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Living in Bucharest

Location on the map

 

Bucharest time

Romania's time is the same as Eastern European Time (UTC +2.00). For a time zone map click here

 

History

Bucharest is the main political and administrative centre of the country and here there are the Presidency, the Parliament, the Government, the headquarters of the main political parties, cultural and educational institutions, financial and commercial institutions and banks.

Bucharest has a surface of 228 sqkm (0.8 % from Romania 's surface), out of 70% is built area. The city lays at 44o24'49" Northern latitude (like Beograd, Geneve, Bordeaux, Minneapolis) and 26o05'48" Eastern longitude (like Helsinki or Johannesburg), in the south at 64 km north from the Danube River, 100 km from the Carpathians and 250 km west from the Black Sea.

Antiquity

Archaeological vestiges found all over the area covered by Bucharest nowadays have revealed evidence of ancient settlements, some over 150,000 years old.

15 th century

The documents issued by the Wallachian Chancellery between 1459 - 1625 recorded 41 settlements on the city's present-day territory.

The first reference to the name of Bucharest dates back to September 20, 1459 ); it is a document by which the Prince Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) confirmed a donation made to some small feudal lords.

Under the rule of Prince Vlad the Impaler, Bucharest was elevated to a princely court and set it on its way to playing a decisive role in the further development of the settlement.

Thus, the city area doubled its area at the beginning of the 15th century and new districts populated by craftsmen emerged.

From the beginning of the 15th century to the end of the feudal period, Bucharest knew a continuous economic and social development despite natural disasters and wars, thus becoming one of the main industrialized city centers of South - Eastern Europe .

18th century

The first small-scale industries were established starting with the 18th century.

19 th century

In 1830, the City Council (the Local Public Administration) was established and the city was divided into five administrative areas (districts). The first Survey Plan of the Bucharest City was drawn up by the City Hall in 1846.

After the establishment of the Romanian national state (on January 24, 1859 ), Bucharest became the Capital city of modern Romania in 1862. As a result, it grew and developed dramatically.

The first institutions to be established in the Capital city were: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1858), the Bucharest Stock Exchange (1881), the National Bank of Romania (1880), the most important of all for a long period of time.

The end of the 19th century marks the development of capitalist relationships and the creation of a banking system after new banks sprang up: Marmorosch Bank, General Bank of Romania, Clearing Bank, Romanian Bank.

20 th century

The Baneasa Airport was opened in 1921, and SARTA Society for Airline Transport was founded in 1931, changing its name into the state-owned "Romanian Airlines" - two years later.

Over the Communist period, the construction industry had a significant contribution to the economy of the city. If the main industrial branches developed in Bucharest before 1950 had been the light and the food industry (57.9 %) and the chemical industry (24.1%), in 1982 the chemical industry alone accounted for 55% of the overall industrial structure.

The city's administrative areas are reorganized. Instead of 5 districts, Bucharest is now divided into 6 districts numbered clockwise. They are disposed radially so that each one has under its administration an area of the city center.

Bucharest has several sister cities, around the world: Athens ( Greece ), Atlanta ( United States ), Amman ( Jordan ), Ankara ( Turkey ).

21 st century

After the year 2000, due to the advent of Romania 's economic boom, the city has modernized and is currently undergoing a period of urban renewal. Various residential and commercial developments are underway, particularly in the northern districts, while Bucharest 's historic centre is currently undergoing significant restoration.

Bucharest adds to its list of sister cities the following: Beijing ( China ), Chisinau ( Republic of Moldova ), Montreal ( Canada ) Nicosia ( Cyprus ), Tirana ( Albania ) and Manila ( Philippines ).

 

Sights

As the capital city of Romania , Bucharest has an enormous historical and cultural legacy, observable throughout the city. Among the places worth visiting we mention: buildings with a great architectural value, museums and art galleries, public parks and gardens.

From the architectural point of view, Bucharest is a place where several styles blend. A symbol of the Medieval architecture in Bucharest can be found in the city center, in the Lipscani area - this contains the Manuc's Inn (Hanul lui Manuc) and the ruins of the Old King's Court (Curtea Veche). Samples of Modern architecture from the late 19 th century and the early 20 th century are: the Cretulescu Palace and the Cotroceni Palace (the current residence of the Romanian president), as well as the National Bank of Romania 's headquarters. A landmark of the Communist architecture is the current Palace of the Parliament (formerly known as The People's House, i.e. Casa Poporului). Contemporary architecture is represented by tall buildings mostly made out of glass and steel, such as the Bucharest World Trade Center and the Chamber of Commerce.

Among the numerous art museums hosted by the city, we mention: The National Museum of Art of Romania, The Zambaccian Museum , The Gheorghe Tattarescu Museum, The Theodor Pallady Museum , The Museum of Art Collections and The National Museum of Contemporary Art . For those interested in traditional culture, there are the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the open-air Village Museum . Last but not least, The Museum of Romanian History is another significant museum in Bucharest , whose collections are meant to detail Romanian history from prehistoric times until the modern era.

The public parks and gardens give the city a fresh, green air. Among them we mention: the Herastrau Park , the Cismigiu Garden , the Carol I Park, the Kiseleff Park , and the Park of the Mogosoaia Castle .

 

Transportation

As the main political and administrative center of Romania , Bucharest has an extensive public transport system, including an underground urban railway transport (known as metrou ), a surface transport system (which consists of buses, trolleys, trams, and light rail), a private minibus system and a number of private taxicab companies.

The city's connection with other national and international cities and towns is ensured by automotive transport, rail transport, and air transport.

As regards the automotive transport, Bucharest is a major intersection of Romania's national road network . It is the origin of most of the country's national roads and expressways, which link the city to all of Romania 's major cities, as well as to neighboring countries such as Hungary , Bulgaria and Ukraine .

From the point of view of rail transport, Bucharest is the center of Romania 's national railway network, with ten railway stations. The main railway station is Gara de Nord , or the North Station, which provides connections to all major cities in Romania as well as international destinations.

As far as air transport is concerned, the city is served by two airports: the Henri Coanda International Airport (formerly Otopeni) and the Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (formerly Baneasa). Henri Coanda is the largest airport in Romania being also connected to several international airports by a wide range of international airlines. The smaller Aurel Vlaicu Airport is used for charter flights and low-cost carriers.