Useful info to visit Bucharest

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Bucharest History


A first mention of Bucharest dates from a historic document of 20th September 1459, in an act issued by Prince Vlad Ţepeş, where he makes an official donation to a small group of vassals.

A famous legend has it that the name Bucharest comes from a shepherd, Bucur, who stopped on the banks of river Dâmboviţa with his flock. According to another fanciful tale, the city was founded by a lumberjack who lived in the woods with a young woman named Dâmboviţa. The girl knew all streets, lanes, animals and all the secretes of the big wood.
One day, a prince coming from far away got lost in the wood, and asked for help to the beautiful Dâmboviţa. Thanks to the girl, he found the way out of the wood, and asked her to marry him. But the girl rejected the marriage proposal, as she was already the promised bide of Bucur.  
The prince gave Dâmboviţa a knife and a wooden top, telling her to make a wish before spinning the top. The girl ran to her boyfriend and drove the knife into the rock to prove him her love and loyalty.
A stream sprang from the rock, just as pure as Dâmboviţa’s tears. That’s how the river took the girl’s name, and the city that of Bucur.


After the Second World War, in 1946 the Labourers’ Party led by the communists and the social democrats obtained the majority of votes, and in 1948 Romania became a Popular Republic. Afterward the Communist Party became the only party in the country. The communist power was responsible for the majority of industrial, economic and architectural changes in Romania. In the same period, the industrial estates and the ugly flat buildings typical of comunism made their appearance in the city.

President Nicolae Ceauşescu  played a major role in contemporary history, soon after his election in 1965 as secretary of the Romanian party. In 1967 his power grew stronger when he was appointed President of the Council of State, and in 1974 he also became President of the Socialist Romanian Republic.

Though the communist regimehad a strong impact on Romanian architecture , industry and on many other sectors, the population suffered from a harsh repression during Ceauşescu’s presidency. In 1989 the malcontent of the citizens (especially the working class and the farmers) burst out in a famous rebellion, with strikes and protest marches. A first protest against the regime took place in Timisoara , and was brutally repressed, causing a hundred victims. In the following days a wave of protests spread throughout the country, like the one in Bucarest. It was a spectacular rebellion, with thousands of people gathering in the main square. Ceauşescu was abandoned by his faithfuls and ran away, seeking hide in Targovişte, but in 1989 he was found and shot dead after a fake process.

After the fall of the communist regime, the country opened to the democratic model and to free economy. Since 1st January 2007 Romania joined the European Union.