4 reasons why Bucharest is called The Little Paris

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We would all like to visit the wonderful Paris one day, but every time we run into the high costs that come with it, we get deeply disappointed.

But you will be surprised to learn that in Europe there is another country that comes for the place of Paris and it is also called: The Little Paris and this country is called Romania, with the capital Bucharest. Therefore, I will present 4 reasons why Bucharest is called The Little Paris.

This resemblance began in the mid-nineteenth century when Bucharest began to take on both economic and industrial colours. Gaining such courage to develop, Bucharest began to attract the attention of many businessmen, tourists, but also workers in the cities surrounding Bucharest.

Being able to grow so fast, and being available so many jobs in bars, restaurants, Bucharest thus knows the glory period. Therefore, with small steps, they came to the design of buildings and blocks, most made after the “image and likeness” of the French.

1. Kretzulescu Palace

Kretzulescu Palace is a monumental building designed by the famous architect Petre Antonescu in the style of the French Renaissance with Baroque influences. Petre Antonescu was one of the most prolific Romanian architects, who established himself among the leading personalities of the Romanian school of architecture, marking the architectural activity of the first half of the twentieth century by promoting a neo-Romanian architectural style.

The palace was built over two years. In the years following the palace by the City Hall, the space housed the Museum of Religious Art.
Today, the Kretzulescu Palace is not open to the public but can be admired from Cismigiu Park

2. Arch of Triumph

The first, wooden, triumphal arch was built hurriedly after Romania gained its independence (1878) so that the victorious troops could march under it. Another arch with a concrete skeleton and plaster exterior of elaborate sculptures and decoration designed by Petre Antonescu was built on the same site after World War I in 1922.

The arch exterior, which had seriously decayed, was replaced in 1935 by the current much more sober Neoclassical design, more closely modelled in the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The new arch, also designed by Petre Antonescu and executed in stone, was inaugurated on 1 December 1936.

Although at its foot does not lie a boulevard as famous as the one in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe in Bucharest managed to become one of the symbols of the city. Used today only for military parades organized for the national day or other events with honorary purposes, the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest is one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the city.

3. Cotroceni Palace

French influences included most of the buildings built between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the following century. The Cotroceni Palace building is also part of the list of constructions “affected” by this current. Built by King Carol I for his successor, Ferdinand I, the Cotroceni Palace is a true work of art.

4. Vernescu House

Casa Vernescu on Calea Victoriei is also an additional reason why Bucharest received the nickname “Little Paris”. Coquettish, imposing and faithful to the architectural style initiated by the French, Casa Vernescu was one of the most important constructions of the past centuries. It is said that this building was one of the most beautiful houses built at that time and many boyars “fought” for it.

Near the end of the 19th century, Casa Vernescu was bought by the state and until the end of the Second World War, the house served as the headquarters of many ministries, the Government of Romania. In 1944, the Red Army occupied the house, destroying the decorations and murals.

After the end of the war, the house became the headquarters for several ministries, then became the house of protocol, and finally, in 1990, the Romanian Writers’ Union (USR) moved its headquarters here. Subsequently, Casa Vernescu is subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, and the union receives the right to use the house for 49 years.

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