City history

Bucharest’s history alternated in many periods of decline and evolution.

Bucharest is a relatively new city comparing to the other important cities of Europe. First mentioned in 1459 by the name of "the Citadel of Bucuresti" and became the residence of valachian prince Vlad III the Impaler.

The importance of this city started to manifest once Muntenia (the southern area of the country) increased in importance from the demands of the suzerain power of the Ottoman Empire.

Bucharest was briefly discarded after being burned the Ottomans in the early 17th century. Since then, the city was restored and continued to grow in size and greatness.

From the early ages Bucharest’s center was around “Ulita Mare” street, which was renamed after 1589 to Lipscani.

Bucharest’s history was full of stormy periods caused either by natural disasters, fires, or war, but as always the city survived and continued to grow ceaseless.

After 1861 and the uniting of Wallachia and Moldavia, to later form the Principality of Romania, Bucharest took the title of the new nation capital and in 1881 it became also the new political center of the country.

In the years to come, the nations Capital started changing its imperial rulers, starting with the Habsburg Monarchy (1716 -1789).

Bucharest becomes the nation’s capital in the year 1861 after Wallachia and Moldavia united to form the Principality of Romania.

During the second half of the 19th century the city increased in size and development due to its status and in no time became a very cosmopolitan city with high class dwellers and buildings. In that period Bucharest earned the flattering name of “Little Paris” or “The Paris of the East” and Calea Victoriei started to be compared with Champs-Elysees or Fifth Avenue.

The 20th century was marked with wars and the ruling of the communist doctrine. During the leadership of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (1965-1989) the city suffered demolishing of historical buildings and many districts containing low-level houses were demolished to make room for high-rise apartment blocks.

In the winter of 1989 the communist regime was brought down and democracy took its place. After that event, the country and specially Bucharest experienced an economical boom and currently the city is under a new urban renewal.

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