The Romanian Athenaeum The historic centre.
For many centuries, the nucleus of Bucharest was the area around the old voievodal palace. Manuc's Inn was built here in 1808, and was originally owned by an Armenian, Emmanuel Marzaian. The Linden Inn, built in 1833 between Lipscani and Blanari Street, has also been preserved, and is now an art gallery.
Stavropoleos Church, situated near Lipscani Street, is regarded as one of the most beautiful and representative examples of the late Brancoveanu style. It was, built in 1724 by Greek archimandrite loanichie Stratonikas, who would later become the Metropolitan of Stavropolis, as an inn church.
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The church is now celebrated for its choir (the Stavropoleos Group), who sing traditional Byzantine chant during services.
The Beer Dray Restaurant (5 Stavropoleos Street), one of the few neo-gothic structures in Bucharest, was built in 1875-79, according to the designs of architect Zigfrid Kofczincky. The interior, of an overwhelming refinement and elegance, reproduces the ambience of a German bier-keller.
The Lipscani district.
Calea Victoriei, which stretches for a distance of 2.7 kilometres between United Nations Plaza in the south and Victory Plaza in the north, is the main artery of Bucharest. Along its length can be found the most impressive buildings of Bucharest, constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries: the Agricola-Fonciera and Adriatica blocks, the CEC Palace, the National Museum of History, the Zlatari Church, the Capsa Restaurant, the National Military Club, the National Museum of Art (formerly the Royal Palace), the Central University Library, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Romanit Palace, the Monteoru House, the Vernescu House, the George Enescu Museum (the Cantacuzino Palace). Each building has its own fascinating story, which we invite you to discover.
The Church of the Patriarchate, dedicated to the Holy Emperor Constantine and Saint Elena, situated on “ Vintners' Hill” was founded in 1654, during the reign of Constantin Serban Basarab. The building was finished in 1668, under Prince Radu Leon. The church – which is a copy of that founded by Neagoe Basarab at Curtea de Arges – houses a silver casket with the relics of St. Dimitrie Basarabov.
The Palace of Parliament (called the House of the People during the communist period) is a colossal structure, the second largest in the world after the Pentagon. The building, which is 84m high, has 6,000 rooms and covers a built surface area of 330, 000 square metres, was constructed on Spirii Hill between 1984 and 1989. It is now the seat of the Romanian Government, and also houses an International Conference Centre and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. In front of the Palace stretches the vast Constitution Plaza, where concerts and shows are held.
The Cismigiu Gardens (14 hectares) in the centre of Bucharest are the oldest park in the capital. The park was first laid out in 1845, and its current form is the work of German landscape gardeners Karl Wilhelm Meyer and F. Rebhuhn. The floral arrangements, the rare trees and shrubs (Ginko bilboa, red spruce, Japanese red pine), the lanes that lead to the lake in the middle of the park, where it is possible to go rowing, and the children's playgrounds all give Cismigiu a distinct charm. It is no wonder that it is a favourite place of recreation for the people of Bucharest.