The Pretty Side Of Bucharest
In a city made up of mostly concrete or glass boxes, it is refreshing to find buildings with a certain charm of their own, that make you realize why Bucharest was once called the Little Paris. It’s a shame they aren’t being taken care of properly and that almost all of them are hidden between other buildings that look like they could fall off at the slightest wind. But on the first summer day of the year, I set out to explore the city and learn how to use my new camera. Below is the result that made me have a new appreciation for the city I grew up and live in.
I’ve started off close to the Unirea Square, where for a long time I’ve wanted to see the Coral Temple, the largest synagogue in Bucharest, which sadly was still closed for renovations. However, I still got to marvel and stare at the beautiful facade of a building with a tumultuous history, that goes back over 150 years ago.
Next up was the Old Town part of the city, perhaps the most touristy place the city has to offer. Since it has improved significantly during the past few years, it has become more and more frequented by foreigners and locals alike, I’ve seen many groups of tourists wandering around its streets, taking pictures and listening carefully to their guides.
In the middle of the Old Town stands a church that’s almost three centuries old, built in the Brâncovenesc style I’ve wrote about in a previous post. The church is all that remains after the monastery and the inn built in the same area were destroyed by the communists. In the back there’s a beautiful courtyard, peaceful and serene, you would want to spend hours there, maybe reading a book and carelessly let the time pass by.
One of the most famous streets in the city, Lipscani, used to be a the most important commercial area in the country up until the 19th century. Here you’ll find many pubs, bars and shops, as well as the beautiful building of the National Bank of Romania.
Separating the Lipscani street from the Calea Victoriei avenue, the intimate Macca-Villacrosse passage with its yellow glass ceiling is a great place to spend time catching up with friends at one of the many cafes inside.
Not even a century old, the National Military Palace is an elegant place that’s even more beautiful on the inside, this is where I had the high school graduation prom (but the best part was sneaking out and going to the Cismigiu park nearby 😉 )
Last year, during the night of the museums, I had the chance to visit and find out more about the Central University Library. Partly destroyed by a fire during the 1989 revolution, it was restored over time, now looking better than it has ever been.
An iconic sight for Bucharest, the Romanian Athenaeum is a stunning place, both on the inside and on the outside. Designed by a French architect, it is a fine example of neoclassical style, mixed with some romantic elements and for 28 years, part of the construction was funded by the Romanian people.
While looking for a palace I’ve read about, I’ve stumbled upon a museum I knew nothing about, the Museum of Art Collections, inside the Romanit Palace. I’ll make a note to go visit it soon, especially since I’ve found out it was recently renovated and reopened.
The last stop on my little tour (unintentionally, since the rain was imminent and you know how I feel about that) was the stunning Cantacuzino Palace that is home to a museum dedicated to the greatest composer Romania had, George Enescu. Built in Baroque style, the palace is an architectural jewel and I would’ve loved to spend more time photographing it.
What did you think about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems Bucharest has? Have they changed your opinion of this city? Let me know!
You can see more pictures on my Facebook page.