A Travellerspoint blog

Romania

Bucharest

sunny 90 °F

Hmm, a good power wash of this city would do it well. Don’t get me wrong, the history behind the sights are amazingly frustrating. The people have had a hard time dealing with the aftermath of the corruption of the Ceausescu regime but even today, corruption is rampant. While Romania’s anti-corruption legal framework is in place, enforcement remains weak. There is a lot of potential for this to be a great tourist destination, but a little money needs to be invested.

The Palace of the Parliament was my favorite sight mainly because we had a fantastic tour guide who filled us with many facts. Plus, when we asked her opinion on any topic, she always gave us an answer which I appreciated because that’s how you get to know what the people are going through.

The “old town” is probably the newest “old town” in Europe. It is a nice cobblestone pedestrian walkway but the buildings are falling apart, and the portable air conditioning units take away from its charm. Our Airbnb was directly across from the old town which was a great location and very convenient. It seemed that most American tourist stay around the revolution square area which has the most complex history, but hanging around American’s isn’t appealing to us while vacationing.

The subway system is fantastic, the trains are new but the platforms are showing age and are a bit grimy, but given the choice I’d take better trains than aesthetically pleasing platforms any day.

The food was good, the people were friendly and the cost was very reasonable. Overall if I had to rate this city on a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a 6 with the potential to be an easy 8.

Below is some history about the Ceausescu’s

Nicolae And Elena Ceausescu were arrested on December 22, 1989 and put on trial on December 25. They were accused of genocide, armed attacks against the population and the powers of the State, destruction of State buildings and institutions and undermining the national economy. Nicolae started huge expensive constructions like The People’s House and had this ambition to pay all Romania’s external debt. The people got poorer and their life became miserable. The Romanian people were starving and had no link to the world outside the Russian borders. The secret service of the communist regime, was watching everybody’s moves and punished everything they considered to be a threat to the regime. Even a joke about Ceausescu and his wife was considered “a threat”.

The trial lasted only 55 minutes, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were sentenced to death for committing the crime of genocide.

However, debatable as he may be, his wife was and is still despised by everybody. Some say that she was the one who actually made him take the wrong turns. She became a national renowned PhD scientist while her husband was dictator of Romania. But everything was a hoax. In fact, she barely knew how to write.  She compelled other Romanian scientists to write scientific papers for her. At international science gatherings she used a translator who would give the right answers regardless of what stupidities she was saying.

Bucharest's Arc de Triumf was raised in 1922 to commemorate Romania's World War I dead. The original Arc was made of wood, replaced by the present, Petru Antonescu designed concrete structure only in 1935.
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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. Many artists stated that the memorial, especially its central pillar, was devoid of any symbolism, being too abstract, and thus didn't adequately represent the suffering and magnitude of the 1989 revolution, which claimed nearly 1,500 lives. The locals have given this monument a few unusual nicknames. It’s most commonly referred to as the “Potato on a Stick” or “Potato on a Skewer” monument, though some others compare the giant blob being pierced to an olive or a brain.
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The statue of  Iuliu Maniu was one of Romania’s foremost politicians, serving as the Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933. He was an adversary of Russian influence and for this reason he was imprisoned in 1947 when the communists came to power. He died in 1953 in Sighet prison.
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The Monument to the Heroes of the Air was built between 1930 and 1935.
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Charles de Gaulle
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The Palace of the Parliament is the seat of the Parliament of Romania. Located on Dealul Arsenalului in the national capital city of central Bucharest, it is the second largest administrative building in the world after The Pentagon.
Architect: Anca Petrescu - she was 28 years old when she designed this palace.
It has 12 floors above ground and another 8 underground
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Ceausescu was executed before the Parliament was completed so he never gave a speech from the balcony but in 1992, Michael Jackson (first person to address an audience) stood on the large balcony overlooking the Romanian version of the Champs Elysees and addressed the large crowd outside by saying to them, “Hello Budapest!” Oopsie
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Kretzulescu Church -Statue of Corneliu Coposu
The church was commissioned in 1720–1722. Originally, the exterior was painted, but since the restoration work done in 1935–1936 the facade is made of brick. The church, damaged during the November, 1940 earthquake, was repaired in 1942–1943. More renovations took place after the Bucharest earthquake of 1977 and the Revolution of 1989. To the side of the church now stands now a memorial bust of Corneliu Coposu.
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Nicolae And Elena Ceausescu House - the people didn’t realize how big the house was, rooms were added so they couldn’t be seen by the public. Plus the Ceausescu’s had 89 other homes.
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His chess set where no one was ever able to beat him
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Where Nicolae And Elena dined. The children never ate with their parents, they ate in their own rooms (each child had their own apartment within the mansion).
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Street performers
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Old Town
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Nice new subway trains
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Our Airbnb - looks can be deceiving - the apartment was very modern
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Wonderful old architecture
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Posted by joannereyes 01:49 Archived in Romania Comments (0)

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