere is not the only Bucharest landmark that grew out of the media and communications industry. Palatul Telefoanelor
Palatul Telefoanelor
Bucharest Telephone Palace is an office building located on Calea Victoriei in Bucharest, Romania. It serves as the headquarters of Romtelecom.-Bucharest:Palatul Telefoanelor in Bucharest is an art deco style building...

 ("The Telephone Palace") was the first major modernist building on Calea Victoriei in the city's centre, and the massive, unfinished communist-era Casa Radio
Casa Radio
Dâmbovița Center is an unfinished Romanian building in Bucharest, Romania, near Cotroceni, on the shore of the Dâmboviţa River. It was erected during the late 1980s by the Communist regime over the terrain which used to be the Bucharest Hippodrome before World War II, and was intended to serve as a...

 looms over a park a block away from the Opera.

English-language newspapers first became available in the early 1930s and reappeared in 1990s, becoming increasingly prominent since then. There are two daily English-language newspapers, Bucharest Daily News
Bucharest Daily News
Bucharest Daily News was an English-language newspaper operating out of the Romanian capital city, Bucharest, and was frequently cited as a source by the sudden influx of Romanian news articles on Wikinews....

and Nine O' Clock
Nine O' Clock
Nine O'Clock is a Romanian English-language newspaper. Founded in 1991, it consisted only of 4 pages when it was launched, but has since then grown significantly in size and influence...

, as well as numerous other magazines. A number of publications in other languages are also available, such as the Hungarian-language daily Új Magyar Szó
Új Magyar Szó
Új Magyar Szó is a Hungarian-language Romanian broadsheet newspaper, based in Bucharest. It has one of the largest audiences of all Hungarian-language papers in Romania. The newspaper's readership is approximately 40,000....

.

Observator Cultural
Observator Cultural
Observator Cultural is a literary magazine based in Bucharest, Romania. It covers Romania's cultural and arts scene.-External links:*...

covers the city's arts, and the free weekly magazines Șapte Seri
Sapte Seri
Şapte Seri is a free leaflet-sized weekly magazine about goings-on in Bucharest, Romania. It is written largely in Romanian with some English....

("Seven Evenings") and B24FUN, list entertainment events of all sorts. The city is also home to the intellectual journal Dilema, the satire magazine Academia Cațavencu
Academia Catavencu
Academia Caţavencu is a Romanian satirical magazine founded in 1991 and made famous by its investigative journalism. Academia Caţavencu also owns Radio Guerrilla , an FM radio station with national coverage ; Tabu, a women's magazine, Superbebe, a magazine for new parents, Aventuri la pescuit, a...

, as well as a wide array of commercial magazines. Bucharest was the host city of the fourth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Junior Eurovision Song Contest
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest , is an international song competition which has been organised by the European Broadcasting Union annually since 2003 and is open exclusively to broadcasters that are members of the EBU. It is held in a different European city each year.The competition has many...

 in 2006.

Education

There are 16 public universities in Bucharest, the largest of which are the University of Bucharest
University of Bucharest
The University of Bucharest , in Romania, is a university founded in 1864 by decree of Prince Alexander John Cuza to convert the former Saint Sava Academy into the current University of Bucharest.-Presentation:...

, the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy is a state-run health sciences University in Bucharest, Romania. It is the largest institution of its kind in Romania with over 2.865 employees, 1.654 teachers and over 4.800 students...

, and the Politehnica University of Bucharest. These are supplemented by 19 private universities, such as the Romanian-American University
Romanian-American University
The Romanian-American University is a private university in Bucharest, Romania, which offers courses and degrees in English. It was founded by Ion Smedescu....

 and Spiru Haret University
Spiru Haret University
The Spiru Haret University is a private university in Bucharest, Romania, founded in 1991 by the president of Tomorrow's Romania Foundation, Aurelian Gh. Bondrea, as part of the teaching activities of this foundation. The university claims this has been done according to the model used by the...

, the latter being the largest in Europe with some 302,000 enrolled students in 2009. Overall, there are 159 faculties in 34 universities. Private universities, however, have a mixed reputation due to irregularities in the educational process as well as perceived corruption.
As in the rest of Romania, universities in Bucharest are relatively poorly rated internationally, at least in comparison to their American and Western European counterparts. Nevertheless, in recent years the city has seen increasing numbers of foreign students enrolling in its universities, primarily from Asia.

The first modern educational institution was the Princely Academy of Bucharest
Princely Academy from Bucharest
The Princely Academy of Bucharest was an institution of higher education, active from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century.- History :...

, founded in 1694 and divided in 1864 to form the present-day University of Bucharest and the Saint Sava National College
Saint Sava National College
The Saint Sava National College is the oldest and one of the most prestigious high schools in Bucharest, Romania....

, both of which are amongst the most prestigious of their kind in Romania.

There are around 450 public primary and secondary schools in the city, all of which are administered by the Bucharest Municipal Schooling Inspectorate. Each sector
Sectors of Bucharest
The Municipality of Bucharest is divided into six administrative sectors , each of which has their own mayor and council, and has responsibility over local affairs, such as secondary streets, parks, schools and the cleaning services.Each of the six sectors contains a number of informal districts ...

 also has its own Schooling Inspectorate, subordinated to the Municipal one.

Sports

Football is the most widely-followed sport in Bucharest, with the city having numerous club teams, some of them being known throughout Europe. Four Bucharest-based football teams participate in Liga 1, the first division in Romania: Steaua, Dinamo, Rapid and Sportul Studențesc.

The Lia Manoliu Stadium was the national stadium and the largest stadium in Romania. It has now been demolished to make way for a new stadium
Stadionul National
The National Arena is a football stadium in Bucharest, Romania, in the Lia Manoliu Sports Complex. The stadium will host the games of Romania's national football team, as well as the Romanian Cup Final and the Romanian Supercup. The 2012 UEFA Europa League Final will be held at the new stadium...

, which will host the 2012 Europa League Final
2012 UEFA Europa League Final
The 2012 UEFA Europa League Final will be a football match played on 9 May 2012 at the Stadionul Național in Bucharest, Romania, which will decide the winner of the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League...

. The new stadium will be inaugurated on 6 September 2011 and will have a capacity of nearly 55,000, making it one of the largest stadiums in Eastern Europe.

There are also a number of sport clubs for ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

, rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, basketball, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

, water polo
Water polo
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

 and volleyball. The majority of Romanian track and field athletes, boxers, and a great number of gymnasts are affiliated with clubs in Bucharest. The Athletics and many Gymnastics National Championships are held in Bucharest.

The largest hall in Bucharest is Sala Polivalentă and has a seating capacity of 6,000. It is frequently used for concerts, indoor sports such as volleyball, exhibitions and shows.

Starting in 2007 Bucharest has hosted annual races along a temporary urban track surrounding the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

, called Bucharest Ring
Bucharest Ring
The Bucharest Ring is a street circuit in the Romanian capital city of Bucharest.Designed by famed track designer Hermann Tilke, the circuit is in the city centre, and has the Palace of the Parliament in its infield....

. The competition is called the Bucharest City Challenge
2008 FIA GT Bucharest 2 Hours
The 2008 Bucharest City Challenge was the sixth round of the 2008 FIA GT Championship season. It took place at the Bucharest Ring temporary street circuit in Bucharest, Romania, on 23 — 24 August 2008.-Format:...

, and has hosted FIA GT, FIA GT3, British F3, and Logan
Dacia Logan
The Dacia Logan is a small family car car produced jointly by the French manufacturer Renault and its subsidiary Dacia of Romania. It is manufactured at Dacia's automobile plant in Mioveni, Romania, and in Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Morocco, Iran, India and South Africa...

 Cup races in 2007 and 2008. The 2009 and 2010 edition have not been held in Bucharest due to a lawsuit. Bucharest GP, owned by the controversial businessman Nicolae Șerbu, won the lawsuit that it initiated and will host city races around the Parliament starting 2011 with the Auto GP

Every autumn, Bucharest hosts BCR
Banca Comerciala Româna
Banca Comercială Română , a member of Erste Group, is a universal bank serving both retail and corporate clients. BCR is the most important financial services provider in Romania, managing assets worth over EUR 16 billion. BCR is the most valuable Romanian financial brand...

 Open Romania
Open Romania
The BRD Năstase Țiriac Trophy is a professional tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. It is currently part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the ATP Tour...

 international tennis tournament, which is included in the ATP Tour
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

. The outdoors tournament is hosted by the tennis complex BNR Arenas. The ice hockey games are held at the Mihai Flamaropol Arena, which holds 8,000 spectators. The rugby games are held in different locations, but the most modern stadium is Arcul de Triumf Stadium, where also the Romanian national rugby team
Romania national rugby union team
The Romania national rugby union team , nicknamed The Oaks , is the representative side of Romania in rugby union. Long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations, they have participated in all six Rugby World Cups, and currently compete in the first division of the...

 plays.

Twin towns and sister cities

The twin towns and sister cities of Bucharest are listed below:
Tirana
Tirana
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over...

, Albania (2007) Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil (2002) São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Brazil (2000) Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Canada Beijing, China (2005) Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

, Cyprus (2004)
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece (1993) Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan (1999) Chișinău
Chisinau
Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

, Moldova Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey (1998) Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey (2006) Atlanta, United States (1994)

See also

  • Coat of arms of Bucharest
    Coat of arms of Bucharest
    The coat of arms of Bucharest is the heraldic symbol standing for Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The present-day coat of arms was created during the rule of Domnitor Alexander John Cuza; changed under the Communist regime, it was used again, with minor alterations, since 1994.-Description:The...

  • List of Bucharesters
  • List of buildings in Bucharest
  • List of lakes in Bucharest
  • OPENCities
    OPENCities
    OPENCities is a project initiated by British Council Spain, to help cities to become more open and competitive. OPENCities demonstrates how international populations contribute to cities long term economic success and advocates for openness as a way forward for cities willing to play an...



External links

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