The ancient city of Bucharest is not very popular among tourists, but why? Its streets literally breathe history, and spending a vacation or at least a weekend here is a great idea, especially if you’re more into the culture than into beaches and tropical paradise.
Amazing facts about Bucharest
- Bucharest is a very large city by Romanian standards, it’s home to about 2.1 million people if you count with the suburbs together. It is second only to Moscow and Kyiv of all the capitals of Eastern Europe in terms of population.
- The oldest mention of Bucharest was found in documents written by Vlad the Impaler in 1459. Yes, this is the same Vlad the Impaler who was known as Vlad Dracula. Moreover, Bucharest was the residence of Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, and his entire court was located here.
- Primitive people lived on the territory where the capital of Romania stands now, thousands of years ago, back in the stone age.
- In the XVIII century, this city was on the verge of warring forces that it could not cope with on its own. It managed to stay under the control of the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and Austria-Hungary.
- Bucharest has been the capital of united Romania for more than a century and a half, since 1859.
- The Palace of Parliament located here is the largest civil building in Europe, as well as one of the largest buildings in the world by square and volume, 350.000 m2 and 2.550.000 m3, respectively. It has 1,100 rooms! It’s the second-largest administrative building in the world after Pentagon in the US.
- Bucharest has 20 sister cities in other countries, mostly the capitals of other countries. However, two of those cities are in the US – Detroit, and Atlanta.
- The Bucharest Botanical Garden (Gradina Botanica) was founded in the XIX century. It’s home to more than 10,000 species of various plants nowadays.
- About 65% of all taxes collected in Romania are paid by residents of Bucharest and companies registered in the capital. Although this city is home to only about 10% of the total population of the country.
- Bucharest is almost a mono-national city. Native Romanians here account for about 97% of all citizens.
- Climate changes during the year here are quite significant. The records of positive and negative temperatures ever recorded in Bucharest reach +107,6 °F and -25,6 °F (+42,2 °C and -32.2 °C).
- One of the best places for walking in the Romanian capital is the artificial lake Cismigiu, which is about 3300 feet (1.3 km) long. In summer it is just a very picturesque place, but in winter the lake freezes and gets turned into a huge ice rink.
- Bucharest has the 6th largest population among all European cities. Three times more people live here than in the whole of Montenegro.
- The Romanian capital stands on the river Dambovita, which is one of the tributaries of the Arges, which is one of the tributaries of the Danube.
- Bucharest was the capital of Wallachia in the past. This country has long since disappeared from the maps, and Wallachia has the status of a historical region of Romania now.