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Top 10 things to do in Bucharest by National Geographic

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Gawk Until You Drop at the Palace of Parliament

The world’s biggest parliamentary building (and one of the largest buildings of any kind) happens to be in Bucharest. Whether one views the gargantuan Palace of Parliament as a folly and testament to the megalomania of former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu or a display of Romanian materials and engineering skill (arguably both), it’s a must-visit. Hour-long guided tours manage to take in just a fraction of the building’s three-million-plus square feet (there are more than a thousand rooms) and focus on the tons of marble, hardwood, and gold used in the building’s construction in the 1980s, a time when Romania was straining to feed its own people. Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena, both played a direct role in the construction. It was originally intended to house the presidential offices and the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party but was never finished.

 

metrocity-lipscani

Glimpse a Piece of Old ‘Paris’

Even the city’s most ardent fans don’t quite maintain the old saw, the “Paris of the east.” That was Bucharest’s nickname in the decades before World War II, when the art nouveau palaces and architecture really were reminiscent of Paris. Decades of communist misrule and a tragic earthquake in 1977 brought much of the old city down, but there are places here and there where that former elegance can still be glimpsed. The Cișmigiu Gardens in the center of the city is a pearl of park built around a romantic lake and featuring old-growth trees and gracious, wrought-iron signposts and benches. North of the center, broad avenues like Şoseaua Kiseleff glide past old villas and acres of green to a commanding replica of the Arc de Triomphe—a genuine homage to Paris—and another elegant city park built around a lake: Herăstrău Park.

 Feast on Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and Cornmeal Porridge

Romanian food is not as well known outside the country as it deserves to be. The best dishes—based on time-tested traditional recipes and using locally sourced, often organic ingredients—are satisfying in a grandmotherly way. The unofficial national dish is sarmale, cabbage rolls stuffed with spiced minced pork and beef, but there are many similar concoctions. Main courses are often paired with mămăligă, cornmeal porridge (think polenta) topped with sour cream or grated sheep’s cheese. The cabbage rolls at Caru’ cu Bere, a traditional beerhouse in the center, are as good as the homemade variety. The cooks at Lacrimi si Sfinti have given traditional mains like veal and pork a modern makeover, spicing up old recipes with hints of citrus and coriander. One street snack worth looking out for is covrigi, a soft pretzel topped with salt or poppy seeds and served too hot to handle from the oven.

Learn Something of Romania’s Roots

Walking Bucharest’s busy boulevards, it’s easy to forget that outside the capital and a handful of large cities, Romania is a largely agrarian country, with a long and rich peasant tradition. For centuries, peasant communities—cut off from the world by impassable mountains or languishing under Turkish, Hungarian, or Austrian rule—were forced to eek out an existence with what they had. The quirky Museum of the Romanian Peasant shows off the elaborate woodworking, pottery-making, egg-painting, and weaving skills of the peasantry in a way that’s both educational and amusing. Small tongue-in-cheek signs at the entrance to each room poke fun at modern life, bring a chuckle, and draw you in. Downstairs there’s a side exhibition on the Communists’ efforts to nationalize the peasantry in the 1970s and ’80s, with some jarring busts of Lenin. At the back, there’s a big shop in which to buy authentic souvenirs to take home.

Pay Your Respects to Vlad the Impaler

Admittedly, Bucharest’s ties to Vlad Țepeș, the real-life, bloodthirsty prince who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, are tenuous. After all, Bucharest was just beginning its rise as an important city in the 15th century, when Vlad III (of Impaler fame) was defending the fledgling principality of Wallachia from Ottoman incursions. Thanks to Stoker, Dracula is more commonly associated with the region of Transylvania (though he didn’t spend much time there either, apparently). However, just 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Bucharest, an isolated island monastery in the middle of Lake Snagov houses the prince’s purported final resting place. As with all Dracula stories, Vlad’s death and burial are shrouded in mystery. Even if it turns out he’s not buried here, lovely Snagov makes for an ideal outing. Regular minibuses make the 40-minute trip throughout the day from Piața Presei Libere, north of the center. Once in Snagov town, hire a boat for the final leg out to the monastery.

Indulge in 21st-Century Art

Romania has exploded onto the contemporary art scene in recent years. The excitement was generated initially by a group of young painters and visual artists from the northern city of Cluj-Napoca, but at least some of the action has shifted to the capital as new galleries and design centers open up. It’s hard to pinpoint precisely what constitutes Romanian contemporary art, though critics point to shared elements of wit and dark humor, a somber mood, and bits of surrealism in defining a common style. Some of the best new galleries for experiencing the excitement include the Zorzini Gallery, the H’art Gallery, and Anaid. The Galateca gallery, across from the National Museum of Art, specializes in cutting-edge design and hosts art events and happenings. Stop by the gallery’s shop, Neogalateca, to see some envelope-pushing design in glassware and home furnishings (including a fetching coat rack carved from a tree trunk).

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Find Your Garden of Eden

Part of the pleasure of strolling through the city’s dense urban fabric is discovering hidden pockets of green between the buildings and hearing the buzz of conversation beneath the trees. In recent years, outdoor cafes and drinking gardens have sprung up all around town to take advantage of Bucharest’s hot summer nights, when, frankly, no one wants to sit indoors. The Cărtureşti bookstore may have ignited the trend with its sprawling Verona Garden at the back. The OAR Garden, next door, offers more privacy and the possibility of live jazz or acoustic guitar on some evenings. Not far away, tucked behind the derelict Palatul Știrbei (Știrbei Palace), is the lush Eden Garden. Buy a bottle of rosé at the bar and find a shaded table.

Visit the City’s Hidden, Historic Churches

Romanitra is deeply Eastern Orthodox, but the real beauty of Bucharest’s ecclesiastical architecture is not found in big cathedrals. Rather, it’s the tiny churches and chapels—usually squeezed into impossibly small corners—that surprise and delight. Many date from the 17th and 18th centuries and fuse elements of Byzantine, Greek, Ottoman, and Renaissance styles. The churches share common elements that include impossibly high steeples built over tiny floor plans, elaborate frescoes, and signature details such as raised pillars and stone balustrades. The Stavropoleos Church in the Old City is an excellent example, with its rich wall paintings and finely carved doors. Other churches to look for include St. Apostles’ Church, Antim Church, and the hard-to-find-but-worth-the-effort Doamnei Church, biding time in the back lot of a Pizza Hut.

Drink and Dance Through the Old City

Bucharest’s historic core, the Old City, has gotten a much needed makeover and, these days, is anything but “old.” What was once the stomping ground of the Princely Court in the 15th century and later the center of traditional trades such as horseshoeing and metalworking has been transformed into the go-to district for bars, clubs, and cafés. Here, tiny lanes like Strada Smârdan or Strada Covaci heave with partiers moving from meals to drinks to dancing as the night wears on. For drinks, try Bicicleta, where the furnishings have been fashioned from old bicycles. For clubbing, mainstream stalwarts like La Muse and Mojo, both in the heart of the Old City, are dependable all-night DJ danceathons. Biutiful, not far away, offers high-concept industrial design with higher prices to match.

See Where Modern History Was MadeA quarter century ago, former communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena, were toppled following a dramatic, weeklong uprising across the country that cost more than a thousand lives. It was a pivotal moment in Romania’s historic transition to democracy. Some of the bloodiest fighting took place on or near today’s Piața Revoluției (Revolution Square), and on closer inspection some buildings still bear pockmarks from the bullets. At the center of the square, the spiky Memorial of Rebirth is meant to honor those who died and to symbolize the country’s rebirth. Just across the square stands the former Central Committee building of the Romanian Communist Party. From the balcony on the front of the building (still visible), Ceaușescu gave his last, ill-fated address to the nation on December 21, 1989, before fleeing from the roof in a helicopter. He and his wife were soon captured and were executed four days later.

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Enjoy! and Stay connected! 😀

Surse:  National Geographic

www.eastcomfort.com

 

Din seria: ” Frumusetile Bucurestiului”

La o prima vedere, ati crede ca citim din carti…ei bine, nu chiar…Orice capitala, oras, satuc are frumusetille lui legate fie de istorie, de cultura, de arta si bineinteles nici Bucurestiul nu face exceptie.

La ce anume facem de acesta data referire: Parcurile si Gradinile din Bucuresti.

Avem o viata tumultoasa, agitata, stresanta, plina de grji si de probleme, cand totul in aceste vremuri se desfasoara de speed-forward, cand vedem materialul nu simtirea, cand ai nevoie de un respiro…avem o solutie la indemana: relaxarea in aer liber,(cand ne permite vremea, desigur), pe o bancuta, admirand si contempland natura.

La acest capitol stam binisor, Bucurestiul are cateva parcuri renumite, de altfel, care ne pot oferi o oaza de liniste si desfatare pentru cateva ore.

Parcul Cismigiu, cunoscut de straini  ca si Cismigiu Gardens

Acest parc este sitat in centrul orasului, este cea mai veche gradina publica din Bucuresti si este mentionat pe lista monumentelor istorice din Capitala.

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Parcul Cismigiu este amenajat in stilul parcurilor engleze, cu o vegetatie variata si o  policromie a peluzelor cu flori, ce ofera o ambianta reconfortanta. Parcul Cismigiu detine vegetatie arboricola de  platani, liriodendroni, magnolii, aluni, peri, frasini pletosi si meri decorativi, spre a feri publicul de caldura verii si a   prafului din oras. In Parcul Cismigiu pentru zonele de odihna s-au prevazut colturi izolate, linistite, cu banci comode, iar pentru zonele de promenada alei largi, sinuoase sau drepte ce conduc spre obiective interesante.
Parcul Cismigiu – Atractii : Gradina de trandafiri este compusa din ziduri si coloane de piatra si pergole de lemn cu lanturi de fier intre ele, pentru a expune numeroase soiuri de trandafiri agatatori; Rondul roman – este o platforma circulara cu diametrul de 20 m sub forma de bulingrin. Din cele patru puncte de acces se coboara pe trepte pe aleea circulara dalata cu piatra, ce desparte rondul central de plantatia de pe margine. Perimetrul rondului este plantat cu forme tunse conic de tisa ; Foisorul Fanfarei este locul in care au loc concerte de fanfara, muzica clasica si muzica populara; Lacul unde vara se pot face plimbari cu barca  iar iarna se transforma in patinuar ; Coltul cu arbori si arbusticu frunze persistente iarna de langa Colegiul Lazar; Coltul sahistilorColtul copiilor – de langa Lacului Cretulescu, amenajat cu mici elemente arhitecturale, podete, balustrade; Izvorul lui Eminescu – situat la baza pantei dinspre Str. Stirbei Voda.

Un mic paradis as spune….mai ales ca pentru mine are o conotatie aparte…frecventam parcul in anii de studentie, terminam cursurile de la Universitatea Bucuresti si fugeam cu colegii la o plimbare prin Cismigiu….

Pentru cazare in zona, intr-un cadru intim si prietenos, va recomand: http://www.eastcomfort.com/romania/bucharest/ap22-2r-apartment.en.html

Parcul Herastrau

herastrau-park

Este cel mai  mare parc al Bucurestiului si este situat in partea de Nord a Capitalei.

Punctele de atracţie deosebite le constitue:Zona Expoflora, organizată pe o suprafaţă de 15 ha, în care an de an se realizează decoruri florale de o înaltă măiestrie artistică;
Insula Trandafirilor, a carei compoziţie are două axe, una care deschide perspectiva către Muzeul Satului şi alta care face legătura cu restul parcului. Începând cu 1 Iunie până toamna insula este viu colorată de ghirlandele sinuoase de trandafiri ce contrastează armonios cu verticalitatea stâlpilor de susţinere;
Gradina Japoneză, amenajată în anul 1998 cu sprijinul Ambasadei Japoniei în România şi a Fundaţiei Comemorative a Expoziţiei Mondiale Japoneze;
Monumente şi statui.

Proiectele pentru acest parc au fost făcute de arhitecţii Pinard şi Rebhun, aleile fiind proiectate de arhitectul Octav Dobrescu. Meritul deosebit îi revine arhitectului Fr. Rebhun care a realizat compoziţia vegetală (arbori, arbuşti, flori).   În timp s-a considerat necesar ca parcul poate fi amenajat în două zone: una liniştită rezervată pentru odihnă şi cultură (pe terenul unde este parcul vechi) şi o zonă destinată odihnei active, sportului şi distracţiilor (situate dincolo de lac). Această a doua zonă a fost proiectată de arh. Vişan şi tehn. Mateescu astfel încât să se obţină o unitate armonioasă între cadrul natural şi partea proiectată, ţinându-se cont şi de arhitectura celeilalte zone a parcului.
Parcul a fost dotat cu lucrările edilitare necesare: reţea de apă pentru baut şi stropit, parţial cu reţea pentru evacuarea apelor uzate şi de ploaie, reţea de lumină electrică.
Ca dotări în prima zonă, a parcului Herăstrău vechi, se află două teatre – unul pentru adulţi şi altul pentru copii – două pavilioane pentru expoziţii, biblioteci, umbrar pentru lectură şi şah, debarcadere, bănci, iar în zona parcului Herăstrău nou sunt construite cabane, terenuri sportive, restaurante, etc.

Parcul Carol

Parcul s-a amenajat în stil mixt pe Dealul Filaretului, acoperit cândva de vii, martor al unor întruniri de mare amploare în anul 1848, purtând podoaba unui parc considerat printre cele mai frumoase ale oraşului. Parcul a fost proiectat in 1900 de arhitectul E. Redont si inaugurat in 1906.

Acest parc este o lucrare de înaltă ţinută artistică, astfel parterul central al parcului este încadrat de borduri de Buxus sempervirens şi rabate cu trandafiri, având de o parte şi de alta alei cu aliniament de tei.
  Buxusul de formă globuloasă este amplasat de-a lungul aleii centrale, impresionând prin ritmicitatea şi mărimea lui.
  Dacă aleea centrală este rezolvată într-un stil geometric, restul parcului are un traseu peisager cu alei sinuoase, vegetaţia fiind grupată într-o asemenea manieră încât să creeze imagini romantice, apropiate peisajelor naturale.

parcul carol

 

Ca si elemente de atractie deosebita, amintim: Arenele Romane, amfiteatru cu capacitate de 5500 locuri in aer liber, in cadrul caruia sunt organizate diverse spectacole si concerte, un exemplar Sequoia Gigantea-arbore declarat monument al naturii, Turnul lui Vlad Tepes, care adaposteste un rezervor de apa, Monumentul soldatului necunoscut, adus in 1991 de la Marasesti, Statuile “Gigantii”, realizate de sculptorul Dumitru Paciurea, Fantana Cantacuzino, monument de artă în stil neoclasic, construită în anul 1870, fiind decorată pe faţadă şi parţile laterale cu basoreliefuri şi plăci de ceramică reprezentând cavaleri medievali şi steme.

Parcul Tineretului este situat la capătul B-dului Dimitrie Cantemir în zona denumită“Valea Plângerii”, la o distanţă mică de centru. Proiectul întocmit de arhitectul Valentin Donose (Institutul Proiect Bucureşti) a avut în vedere realizarea unei suprafeţe vaste de spaţiu verde pentru odihnă şi recrearea populaţiei din ansamblurile de locuinţe din partea sudică a oraşului.

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Gradina Botanica Bucuresti

Am lasat-o la urma dintr-un motiv bine intemeiat…un buchet ales de culori, forme, vegetatie  luxurianta, arta florala, colectii impresionante de plante rare, mediteraneene….si spre rusinea mea nu am apucat sa o vizitez…va indemn pe Dvs…

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Gradina Botanica “Dimitrie Brandza” a Universitatii din Bucuresti a fost infiintata la initiativa doctorului Carol Davila, cel care a infiintat si Facultatea de Medicina. Este situata in partea de Vest a orasului, zona Soseaua Cotroceni-Palatul Cotroceni.

Gardina Botanica este o institutie de cultura, educatie si cercetare, un factor activ in procesul general de constientizare a relatiei dintre om si natura, prin prisma necesitatii conservarii diversitatii vegetale.

Un spatiu verde ideal atat pentru turisti cat si pentru specialisti, Gradina Botanica ramane unul din cele mai vechi “monumente in aer liber” al Bucurestiului, ce continua sa-si incante si sa-si fascineze vizitatorii chiar si dupa ce a trecut mai mult de un secol plin de peripetii de la infiintarea sa. Cu siguranta, este un exemplu ce ne arata ca locurile frumoase pot supravietui in Bucuresti in ciuda tuturor calamitatilor care se pot intampla si a schimbarilor politice ce pot surveni.

Asadar, avem unde sa ne petrecem in mod creativ si contructiv, timpul liber.

Bucurestiul ofera cateva posibiliatti in acest sens si cu siguranta de luat in seama.

Ce mai acunde Bucurestiul? Avem multe de descoperit in acest fascinant oras!

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