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The Walking Tour of Bucharest, Romania Continues

More photos from our self-guided walking tour of Bucharest, Romania. We started this trip downtown Bucharest and walked the entire length back north to our hotel.

Kretzulescu Church

Nduku in front of Kretzulescu Church

Kretzulescu Church (Romanian: Biserica Kretzulescu or Creţulescu) is an Eastern Orthodox church in central Bucharest, Romania. Built in the Brâncovenesc style, it is located on Calea Victoriei at one of the corners of Revolution Square, next to the former Royal Palace.

The church was commissioned in 1720–1722 by the boyar Iordache Creţulescu and his wife Safta, a daughter of prince Constantin Brâncoveanu. Originally, the exterior was painted, but since the restoration work done in 1935–1936 (under the supervision of architect Ştefan Balş), the facade is made of brick. The frescoes on the porch date from the original structure, while the interior frescoes were painted by Gheorghe Tattarescu in 1859–1860.

The church, damaged during the November, 1940 earthquake, was repaired in 1942–1943. In the early days of the communist regime, Kretzulescu Church was slated for demolition, but was saved due to efforts of architects such as Henriette Delavrancea-Gibory. More renovations took place after the Bucharest earthquake of 1977 and the Revolution of 1989. To the side of the church now stands a memorial bust of Corneliu Coposu.

Graffiti next to Kretzulescu Church

Bucharest, Romania

Bust of Corneliu Coposu

Corneliu Coposu was a conservative Romanian politician born in Bobota, Sălaj County (in Transylvania, part of Austria-Hungary at the time). In 1945, after the royal coup against the Antonescu regime, Coposu became deputy secretary of the PNŢ and, after the reunion of Northern Transylvania, the party’s delegate to the leadership of provisional administrative bodies. He was also active in organizing the party as the main opposition to the Communist Party and the Petru Groza cabinet before the 1946 general election.

These cool looking clocks are scattered around the city

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Iuliu Maniu statue at Revolution Square

Iuliu Maniu (1873–1953) was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian politician. A leader of the National Party of Transylvania and Banat before and after World War I, he served as Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933, and, with Ion Mihalache, co-founded the National Peasants’ Party.

Memorial of Rebirth at Revolution Square

The base of Memorial of Rebirth at Revolution Square

The Memorial of Rebirth (Memorialul Renaşterii in Romanian) is a memorial in Bucharest, Romania that commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism. The memorial complex was inaugurated in August 2005 in Revolution Square, where Romania’s Communist-era dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu, was publicly overthrown in December 1989.

The memorial, designed by Alexandru Ghilduş, features as its centerpiece a 25-meter-high marble pillar reaching up to the sky, upon which a metal “crown” is placed. Its initial name was “Eternal Glory to the Heroes and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989” (Glorie Eternă Eroilor şi Revoluţiei Române din Decembrie 1989). The memorial’s name alludes to Romania’s rebirth as a nation after the collapse of Communism.

Equestrian statue of Carol I of Romania

Carol I (1839–1914), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was reigning prince and then King of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected prince of the Romanian United Principalities on 20 April 1866 following the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War, he was proclaimed King of Romania in 1881. He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.

During his reign, he personally led Romanian troops during the Russo-Turkish War and assumed command of the Russo/Romanian army during the siege of Plevna. The country achieved full independence from the Ottoman Empire (Treaty of Berlin, 1878) and acquired the Cadrilater from Bulgaria in 1913. Domestic political life, still dominated by the country’s wealthy landowning families organised around the rival Liberal and Conservative parties, was punctuated by two widespread peasant uprisings, in Wallachia (the southern half of the country) in April 1888 and in Moldavia (the northern half) in March 1907.

Fast food joints in America are about as plain and simple as they come. In Bucharest, though, they do fast food much bigger. Pizza Hut looks like a gourmet restaurant. KFC is chic. McDonald’s has an outdoor seating area with logo-emblazoned umbrellas. They also have a sausage sandwich not seen in America. Using real sausage links.

McDonald’s doing it big in Bucharest

The Sandwich Bavarez at McDonald’s

We have vending machines for Coke and Pepsi in buildings. Romanians have vending machines for coffee — at the corner of the street. You can find these machines throughout downtown.

Bucharest, Romania

Coffee, anyone?

Romanians also have a bikeshare program, but every time we walked past these bikes, there were all still there.

Romania’s version of Capitol Bikeshare

There are billboards and ads for Men in Black III all over Bucharest. Here’s a theater playing it. It’s known in Romanian as “Barbati in Negru 3.” Will Smith is still Will Smith though.

Men in Black III also known as Barbati in Negru 3

If you really, really, really got to go after hours, no need to hide behind the bushes. Though it smells like a lot of people chose to use the Metro system, there are these public restrooms scattered in Bucharest. For a price.

Bucharest, Romania

Public restrooms in Bucharest for a price

But if you have to make a phone call, there are still some free-standing phone booths, but they may not still be working. Most of the ones we saw were vandalized with graffiti, had broken glass, had missing handsets or simply looked like they were about to tumble over at any moment.

Phone booth

Bucharest, Romania

Church of Saint John the New

Lascăr Catargiu

Lascăr Catargiu (1823–1899) was a Romanian conservative statesman born in Moldavia. He belonged to an ancient Wallachian family, one of whose members had been banished in the 17th century by Prince Matei Basarab, and had settled in Moldavia. Catargiu rose to the office of prefect of police in the city under the rule of the Moldavian Prince Grigore Ghica (1849–1856). In 1857 he became a member of the ad hoc Divan of Moldavia, a commission elected in accordance with the Treaty of Paris (1856) to vote on the proposed union of Moldavia and Wallachia (the Danubian Principalities). His strongly conservative views, especially on land reform, induced the Conservatives to support him as a candidate for the Romanian throne in 1859.

During the reign of Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859–1866), Catargiu was one of the Opposition leaders, and received much assistance from his kinsman, Barbu Catargiu (b. 1807), a noted journalist and politician, who was assassinated in Bucharest on the June 20, 1862. Lascăr Catargiu consequently took part in the so-called Monstrous Coalition that toppled Cuza, and, on the accession of Domnitor Carol I in May 1866, became President of the Council of Ministers but, finding himself unable to cooperate with his Liberal colleagues, Ion Brătianu and C. A. Rosetti, he resigned in July.

Casa Manu-Auschnitt built by Ion Manu with his wife’s dowry in 1915

I don’t know if these buses run on gas, but they’re connected to a high-wire, assumingly for power. Bucharest may not be the most modern city, but it does appear to have some modern world technologies that aren’t as common in Washington, DC.

Bus running on electricity

The National Museum of Natural History at Victory Square.

Muzeul Național de Istorie Naturală Grigore Antipa

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Monumentul Eroilor Aerului

The Romanian Airmen Heroes Memorial (Romanian: Monumentul Eroilor Aerului), located in the Aviators’ Square, on Aviators’ Boulevard, was built between 1930 and 1935 by the architect and sculptress Lidia Kotzebuie and by Iosif Fekete. The structure, 20 m (65.6 ft) high, is made up of bronze sculptures resting on an obelisk-shaped stone pedestal, which in turn stands atop four trapezoidal prisms linked to each other by arcs. Beneath this entire complex is a circular stone base.

Attached to the top of the obelisk is a statue depicting a flying man, his wings outstretched. The folds of a shawl fall from his waist onto the obelisk. Three aviators, each in a different stage of flight attempt, are depicted around the base of the obelisk. On the pedestal are the aviators’ insignia, helmet and equipment, as well as engraved plaques with the names of Romanian airmen who had crashed to their deaths by the time the monument was built. These men died pursuing various goals: skill development, performance, adventure and fighting in World War I. The first name is that of Gheorghe Caranda, killed in 1912 on an airfield during a training flight; the last is that of Sava Rotaru, killed in 1934 in thick fog in the hills around Cernavodă. After the official dedication, 99 additional names have been posted on the North bottom side of the pedestal.

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