Bucharest Off The Beaten Path

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    Mogosoaia Palace

    by Andraf Updated Feb 1, 2005

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    Mogosoaia Palace

    Mogosoaia Palace is located in the village with the same name about 14 km northwest of Bucharest's center. The palace is one of the most beautiful 18C buildings in Romania, a fine example of the Brancovenesc style. It was built by the Wallachian prince Constatin Brancoveanu between 1698 and 1702 as a summer residence for his family and as a present for his son Stefan. The palace is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by a park and sitting by the shore of the Mogosoaia lake which mirrors its profile. When Brancoveanu and all his sons found their death in Istanbul in 1714 the palace turned into an inn and was afterwards damaged during the Russian-Turkish war of 1769-1774. Towards the end of the 19C the palace passed to the Bibescu family, who were distantly related to the Brancoveanus. Under the care of Marthe Bibescu, a cultured person devoted to Romania and its people, the palace was restored by two architects, the Venetian Domenico Rupolo and the Romanian G.M. Cantacuzino. In 1956 the palace was handed over to the state and turned into a museum and later it was closed when Ceausescu took the furniture for his own use. During the 1977 earthquake the building is damaged but repairs in 1990s made the palace fit to visit again. The palace as it looks today, has a beautiful Venetian-style loggia on the facade facing the lake, while overlooking the main courtyard is a balcony with carvings showing the characteristic phytomorphic motifs of Brancoveanu style. Mogosoaia museum exhibits embroideries, icons, wooden sculptures and oil paintings, most from private donations. On the left as you enter the complex sits the little church dedicated to St. George of the Meadow. It was built in 1688 and decorated by a team of Greek painters. You can still see the original paintings inside the church including a painting showing Constantin Brancoveanu with his wife, Maris, his four sons and seven daughters, all wearing royal dress. We got to Mogosoaia by taking the Maxi Taxi (small van) #508 from Bucharest North Station.

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    The Glassed Passage

    by edvin_br Updated Dec 16, 2004

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    The passage that leads to the old town

    The beautiful passage is connecting Calea Victoriei to the pleasent old town of Bucharest. Entering the passage makes a very strange feeling, suddenly the view becomes shiny green (because of the roof) and full with old boutiques and small cafes.
    There are some similiar passages around the old town of Bucharst

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    The Monasteries around Bucharest 2

    by Romanian_Bat Written Sep 6, 2004

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    Caldarusani Monastery

    Caldarusani Monastery lies 30 km. from Bucharest to the north-east, on the shore of the lake with the same name. It was built in 1637-1638 (in 100 days sharp) by Matei Basarab on the spot of a former convent. The cellar to the right hosts nowadays the Thesaurus, where religious items are kept. A museum with icons painted by Nicolae Grigorescu exists there.

    Snagov Monastery lies also 30 km. north of Bucharest. The monastery was established in the 14th century and, among the rulers that contributed to its building and development were Mircea the Old, Vladislav the 2nd and Vlad the Impaler. In 1517-1521 Neagoe Basarab replaces the old dwellings. Of them, only the big church survived, as the other two churches (one from 1431 and one from 1588) have disappeared. The pro naos hosts several graves; the legend says that under a nameless tombstone there is the grave of Vlad the Impaler, but archaeological research could not confirm this. The interior frescoes are original, from 1563.

    Samurcasesti Monastery is located in Ciorogarla Village, east of Bucharest. The monastery was founded in 1808. It was seriously damaged by the earthquake in 1940 and had to ber demolished and rebuilt. It is set in Brancoveanu style, with three altars. The silver plated icons on the altar are especially attractive, as well as the design created by red bricks on the church walls and columns.

    Comana Monastery is located 30 km. south of Bucharest. The fortified monastery was built by Vlad the Impaler of wood (1461) on an island in the middle of a swampy area very difficult to cross and this has provided it with a natural defensive feature against the Turkish invasions. It was rebuilt in 1588, then ruined afterwards and rebuilt again in 1699-1703. In 1728 it was overtaken by Greek monks, then it was damaged, just to be restored in 1854, closed in 1863 and reestablished in 1991. The church is surrounded by a square layer of cells on two levels, with a monumental portico and robust brick columns.

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    The Monasteries around Bucharest 1

    by Romanian_Bat Written Sep 6, 2004

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    Cernica Monastery

    Cernica Monastery lies 13 km. off Bucharest on the road leading to Constanta, then on a deviation towards Fundeni – Oltenita. It was founded in 1608, being rebuilt many times, with the actual building of the church dating from 1831-1842. In the graveyard that lies further down from the monastery, there is a small church (St. Lazar) and some interesting tomb stones.

    Pasarea Monastery lies 20 km. east of Bucharest, in Cozieni Village. The monastery was raised in 1813 and rebuilt in the actual shape in 1847. In one of the nuns’ cells to the right there is a small museum with icons and fine embroideries. The church is surrounded by an entire village of small and picturesque cottages belonging to the nuns. Down the slope towards the lake, to the south, there is a narrow bridge that leads to a small but interesting “troita”.

    St. Nicholas – Balamuci Monastery lies near Sitaru Village, 40 km. north-east of the city on the secondary road via Stefanestii de Jos. Around year 1600 there was built a small wooden church made of oak. Then the actual church was built under the rule of Michael the Brave in 1627. The frescoes were done in 1752 and they are appreciated by researchwers in comparison with the frescoes of the monasteries in Northern Moldavia, especially Voronet. As a special remark, the monastery follows strictly the life on Mount Athos, as monks never eat meat, the Liturgy is held on a daily basis and there are masses every night from midnight to 3 AM.

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    Mogosoaia Palace

    by Romanian_Bat Updated Sep 4, 2004

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    Constantin Brancoveanu was one of the most active monument builder in Wallachia. From the monuments he built, we can list here two: the one in Potlogi and the one in Mogosoaia. The Palace in Mogosoaia is the best restored of the two and it lies in the village with same name in north-west Bucharest, being located on a lake shore. It is accessible by maxi taxi (small vans) from Bucharest North Station (maxi taxi # 508).
    The first building to be raised here was the St. George Church (1688) which still preserves original frescoes, of which the one representing Brancoveanu and his four sons (to the right of the door) and Lady Maria with her seven daughters (to the left). The palace itself was accomplished in 1702 and then given as a present to the ruler’s son, Stephen. The prince lived here together with his family until 1714, when the voyevode, his wife and the four sons left for Constantinople, where his and his sons’ heads were cut off by the Turks. Remaining empty, the palace was robbed, then it was turned into an inn and eventually deserted again. It suffered further damage during the Russian – Turkish War (1769-1774). When the last of the Brancoveanu descendant died, the palace was taken over by Bibescu family, which restored it around 1850. The north façade was redone with pillars brought from Potlogi, the window frames were changed, the plaster covering the walls was removed and the brick structure was revealed. After the 1977 earthquake that damaged it, the chimneys collapsed and were replaced with the actual ugly factory-like chimneys. After the 1989 changes, it was deserted for a while and nowadays it is a museum and the interiors can be visited – as they host art exhibitions. The palace – as it can be seen today – is made of a loggia, the cuhnia, the gate tower, the palace proper and a secondary left wing. The palace is – as all the monuments raised by Brancoveanu – a fine and harmonious blend of Renaissance elements with traces of Baroque and features taken from the traditional households in Romania.

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    Roman-Catholic Cathedral

    by gosiaPL Written Apr 30, 2004

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    Roman-Catholic Cathedral in Bucharest

    I usually try to see the main RC church in countries in which Catholics are a minority. And so I did in Bucharest :-)
    The rosetta in the front made me think of old churches in France... Apparently organ music recitals are played there every Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

    The Roman-Catholic Cathedral is in 19 G-ral Berthelot St., north-west of Piata Revolutiei.

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    Strada Varsovia

    by gosiaPL Updated Apr 30, 2004

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    Strada Varsovia

    OK, this tip is a joke - I found Varsovia St. on the map of Bucharest and thought I had to see it! :-) The villa from the previous tip is right in this street.

    Strada Varsovia is sandwiched between Strada Paris and Strada Londra (London). There are more streets that bear city names, and they are all south of Piata Dorobantilor, north-east of Piata Victoriei.

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    Villa architecture

    by gosiaPL Updated Apr 30, 2004

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    A typical porch?

    If you get a chance to go into the residential areas of Bucharest, you will see some nice examples of housing architecture - other than the communist-style apartment blocks from Ceaucescu times.

    Many of these old villas are in pretty bad condition and need a good restoration, but you will still get an idea of what Bucharest was like before. The arches and columned porches seem to be a common feature...

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  • A great bookstore (foreign language stock, too!)

    by tiganeasca Updated Nov 10, 2003

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    If you have any interest in books, I'd urge you to visit a Humanitas bookstore. (They also run a publishing house.) There are two (that I know of) on Calea Victoriei (one on either side of the Piata Revolutiei). Neither is large; however, both carry a wonderful selection of books--from schoolbooks to fiction to 'coffee-table' books. Though most of their stock is in Romanian, some of it is translated. You just need to look a little, or ask. I found a truly beautiful book--in English--on the wooden homes of Maramures as well as other things, such as translations of major Romanian writers. But just wander; I'll bet you find something that you like!

    Calea Victoriei 120; Tel. 659.44.30; Hours: Mon-Sat 10-19

    Calea Victoriei 45; Tel/Fax 313.50.35; Hours: Mon-Sat 10-19 (This location is home to a gallery as well: Galeriile 'Kretzulescu.' Neither store is easily seen from the street; for this one, you walk into a driveway/alley which opens into a courtyard. Once in the courtyard, you will have no trouble finding your destination.)

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    Many Romanians either had to...

    by lichinga Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Many Romanians either had to try to sell their home stuffs because they were short of money, or they wanted to renovate their furniture and kitchenware. In both cases, the result is you may find lots of shops (most of them unattractive and dusty, still I find them very interesting) were used things are sold. The name you will find is 'consignatie'. You must be patient to look for the piece you love most among lots of other stuff, I'm almost sure your patient will be rewarded; but, don't look for THE big business or fabolously cheap prices! The same rreason which brought you there, acted on thousands of people before you, and the sellers know their business just as anybody else: prices are honest or good, but you won't find anything at extravagant price....
    The street were most of this shops is concentrated is called Strada Covaci, between Calea Victoriei and Bulevar Nicolae Balcescu, quite close to Piata Unirii and the University (Universitatea). Many shops may also be found in the same area.

    While you're there, don't miss the Hanul lui Manuc, a traditional resting place, it is kept as it was in the past, although it lies in central Bucuresti now.

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    This is our daughter,...

    by Varvarino Written Aug 26, 2002

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    This is our daughter, Varvarina (can you guess who she takes after?). This is just one of lots of baby pictures we have of her. I thought you might like to meet some of the family.

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    Bucarest Mall - Biggest mall...

    by Chrystalain Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Bucarest Mall - Biggest mall in Bucarest. With a nice big cinema (just like home!!!)called Hollywood Multiplex! For travellers, maybe it's not so special, but for people in Romania, this is unique!!!

    Place Unirii, au 55-59 Calea Vitan

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    Drive around the city. You'll...

    by cyrilim Written Aug 24, 2002

    Drive around the city. You'll see some amazing buildings, especially the People's Palace. It's the second largest building after the Pentagon. It's a shame though that some buildings are in a state of ruins.

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    Arc De Triumph

    by Pod Written Aug 4, 2013
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    or Arch of Triumph, Arcul De Triumf. Marble Arch in the UK. Originaly made from wood. A nice photo opertunity.
    it is on Kiseleff Road, the northern part of Bucharest,

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  • Be on the lookout for squirells

    by Aprilbell Written Aug 5, 2007

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    Cute squirell

    Herastrau Park is one of the places where you can actually see squirells. They seem to be used to people, so you might even get the chance to take nice photos of them.

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