Part 7: Walks through Bucharest
poporului, or Casa parlamentului, is probably the internationally most famous
sight of Bucharest
Then there is Piata Revolutiei with the Athenaeum, the Royal
Palace and the library. Nearby, the Parliament building, the place where Nicolae
Ceausescu gave his last speech, and finding himself booed by the crowd, fled with
a helicopter from the roof - an event which is, again, commemorated with a plaque.
I much more enjoyed going through little side streets, seeing architecture that
seems influenced as much by oriental as by occidental culture, old villas that
sometimes were almost falling apart but had a certain decadent charm about them,
and sometimes were nicely renovated again and used as embassies. And little courtyards
that seemed to give a glimpse into a hidden world.
place worth visiting is the village museum. A part of the museum had burned down
some months prior to my visit, but a lot of it was already reconstructed, and
quite a few of the little houses looked very new. Also, I saw a part where more
new houses were built, so I am curious to visit it again on my next visit to Romania.
One criticism I have
heard several times about the museum is, that it only shows traditional houses
of ethnic Romanians, none of the many minorities (Hungarians, Roma, and Germans,
to name just the most well known).
Nevertheless, it is quite interesting to
see the different traditional Romanian houses, wander between them, and every
now and then look through a window into the traditionally decorated rooms. The
museum really looks like a little village itself, and going from one side of the
museum to the other, is like passing through all the different regions of Romania.
most famous sight of Bucharest is probably the Palace of the People - symbol of
Ceausescu's Megalomania and second largest building in the world, which not only
had cost millions, but for which also big parts of the old town had been torn
down - for which the 1977 earth quake had been used as an excuse.
my first visit to the city, when I did not yet really know anything about it,
it was the first thing I wanted to see. But for some reason I was unable to find.
Only later I became aware of how close to it I was in fact, and that I had seen
parts of it towering above the other buildings.
artistic value is arguable, and the huge rooms boosting marble, gold, velvet and
similar decorations and gi-gantic crystal lamps are not what I would call pretty.
Yet, it is impressive to see, and whenever I had guests from home I told them
that it is one of the things you should have visited once.
8: Horses, dogs and markets