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Palatul Mogooaia
Mogoșoaia Palace
#About the Mogoșoaia Palace

About 10 kilometers northwest of Bucharest is the Mogoșoaia Palace (Palatul Mogoșoaia). It was built between 1698 - 1702 in the Romanian Renaissance style by the Prince of Wallachia, Constantin Brâncoveanu. The purpose of the palace was a summer home for his family, however in 1714 the prince and his 4 sons were murdered in Istanbul, and the palace changed ownership.

During World War I the palace was bombed, and this is when the palace began being used as a place to bury Romanian nobility. It was hidden by German Communists, and almost all the furniture inside was stolen, and disappeared.

In 1957 the palace was transferred to governmental ownership, and today it is a museum. The palace is surrounded by a wall, and around are nice gardens. The architecture of the structures is impressive, and the art gallery located here is equally as impressive.


A Closer Look at the Palace and the Gardens:

https://youtu.be/wx8JhLOavqQ
Biserica Stavropoleos
Stavropoleos Monastery
#About the Stavropoleos Monastery

The Orthodox Church in which you are was built in 1724 in a Brankovina architectural style. Although it is not particularly large, its beauty attracts quite a bit of attention.

The Stavropoleos Monastery (Biserica Stavropoleos) was founded during the reign of the prince of Wallachia, Nicolae Mavrocordat. A devout Christian, he built the church and abbey that once stood here in the courtyard of his inn. After he died, in 1742, he was buried in the church he had built, he was 61 years of age.

Over the years, the church itself has suffered quite a bit. Contributing to this were earthquakes, which led to the collapse of the dome. More and more destruction caused only the church itself to survive.

The paintings on the walls of the church were also damaged and restored only in the early 20th century, with the construction of the new building, designed by architect Ion Mincu. This building now has a library and conference room.

In addition to religious worship, the church is also engaged in the reconstruction of ancient icons and books. There is also a neo-Byzantine chorus in the church, a very rare monolithic style in today's Romanian churches.

The church includes an inner courtyard, known for its tombstones. There are pretty arches and columns, plants, and many decorations.

UNESCO declared the church as a protected site, and it is included in the list of historical Romanian monuments.


The Church Choir:

https://youtu.be/yT5y3tfReuY
Universitatea Bucuresti
University of Bucharest
#About the University of Bucharest

In July 1864 the State Institute of Higher Education was established - the University of Bucharest. The initiative came from the first ruler of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, who decided to unify the schools of Law, Science and Literature under the name of the University of Bucharest. It was later joined by the National School of Medicine and Pharmacy and became the University's School of Medicine.

During World War I, when Bucharest was occupied by the German army, the university stopped its activities and the studies were completely discontinued. They resumed in 1919 and the Romanian Social Institute was founded here. Over the years, more and more schools were added, until the university grew, becoming stronger and taking a real place in Romanian education.

The main building of the university is magnificent and impressive. Among other things you will find quite a few used book stands, old magazines, antique books, comic books and more.

The University Association ranked Bucharest among the top Romanian universities dealing with advanced research and education.



#The Jews at the University During the War

Between the two world wars, Romanian Jews received citizenship and equal rights. One of the expressions of this was the great registration for university studies. At the sight of the Jews going to study, Romanian Christian students rose up and began to protest for their immediate expulsion from the university. Anti-Semitic staff members also joined. The protestors tried everything, from anti-Semitic riots, attacks on Jews, destruction of Jewish property, and the desecration of synagogues and holy books.

In 1927, the University of Bucharest issued a condemnation of these demonstrations and immediately expelled all the antisemitic students who took part in the terrible riots.
Templul Coral
Choral Temple
#About the Stylish Central Jewish Synagogue of Romania

The Choral Temple (Templul Coral) was built more than 150 years ago. Until today, it is used as the largest and central synagogue of Romania's Jews. This synagogue is considered a reform synagogue. This synagogue is very old, it was built in the middle of the 19th century, between 1855- 1858.

The opening of the church was delayed because of destruction caused by vandals. These were Romanian nationalists, who violently protested Jews. It went through a serious renovation and then opened to the public. The first stone was laid in 1965. To the opening ceremony many important people came, members of the Founders Association, the Jews of Bucharest, as well as many Christian guests. In this ceremony, large donations were collected, used to pay the loan for the building of the synagogue, and continuing construction work.

Today, the building is still impressive and has a prominent presence. It has an old and ancient feeling to it, and it blends in well with the different buildings of the area. It is considered a Jewish historical site, an exact replica of the Tempelgasse synagogue in Vienna. Like it, it was also built by two Viennese architects.

The Choral Temple has two upper floors where the choir and organ are located. At the time, bringing the organ to the synagogue made many of the community upset, however, the organ remained.

During protests in Bucharest in 1941, the synagogue was severely damaged. A harsh and cruel massacre was carried out against the worshipers who were present at the time. After World War II, the synagogue was renovated with the help of donations from organizations. In the street in front of the synagogue is a statue of a Menorah in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.


A Closer Look at the Synagogue, Part of a Tour of Jewish Sites in the City:

https://youtu.be/WUtnAIwRIzE


Inside the Synagogue:

https://youtu.be/A_6-3ndVqOY

Architecture in Bucharest

Arcul de Triumf
Arcul de Triumf
#About the Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest

Like many good places, Bucharest also has its own victory gate. It is located in the north area of the city and is considered a popular tourist attraction. It is 85 meters tall, and visitors can climb to a viewpoint that is 27 meters high.


#History of the Romanian Victory Gate

The victory gate is a minimalist building in the shape of a rainbow, and its purpose throughout history has been to commemorate victories in battles or wars. The custom of building a victory gate originated from the Roman Empire.

The Arcul de Triumf was made as an exact replica of the Arc de Triumph in Paris. It is located between the 3 main avenues of the city, and the entrance to King Michael I Park.

The Bucharest victory gate was established in 1879. Its purpose was to commemorate Romanian independence, and it was made of wood. During damages from different wars, the new gate was built in 1922, this time for the Romanian soldiers that fought in World War I. However this gate also did not survive, and only in 1935 was a gate finally built that stood the test of time - this is the grandeur gate you see today, made of stone and marble.

Each year on December 1st, there is an independence day parade in the victory gate area. At night lights light up the gate with the flags of the 40 regions in Romania.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/IKssousMzQE
Piata Revolutiei
Revolution Square
#About Revolution Square

Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei) is located on Calea Victoriei, and has always held an important role in the city.

Here, in this square, towards the late 1980's, mass protests were held against the tyrant Ceaușescu. From the balcony of the Communist Party headquarters, Ceaușescu looked at the revolution happening before his eyes in 1989, and he left with his wife on a helicopter and escaped Bucharest. A few hours later, he was caught by revolutionaries, taken into custody, went through a field trial, and was immediately executed, along with his wife.

In the Revolutionary Square, there a few buildings worth to mention: the impressive Parliament building, decorated with columns with important figures from Romania's history. There is the King's Palace (Palatul Regal), today being used as the National Museum of Art of Romania.

In the square are statues and monuments dedicated to the Romanian Revolution of 1989.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/dsiBh_y1VDE


The Square During the Revolution - The Helicopter with the Tyrant and His Wife Fleeing:

https://youtu.be/lrGpt_gtr-w
Palatul Patriarhiei
Palace of the Patriarchate
#About the Metropolitan Church

It is not the most beautiful and not the oldest in Bucharest, but it is alive, kicking and active to this day. This is the Palace of the Patriarchate (Palatul Patriarhiei), located on the patriarchal hill in the city.

The Palace of the Patriarchate was founded by Prince Constantine and his wife between 1654-1658. Since then it has been reconstructed quite a few times and therefore the building has not preserved its original shape, mainly due to the additions added to it and the various adjustments made over the years.

This church is the heart of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Notice the beautiful frescoes in the front of the building. Enter through the arches of the entrance and observe the decorated altar.

Inside the church, you will find beautiful Byzantine icons and altars. If you visit around Easter, you should come to hear the midnight mass sung by the famous choir of the church.

To this day, the church is included in the list of historical monuments in Romania.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Mll1zpT5zSw
Palatul Parlamentului
Palace of Parliament
#About the Pompous Palace of Ceaușescu

The Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) is the largest palace in the world, after the Pentagon in the United States. This is no coincidence. The palace is a symbol for the known extravagance of the dictator and Communist Party leader Nicolae Ceaușescu. He did not live to see the end of the construction, since he was executed during the revolution before the building was completed.

After the revolution and his death, the democratic Romanian government decided to keep the impressive building, instead of paying the large amount for its destruction.

The palace is located in the center of Bucharest, and has no less than 16 floors, 1,100 rooms, and 4 underground levels, as well as a bunker.

The construction broke 3 world records. This was the second largest administrative building ever built in history, the most expensive, and the heaviest. Inside you will see a wide variety of decorations and furniture, who hold an entire history in themselves.


#About the History of the Palace

The building was built in 1984, and was originally planned to be the new police headquarters. 20,000 workers, and 700 architects worked on this building, under the management of architect Anca Petrescu, who was only 28 when he designed the palace. The palace is made from 8 palaces, and you can see here hundreds of offices, event halls and conference rooms. For its construction 7,000 houses were demolished.

The construction was completed in 1997, and cost 3 billion euros. 20,000 workers were involved in the construction. This palace tells the pride-filled story of Ceaușescu, with his photo scattered around everywhere in the large palace. He spent a lot of the resources that he withheld from the people, and spent them on golden decorations, tiles, marble, velvet curtains, and huge crystal chandeliers.

Today the building holds the Romanian Parliament, and is an International Conference Center.

Not many know this, but under the palace there are many surprises. Tunnels and escape routes from the city, a huge bunker, ammunition room, and secret rooms - all these were discovered and filmed by the TV after the Romanian revolution. The media does not provide evidence, and even tour guides refrain from talking about this.



#Tips

Bring your passport with you when going to tour the palace, you will not be able to enter without it.

The Palace offers an organized tour of about 50 minutes, this might be a good idea considering the size of the building.


A Closer Look at the House of Parliament:

https://youtu.be/bPUjzfj3OZE


Ateneul Romn
Romanian Athenaeum
#About the Concert Hall that Must be Visited

The magnificent building in front of you, with the pink marble pillars, is the home of the Philharmonic Orchestra. It is called the Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român). Its magnificent stairways, frescoes and domes of golden leaves all create a magnificent aesthetic play, making it one of the iconic symbols of Bucharest.

This hall houses the important concerts of the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra. It is known for its amazing acoustics, which are mainly responsible for the well-designed round room. The hall opened to the public in 1888 and can accommodate up to 800 spectators.

If you enter the concert hall, pay attention to the giant fresco painting on the ceiling, which describes important moments in Romanian history. If you decide to stay outside, try to catch a few moments of tranquility in the little park in front of the building, under a statue by Mihai Aminescu, Romania's greatest poet.


#Tips

If you like classical music and want to listen to a concert, the tickets to the front lines are very cheap. Enjoy!


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/IMwQJ69JUlk


A Concert:

https://youtu.be/IZn77ZuVQZg
Lipscani District
#About the Ancient Neighborhood for Going Out

Lipscani District (Strada Lipscani) is an ancient district in Bucharest, and is a central location for daily life and nightlife. With many pubs and cafes, clothing stores, and entertainment areas, residents and visitors come to the district.

This special district was the residents of the city's nobility in the 15th century, and has since become a popular trading area for craftsmen. Around the district workshops opened, for a variety of things, like horseshoes, metalworks, leather, and more. Today the tradition of the workshops continues, alongside designer stores offering different things, usually made by the owner or designer themselves.

During a tour of the district, you will see modern sites next to the ancient building. There are many small magical streets, interesting workshops, cafes, and boutique stores in different style buildings, with a lot of design and thought about little details.

The population that lives here has been very varied throughout the years. There are those who live here with long Romanian root, as well as Jews, Turks, Germans, and more. The secret and charm of this area seems to be that the district allowing visitors to soak in the atmosphere that has characterized this place for many generations.

Craftsmen that settled here, became an inseparable part of the district. Until today, streets are named after the workshops that operated here. There is Sandel Street, Sword Fixer Street, and others.

Bucharest residents are grateful that this district was not destroyed during the Communist rule over the city. There were some plans that never reached the stage of construction. When ancient buildings in the district go through renovations today, they do so with loving hands, and not with bulldozers that flatten the ground for new buildings.

#Tips

Lipscani is also a big shopping area. Thanks to the galleries and stores here, with the antique, local products, worthy art pieces, all without any large international brand names.



A Closer Look at the Photos from the Old Lipscani Neighborhood:

https://youtu.be/fG8yD88S18Q


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שלום,
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