Beautiful Bucharest: the Old City Centre

Historical sights, architectural works of art, palaces, churches, monasteries, restaurants with tradition along with numerous new cafés, pubs and restaurants, the old city centre of Bucharest, filled with history and with the elegance of past decades, has started to be brought back to life, having undergone a restoration and modernization process over the last years. I have many photos and stories to share and this is part I.

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The Stavropoleos Street. The Stavropoleos Monastery (above), one of the most beautiful monuments in the Old City Center, was built in 1724. Its architecture is regarded by art historians as the Brâncovenesc style, characterized by a unique blending of different Renaissance, Byzantine, Baroque and Gothic influences. The interior courtyard of the monastery was built at the beginning of the 20th century by architect Ion Mincu. Another place of reference on Stavropoleos Street is the famous restaurant Caru’ cu Bere (below), located in an imposing building in neo-Gothic style. Across Calea Victoriei there is the CEC Palace (last photo in the set below).
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The National Bank of Romania Palace (1st photo below) was built in neo-classic style between 1884-1890, on the location of the largest inn in Bucharest, Şerban Vodă Inn. The relics of the former inn can be seen under a small pedestrian area behind the NBR, covered in glass (second photo below).
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I sometimes like the hustle and bustle and the cheerfulness of the people gathering at the cafés and pubs that continue to spring over night all over the place, but I usually enjoy the quiet times early in the morning, as it happened one Saturday morning a few weeks back when I took my new Nikon camera (yes, finally – a wonderful surprise from my husband) out for a walk or when I take an office break and choose to work from a café in the first part of the day. Grand Café Van Gogh is where I had one of the best lattes in Bucharest. There are many coffee places, but I’ve only tried a few, because when I find something I like I usually stick to it.
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The historic city center has visibly changed, but there are so many more changes I would like to see: a cultural shift — more art galleries, theaters, cinemas and bookshops —, more green spaces and there is one more thing that would retain the charm of the place and preserve craftsmanships that have almost seized to exist: goldsmith, shoemaker, saddlemaker, millinery ateliers, all these cottage industries that have lent their names to the streets in the area, which used to be one of the most important commercial areas in Bucharest.

Have a wonderful weekend!

photos: by me


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