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History of Bucharest

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The legend says that Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur. According to another variant most likely, Bucharest was founded by Mircea cel Bătrân at the end of the fourteenth century.

On the banks of the Dâmboviţa and Colentina is known Paleolithic and Neolithic culture. By 1800 BC appears some evidence of communities in Dudeşti, Tei Lake, and the actual Bucureștii-Noi. Archaeological excavations show that this area passed through a process of development from the Bronze Age until the year 100 BC, during which Herăstrău, Radu Voda, Tei Lake, Panteleimon, Mihai Voda hill, Popesti Leordeni and Popeşti-Novaci areas are populated by Indo-Europeans (ie Geto-Dacians). The first house after the Aurelian withdrawal of 273 are certified in the centuries AD III – XIII, until the Middle Ages.

The settlement is documented at September 21, 1459 in a document issued by Vlad Tepes, king of the Romanian Country, which strengthens an estate of landowners. Dâmboviţa Citadel, as it appears in the early years the city, had a strategic role and will oversee road went from Târgşor in Giurgiu, the last settlement being an Ottoman garrison. Soon Bucharest stated, being elected on 14 October 1465 by Radu the Handsome as a royal residence. In the years 1558 – 1559 at the Old Court Church is built Biserica Domnească (Royal Church), founded by Mircea Ciobanul, standing today as the oldest place of worship in the city preserved in its original form.

Bucharest, around 1900

In 1659, under the reign of Gheorghe Ghica, Bucharest became the capital of the Romanian Country, by a Turkish order, to have a capital in the plains, near the Danube, easier to control compared to Targoviste. From that moment it starts to upgrade it. It were built the first roads paved with river stone (1661), the first institution of higher education, the Royal Academy (1694), and Mogosoaia Palace (Constantin Brancoveanu, 1702), which hosts today Brancovanian Feudal Art Museum. In 1704 it is founded, initiated by Mihai Cantacuzino, Colţea Hospital, which was damaged in a fire after an earthquake and rebuilt in 1888. Soon, Bucharest is developing economically, the number of craftsmen that formed many guilds (tailors, shoemakers, cavafilor, furriers, drapers, etc.) increases. Same time it is modernized the city. There are created the first manufacturers and public fountains, and the population will increase continuously by bringing people from all over Wallachia (in 1798 there were 30,030 inhabitants, while in 1831 were 10,000 houses and 60,587 inhabitants).

Slowly, there are founded several institutions of interest (National Theatre, Cismigiu Garden, Serban Voda Cemetery, Academic Society in Bucharest, Philharmonic Society in Bucharest, University of Bucharest, North Railway Station, the Grand Hotel du Boulevard, Universe newspaper, cafes, restaurants, Botanical Garden of Bucharest, Romanian Athenaeum, National Bank, cinemas) and are used the new technologies (kerosene lighting, the first tram, electric lighting, the first telephone line).

Bucharest was, until the communist regime in Romania, the capital of the Ilfov county. At that time it was called “Little Paris” because of the similarity to the French capital, but has lost its charm during communism. Lately estate development has raised concern about the fate of historic buildings in the city, especially those from the historic center.

Assan’s Mill (a picture of the early twentieth century)

Treaties signed in Bucharest:

  • May 28, 1812 – the end of the Russo-Turkish War, the Principality of Moldova loses its eastern side, Bessarabia
  • March 3, 1886 – the end of the war between Serbia and Bulgaria
  • August 10, 1913 – the end of the Second Balkan War
  • August 4, 1916 – Treaty of alliance between Romania and the Entente (France, Britain, Russia and Italy)
  • May 6, 1918 – Treaty between Romania and the Central Powers, which was never ratified

Materials translated and adapted from the Wikipedia.

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