miercuri, 14 noiembrie 2012

The secret charm of Bucharest

The Romanian Capital stretches on a huge neverending plain, the Romanian plain. Neither spectacular rivers, nor hill or mountains are able to put the big city in good light, and thus it is so easy to dislike this balcanic capital, with its sufferings, traffic jams, with its buildings which never matches to the neighborhood. To discover the secret charm of Bucharest you need some patience, a good guide and the right weather! If all these preconditions are filled, Bucharest will seduce you, there is no chance to escape. The city's museums, monuments, fountains and exceptional churches, as also the neoclassic palaces are able to satisfy any art freak. The collector of living human canvas will be also a victim of Bucharest spell.
The many pubs and restaurants in Downtown/centrul vechi are very fashioned  and thus  overcrowded day and night

An area of Bucharest who will definitely fascinate is the historic centre of Bucharest, as described in the Architectural Tour of Bucharest. There are many hidden places in this area, and also some interesting places which you can simply go by, without noticing their mysterious charm.  This area stretches between dambovita, Calea Victoriei, University and the Boulevard Ion I.C. Bratianu. The modern Piata Unirii is a kind of City Center, and not far away, in the St George market is actually the Kilometer zero of Romania (all the road distances are measured starting from this point). The high sad blocks of flats on the Boulevard Ioan I.C. Bratianu are only hiding the Historical Centre, with its eclectic architecture. You will remark and recognize Bauhaus, rococo and baroque style, (no Gangnam style in the architecture, please). 

Since a few years the area is again in!. In fashion, I mean. It is covered with many clubs and pubs, where you can dance the Gangnam style. This area was populated a few centuries ago by skilled traders from Balkans, Central Europe and Armenia, which build houses in different styles. Then emerged the motels and businesses. One of the main streets in the area, Lipscani, has a name of a very interesting origin: Lipsca is in Romanian the German city of Leipzig , and the traders settled on this street. Gabroveni is another street in Bucharest downtown; here lived the fabrics traders from Gabrovo, Bulgaria.
Restaurant from Pasage Vilacross

Observe the old buildings, and think to their long history, starting at least in 1840 and to the many fires and earthquakes they got to face! On the street Hanu cu tei there is a nice art gallery, but also some fancy boutiques, and the street Sticlary means glass producers.

This downtown is an area of contrasts: old fashioned boutiques, street vendors, gipsies houses are next to fancy clubs, designed by vogue artists, resulting an unforgetable atractiv mix. 

Don't miss, please on Lipscani street the respectful building of Romanian National Bank, where you can borow some money if the locals seem to expensive to you. You may also not to miss the rounded building of Tehnoimport on Doamnei street (the name means Lady, and refers to the wife of the Prince Serban Cantacuzino, who build the Biserica Doamnei!)

Also important, The Stavropoleos Church, a typical orthodoxe one, maybe even a little too decorated and artficial. And the last hit is the picturesque glass-covered Pasaj Macca-Vilacross, offering at any day or night hour a strange atmosphere.

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