Bucharest : Paris From The East

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Bucharest, 06 March 2018

Bucharest the capital of Romania, as the country famous for its Dracula story, many people visit Transylvania, and just passed this city. However, Bucharest as the capital of this country offers a different story, imagine we can see different churches to the typical French art deco architecture in Bucharest.

My trip to this fabulous city, begin from Brasov with Romanian Train which relatively cheap and qualified. After traveling from Brasov, approximately 3 hours, we have arrived at Gara De Nord Train Station safely. However, that morning feels so cold but the sun bright so lightly. We continue our journey to the Old Town by using the subway, which is also very convenient and cheap. At last, we stopped at Old Town station where our hostel that previously reserved the hostel name was Antique Hostel.

Gara De Nord Station

After checking in, and put our stuff we continued to explore the Old Town. The Old Town of Bucharest, I thought is similar to Paris, there is a lot of French art deco building in here. Although, this country which known as A Little Paris from The East. For example, I have found three beautiful building that surrounded by charming beauty. As you might expect by the name, The Old Town is home to some of the oldest building in the city dating back to 18th and 19th-century highlights with Old Church

Old Town

The Old Town district in Bucharest is the touristy place that is visited the most. Most of the city’s attractions located within this small district. Here, you can feel like you’re in Paris for a moment. However, a little bit different from Paris – more rough, neglected and shabby. But it also has right sides – it gives the city some character, determines and displays the hardship and difficult times it’s gone through.

Examples of beautiful building in Old Town

Overall, Bucharest, although not a wrong place to see, was my favorite place in Romania, just as in most Eastern Europe countries – the capitals seem not as unusual as the rest. Here are, a few landmarks I have been seen on my way to explore the Old Town.

Stavropoleos Monastery

This old orthodox church, in my opinion, looks like a Jedi Temple. Hmmm maybe you’ll be impressed, this iconic church situated in the heart of old town was built in the first decades of the 18th century and even today one of the most beautiful church from Bucharest.

The Stavropoleos Monastery, similar like Jedi Temple

What I love form this church is the old funeral stones and of course the architectural style that combines local elements and with Byzantine influences. In winter, when I visited this church the old funeral stones are so placed with the glowing snow, it’s fantastic I thought. Being here is like visiting some Jedi Temple, and we must say “May The Force Be With You.”

 

 

C.E.C Palace

I never imagined that this neoclassical building would be a bank. C.E.C Palace is a national saving bank in Romania. The construction works started in 1897, and the building inaugurated in 1900 with French Renaissance style, which is one of the most graciously beautiful buildings in Bucharest.

C.E.C Palace

According to Bucharest website, a unique feature of this structure refers to the glass and metal dome (the central dome, and the largest of all the other arches which overtop the four corner sections of the building) set on top of the main hallway. The overall picture of the C.E.C. Palace exudes, first and foremost, elegance and balance. The interior of the palace embellished with graphic works by Mihail Simonide. However, its aesthetic qualities aside, according to Romanian Tourism website, the C.E.C. Palace is said to feature one of the most solid bearing structures of all the buildings in Bucharest; a reputation put to the test, amongst others, during the 1977 earthquake, when the glass dome was the only element affected, with little and insignificant damage to the rest of the building.

The Street front of CEC Palace

The National Bank of Romania

In the 19th century, the financial banking was very famous in Bucharest. For example, two banks were becoming the commercial bank, as we mentioned before, C.E.C Palace which belongs to C.E.C Bank. The National Bank of Romania is another charming and magnificent building with a lot of renaissance architecture. This bank declared one of the most beautiful banks in Europe hosts an impressive collection of coins and money collection. Today this bank serves as a museum.

The National Bank of Romania

Romanian Athenaeum

After strolling around Romanian financial district, I founded another dome with beautiful architecture. Wow, it’s so stunning, it was Romanian Anthenaeum, another beautiful building which built as a concert auditorium. Based on information written in romanianmonasteries.org, the Romanian Athenaeum is formed from a peristyle of six columns in Ionic style, giving the impression of a Greek temple, under which there are, in medallions, the faces of five voivodes of Romania: Neagoe Basarab, Alexandru cel Bun, Vasile Lupu, Matei Basarab and King Carol I. A team of architects gave the dome’s initial former and engineers after Galleron handed the project.

Romanian Athenaeum, similar to Greek Temple
This is an auditorium concert building

 

Central University of Romanian

Finally, the building where my favorite was Central University Library. The first impression, I never thought that this palace is a library, I guessed that this must be a castle and yes it’s wrong. In front of the statue of King Carol I, this library founded by the first king of Romania, Carol I, whose figure admired in front of the building. It burned down during the Romanian Revolution, over 50000 books being lost. However, this magnificent library has proved that Bucharest is Paris from The East. I loved this superb architecture, and this is my favorite building from all.

This is a library
King Carol I the founder of this lovely university and library
Central University Library

Curtea Veche – Vlad the Impaler (Prince Palace Court)

Last but not least, after wandering in the old town, there are some ruins or maybe abandoned place, and I found Vlad The Impaler statue in front of it. I just figured it out, that this place possibly correlated to the story of Vlad The Impaler. Yes, I was right this place is known as the summer residence of Vlad III in what was then known as “the Citadel of Bucharest.”

Snowy Curtea Veche
Its me in front of The Prince Court

Bucharest became the preferred residence of rulers. So Vlad III discover and build this building called The princely palace and court (Curtea Veche). He gained prominence as the commercial and religious hub of the city. Nowadays, not much remains of this palace and its grounds other than ruins. But amidst the broken masonry and old stone arches, like a sentinel, the best of Romania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad III, watching over the old court. But I feel surprised will meet the Dracula in this heart lovely city of The Old Town Bucharest.

I think that’s all for my bustling winter adventure throughout Bucharest. I feel happy to this Paris from The East. I hope someday I’ll be enjoyed another Paris from The East in another beautiful place in Europe. In a nutshell, having been to cities like Warsaw, Budapest or Prague (which are all fantastic), Bucharest reminded me of Paris the most.  And If you have some comments, don’t forget to comment below. Thank You.

Ferdi Cullen

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7 comments on “Bucharest : Paris From The East”

    1. iya benar kak winny, tapi menurut aku lebih cakepan Budapest kali ya. Keduanya baik Budapest sama Bucharest sama sama mendapat julukan Paris from The East, namun Budapest itu bangunan nya jauh lebih antik sih menurut aku

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  1. I’ve been eyeing Bucharest for quite some time now; not only does it have beautiful buildings that are reminiscent of those in the French capital, but the fact that it was for decades the capital of Communist Romania also adds to the complex character of the city… or at least from what I perceive from the photos I have stumbled upon.

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    1. Thank You Mas Bama for comment in my article. Yes, Romanian has so many stories, the most famous is their history related to the Communism era if I not wrong it is in 18th until the 19th century when communist regime ruled this country. However, Romanian it’s still stunning and probably you should visit this city because there is a lot of not only the beautiful French art building but also the unique culture which is slightly different from any Eastern Europe Capital. I’m looking forward to seeing you’re an article regarding this city Mr. Bama Thank You

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  2. Unlike many travelers do, Bucharest will be my main interest when visiting Romania. Anyway, I applied a tourism program called #ExperienceRomania this year, but I failed hahaha.

    Buat kita orang Indonesia mah, setiap bangunan di sana jadi obyek wisata ya 😀

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    1. Wow, #ExperienceRomania sounds interesting, should I apply to, let me know then Mas Teguh. Yo are right to choose Romania because in this lovely country is one of the cheapest countries in Europe. moreover, there also have so many beautiful building and unique culture too.
      And yes, kita orang Indonesia tetap takjub melihat yang cantik seperti ini hehehe
      Terima kasih Mas Teguh

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