Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Belle Epoque buildings Bucharest, Romania’s capital is sometimes known as “Little Paris” due to its 19th century architecture designed by French trained architects which includes a Triumphal Arch and a boulevard reminiscent of Paris’ famed Champs-Elysees. Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named “Bucur”, whose name means “joy”. His flute playing reportedly dazzled the locals and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place.
Communist rule interrupted Bucharest’s cosmopolitan days, and today 15 years after the overthrow of the communist regime, the “House of the People”, the world’s second largest building after the US Pentagon, reminds Romanians of the communist years. Today, Bucharest the capital and largest city of Romania is experiencing renewed vigour. The city reflects an interesting heritage of mixed cultures influenced by the old Romanian aristocracy educated in France, the German King Carol I, and the communist society.