The University of Bucharest was founded in 1864 by Alexandru Ioan Cuza, ruler of the newly united principalities of Walachia and Moldova. Work on the neoclassical building began in 1857 and finished in 1859.
Between the two World Wars, the libraries and corridors of the University hosted an impressive number of Romanian personalities, including Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Eugène Ionesco, Sergiu Celibidache.
The base of the University was the Princely Academy of Saint Sava, founded by Constantin Brancoveanu, ruler of Wallachia, in 1694. Lectures was written in Greek language.
In 1776, Alexandru Ipsilanti, reforms the Saint Sava Academy, where French, Italian and Latin courses are now taught. New buildings for the Academy was built between 1776-1779.
1818 - The transylvanian scholar Gheorghe Lazar creates the Saint Sava School, with Romanian now introduces as language of study.
Between 1832 and 1864, the Saint Sava National College is developing its faculties and courses. In 1857 the foundation stone of the University Palace in Bucharest is layed.
In July 1864, the Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza creates the University of Bucharest, bringing together the faculties as one single body. From that day to the present days, The University of Bucharest grew and it's now comprised of 18 faculties, with over 20.000 full time students whom 1.000 foreign students, and some 3.000 teaching positions.
The University Square (Piata Universitatii) is considered to be the centre of the city, even though the physical kilometer zero lies 500 m. to the South, near Sfantul Gheorghe Nou Church. This square hosts some very interesting monuments and public buildings. The actual building of the University of Bucharest (1 Elisabeta Avenue) was erected on the former domain of St. Sava Monastery, starting with 1857, being opened in 1869. Between 1916 and 1918 the university was closed because of foreign occupation, and in 1944 it was damaged by WW2 bombing. The central section of the building was therefore restored in 1963-1964, and a new wing was added then.
The building is set in Neoclassical style and hosts today 8 faculties with over 80 laboratories (other faculties and sections of faculties here are nowadays hosted in different locations because the old building is not large enough for the demand). On the stairs of the university there are a few picturesque book stalls; they have even painted their metal book storing cases with famous literature or philosophy figures. Do not miss walking along Edgar Quinet Street to the back of the university, the back facade is set in different patters. Also to the back of the University of Bucharest there is the Faculty of Architecture, see my special posting for that.
On the same Elisabeta Avenue, across the street from the University there are a couple of high buildings in front of which there is a statuary group: the 1874 equestrian statue of Michael the Brave (the ruler that was the first to unify the Romanian principalities in the beginning of the 17th century), the 1879 statue of Ion Heliade Radulescu (an important politician and man of culture), the 1885 statue of Gheorghe Lazar (the teacher that struggled and eventually succeeded to settle the learning system in Romanian language) and the 1935 statue of Spiru Haret (man of letters).
This is the Patriarchal Cathedral of Romania's Orthodox Church atop of the Mitropoliei hill where the whole complex of church buildings is located. It was built in the years 1656-1658 by king Constantin Serban Basarab and was finished 11 years later during the reign of Radu Leon when it became the seat of the Metropolitan Church and the centre of Romanian Orthodox Christianity. The main structure is the original 17th century's design but it was modified several times. It seems somewhat 'stern' on the outside compared to the charming Stavropoleos Church, but check the inside and especially the mural paintings on the porch's vaulted ceiling
The University of Bucharest is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Romania, and enjoys a considerable national and international prestige, acquired over almost 140 years. Its various schools are well known for their activities in all important scientific and academic domains. Its graduates have included many prominent personalities: teachers and researchers at important universities all over the world, members of the Romanian Academy and of similar institutions in other countries, writers, politicians (members of the Romanian parliament, ministers, prime ministers and presidents), diplomats, high-ranking ecclesiastical figures etc.
Degrees awarded by the University of Bucharest are recognised in most countries. The University also organises study programmes in co-operation with leading foreign universities; graduates of these programmes receive degrees both from the University of Bucharest and from the partner university.
The University includes the following Faculties: Biology, Chemistry, Law, Physics, Geography, Philosophy, Geology and Geophysics, History, Journalism and Communication Studies, Mathematics, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Psychology And Educational Studies, Political Science, Baptist Theology, Sociology and Social Work, Orthodox Theology, Roman Catholic Theology and Social Work and Faculty of Letters
This is probably the biggest university in Romania. I went here for a year studying mathematics.
This is a picture of the university's main building seen from the Architecture Institute. It is the back of the building. On the sidewalk there are booths where one can buy second-hand books.
This is considered by many the very center of Bucharest. The recent historical events add to its importance. Here in 21-22 december 1989, demonstrators were shot for asking for freedom. It is still unclear who actually who were the shooters and who gave orders, but one could make some hypotheses. Also in the spring of 1990, students, intelectuals, and many other people gathered here in a marathon demonstration against the newly in power regime. This went on from the begging of april to 13-14th June. People talked to the crowd from the university's balcony. This improvised, bohemic event was to be the swan song of naives in Romania. On 13th of June, the newly installed president Ion Iliescu called for miners from the Jiu Valley to come to Bucharest and end the students' demonstration. When this happened, hundreds of students were heart, and several killed. The hope regained in december 1989 dissapeared for many. Internationally, this event was to send Romania into diplomatic drakness once again.
For more pics of the area, see my travelogue.
The University is one of the most beautiful sights that can be seen in the central University Square. It was built between 1857-1869, according to plans of Alexandru Orascu.
Just near the central building can be found the School for Architecture that was built in a special Neo-Romnian style.
The University Palace, the central part of the building, located on Regina Elisa beta Bvd., has been inaugurated on 14th of December 1869.
The building is now hosting the Colleges of Chemistry, Mathematics, History, Geography and Philology.
Keep on strolling from Piata Romana to Piata Universitatii (University Square).
Ten stone crosses on the traffic island in the middle of the blvd to pay homage to those killed during the revolution, while a black cross marks the spot where the first victim of the revolution fell in Bucharest.
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