House of the People in Bucharest, also known as the Palace of the Romanian Parliament is the second-largest administrative building for civilian use in the world, after the US Pentagon. It is the heaviest building on Earth, made from 1.5 billion lb of steel and bronze for doors, capitals and windows, all of them monumental, 7,7 million lb of crystal glass for 480 chandeliers and more than 1,400 ceiling lights and mirrors and 35,3 million ft of marble. In the House of People in Bucharest, the parquet and wainscoting were made from 900,000 cubic meters of wood. There are also in the Romanian Parliament building, velvet and brocade curtains with embroideries in silver and gold. Only the floor area is 360,000 square meter and the underground parking is large enough for 20,000 cars.
The House of the People was part of a gigantic project, called The Civic Center, a copy of Pyongyang city in North Korea. Nicolae Ceausescu decided to build this state within a state in 1978, after the 7.2 earthquakes that devastated Bucharest on March 4, 1977. The capital had to be rebuilt and the Civic Center was part of the plan. Ceausescu wanted The House of the People, or The House of the Republic, a new Minister of Defense, a new Museum of the Communist Party, a Guests House( now Marriott Hotel), a huge park near the House of the People( Izvor Park) and a boulevard called The Victory of Socialism Bd. ( actual The Unification Bd). A very young architect won the national contest with her plan for the Civic Center and House of People: Anca Petrescu, 28 years old. In 1982, soldiers and ordinary workers began to put down all the buildings in the area.
The Arch of Triumph in Bucharest was a modest monument, in the beginning, made of wood and built in 1878 after the Independence War to mark the victory parade on October 8 the same year. Two inscriptions were written in front of it: The defenders of Independence and Bucharest City. A statue representing The Victory was placed on the Arch. There were also written the names of the places were Romanians fought for freedom to remain on this symbol of triumph in the War of Independence against the Turkish Empire and of its domination which lasted for more than 300 years.
Made of pink marble from Ruschita and stone brought from 5 important Romanian quarries, the Arch of Triumph is 27 meters high and 25 meters wide and is considered a modern new Romanian architectural masterpiece. It is also one of the symbols and highlights of Bucharest.
Now, the Arch of Triumph is part of the tour the authorities thought might help foreign tourists and not only to discover the Romanian capital.
The House of the Free Press (Casa Presei Libere), formerly called Casa Scânteii, is one of the landmarks of Bucharest reminiscent of the communist regime. The edifice was built during the regime (between 1952 and 1957) and served as headquarters of the party’s publication (Scânteia) being, thus, by design, an institution completely subject to the communist authorities. In reaction to this juncture, subsequently to the 1989 Revolution, the name of the building was changed into the House of the Free Press.
The building combines elements promoted by the Russian Soviet architecture with details typical of the religious architecture cultivated in Wallachia and Moldavia. Just like most of the megastructures erected during the communist regime, the building strikes by its dimensions. The horizontal coordinate of the edifice exceeds its vertical line, and the difference is so considerable, that the aesthetic impact can hardly be overlooked.
Bucharest National Opera House needed headquarters since the beginning of the 19th century. The nowadays building housing the National Opera in Bucharest was designed in 1946.
The first Italian theater was opened in Bucharest in 1843 and it has to do with the National Opera, for it was opened with the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, followed by the Barber of Seville by Rossini. In 1870, the composer and conductor George Stefanescu tried to persuade the authorities to build a headquarters for the Opera. Thus he launches the Opera Company in 1885 with the performance of Linda di Chamonix by Donizetti, sung in Romanian. Only in 1921, the Opera Company receives the necessary funds in order to organize itself in the new institutional order, becoming the Romanian Opera. The premiere of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner, with George Enescu conducting, was the opening performance that year.
The theater was built in classical style. The main hall ha 2200 seats, surrounded by lodges and amazing acoustics. There are four caryatids, four statues, Drama and Poetry statues, a bas-relief called Music and another one called The Dance. George Enescu’s monument is in front of the building.
Village Museum in Bucharest is an open-air exhibit for tourists who want to learn more about rural life in Romania. It is so fine that you might want to move into it. That was a joke. You wouldn’t want to leave in underground houses or in the same house with your parents, like people in Romania used to do and still do, do you? The Village Museum in Bucharest is a great history lesson for all the people all around the world about the life in South-Eastern Europe, under the Russian influence, Turkish influence and also, ancient and medieval influences.
The first try to create a museum dedicated to the country life in Romania was attempted in 1867 at the Paris Universal Exhibition. Romanian rural constructions were exhibited there. Then, a sociologist, Dimitrie Gusti sent students and volunteers to target and rebuild old houses from all Romanian provinces and villages.
In 1936, King Carol II opened the new museum which housed 33 authentic houses from Maramures, Moldavia, Transylvania and Muntenia and also churches. The Village Museum became in 1940 after Bucovina was taken by the Soviet Union, house for refugees and many of the buildings were damaged. In 1948, the Museum opened its gates again. 233 constructions could be visited.
Nowadays in Village Museum Bucharest, the tourists can visit 338 monuments brought from Transylvania, Banat, Muntenia, Oltenia, Dobrogea and Moldavia and also popular art artefacts.
Romanian Athenaeum is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest and cultural center and also host for GEORGE ENESCU FESTIVAL.
In 1886, authorities bought the land where the future Athenaeum was to be built. This is how the history of the Romanian Athenaeum begins. The French architect Albert Galleron and the Romanian architects Grigore Cerchez, Alexandru Orascu, Ion Mincu and I.N. Socolescu started the project. Works began in 1886 and were finished in 1889. It was built in neoclassical style, it has Greek temple elements but also French decorations from the end of the 19th century. A circus was on the land of the nowadays Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The entrance has 6 Greek columns, the dome is Baroque style, 41 meters high.
The interior of the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest includes exhibits rooms, concert halls and conferences halls. 12 Greek columns sustain one of the main halls, the Rotonda. 4 monumental stairs start from here, imitating Carrara marble, made by the famous architect, Carol Stork. The honour stairs also start from here. The great circular hall is 16 meters high, 28,50 meters in diameter and 784 seat capacity. There is also an ensemble of 75 meters long and 3 meters high of paintings, made in alfresco style, representing 25 scenes from Romania’s history. In 1944, during the war, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest was devastated by German and American bombs but it was rebuilt in 1945.
The Cathedral of Saint Joseph is the most important Roman Catholic Church in Bucharest serving, at the same time, as cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archbishopric in Bucharest and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Romania. The crucial role of this place of worship in the religious life of the community of Roman Catholic believers in Bucharest and nationwide alike is, thus, understandable.
Built between 1873 and 1884 (the construction works took so long because of the War of Independence in 1877), the cathedral is an architectural monument erected by following the design of Friedrich Schmidt, combining elements typical of the Roman style with discreet Gothic touches. The inner highlights of the cathedral refer to the main white Carrara marble altar (built in Rome by following the designs of the same Friedrich Schmidt), to an impressive organ (the present organ was built in 1930 in order to replace the original 1892 Parisian organ) said to be one of the best in the country, to the Parisian chandelier, to the decorative pictorial works by Georg Roder and Fr. Elsner, as well as to the decorative plasterwork on the walls, columns and pillars.
If you are an art lover you should not miss this place. They have a permanent collection exhibiting historical artefacts and they always have a temporary exhibition bringing new items. Housed in the neoclassical Sutu Palace(1834), the museum features some 300,000 artefacts, from coins, books, maps, engravings, paintings, arms and furniture to old traditional costumes. Among the most valuable exhibits are the document attesting for the first time the name of the city of Bucharest, issued by Vlad Tepes in 1459.
Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania. Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle. Due to its lovely landscape and charming people, Bran-Moeciu is one of the most popular touristic areas in Brasov County and the ideal place to spend a great week-end or your holidaysEvery historical episode is characterized by certain factors that function as a constant, such as time and space. These factors define its place in the evolution of the human community.The region between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului has sparked a series of historical episodes, from prehistoric days until current times, all due to one major geographical and historical factor: the Bran Gorge.The Bran Gorge, one of the most important trans-Carpathian passages, has had a dynamic history. Its story has been characterized by two major components: the trade routes of its crossroads, and the recurring military invasions that utilized them.A natural amphitheater, guarded from the East by the Bucegi Mountains and from the West by the Piatra Craiului Massive, the Bran Gorge offered, due to its concave space, a wide panorama both to Burzenland (Ţara Bârsei), and to the hills and valley of Moeciu.