Spread over 228 km2 with a population of more than two million inhabitants, the metropolis of Bucharest is named after the legendary shepherd Bucur, considered the founder of the city and the builder of its first church. Mentioned in written documents since 1459 , Bucharest has preserved archaeological remains from the Neolithic. The oldest church in the city date from 1558 and was built at the office of the court royal, known as the “Old Court (Curtea Veche).
In 1659, Bucharest became the capital of Wallachia. On January 24th, 1859, the city became the capital of united principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia and on 1st December 1918 the capital of the Greater Romania. The city experienced a steady expansion that peaks in the inter-war years when it became a real “little Paris”.
The recent redevelopment tends to rehabilitate older buildings.In the north of the capital, in the green areas located around Lake and Park Herastrau, you can visit the Village Museum. It is a very original ethnographic museum, which was founded by the sociologist and philosopher Dimitrie Gusti in 1936, from 300 wooden buildings (houses, mills wind and water, churches, farm outbuildings etc..), from different periods, from several regions of the country and resettled in the open air as a immense and unique village. Nearby, the Romanian Peasant Museum is the result of an original artistic conception of the artist and photographer Horia Bernea who was its first director in 1990. Including a series of huge rooms that recreate the everyday world of the Romanian Peasant The Museum presents a unique collection of icons painted on glass. The Museum was awarded the 1996 prize for best European museum of the year (European Museum of the Year Award – EMYA).
Near this museum, in Victory Square, opposite the government palace, the Natural History Museum “Grigore Antipa” is among the first museums in the world in this area, with approximately 30 000 pieces of high scientific interest. If we continue the journey through the Avenue “Calea Victoriei, we discover, on the right, the Cantacuzino Palace, converted into a museum dedicated to the memory of the great Romanian composer George Enescu Classical. This palace, built by the wealthy boyar Grigore Cantacuzino, nicknamed “The Nabab, is a model of neo-classical French architecture with an impressive entry: behind a magnificent wrought iron gate, the stairs of marble are guarded by two stone sitting lions. In this museum are exhibited a number of documents illustrating the life and work of Georges Enesco, Romanian and Academician Member of the French Academy. In September, Bucharest experiences exceptional musical excitement, including the “George Enescu” Festival which meets every two years, the best concert of world. The “Calea Victoriei ends in the square of the Revolution where you can discover some of the most representative buildings of Bucharest, including the Romanian Athenaeum, the most beautiful space for classical music concert of the city which became his emblem, the Library University, the former royal palace transformed in the National Museum of Art with his collections from the Middle Ages.