Calea Victoriei, Bucharest
Calea Victoriei is the oldest street of Bucharest - 1692 - it used to link the Old Princely Court (downtown) with Mogosoaia Palace (north of Bucharest).
It was initially paved with oak beams.
The name Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue) was given in 1878 after the Romanian War for independence.
A walk on the Calea Victoriei takes about 1 hour - from Piata Victoriei (large square, with the government building) to Piata Natiunilor Unite (small square, at the Dambovita river). Along the way you can see: the Cantacuzino Palace, the Revolution Square, the Military Club, the Romanian Savings Bank building and the Romanian History Museum. From the south end of Calea Victoriei you can go into the old part of the town, with the Old Princely Court and oldest streets in Bucharest (Lipscani, Gabroveni, Selari) where you can find a large number of pubs, restaurants and terraces (the largest aglomeration of those in a single place in Bucharest).
This road has many beautiful buildings and monuments. We only walked one stretch of it (from just above Revolution Square to the end of Lipscani) the rest will have to wait for future visits. Highlights for us were the Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel, the Atheneum, the buildings of Piata Revolutiei, Cercul Militar and the Odeon.
Calea Victoriei is Bucharest's' oldest and grandest boulevard. It was built in 1692 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, to link his summer palace to the city centre. It is lined with neo-Classical buildings, like the Cercul Militar, hotels, theatres, restaurants and expensive clothes shops.
Calea Victoriei is one of Bucharest's main streets and is very interesting to walk along during the day or at night. With a number of shops, restaurants, and bars, this street will have something interesting for any travelor.
Built in 1705, the church bears the name of the place were it was constructed - Zlatari being a Romanian archaism for both silversmiths and goldsmiths working for the court.
Zlatari church lived the same faith as other churches in Bucharest – during the communist regime, it was surrounded by concrete blocks, to be “hidden from sight”
The tall office building was erected in the early 1990's on the terrain occupied until 1979 by Hotel Victoria. The hotel was badly damaged by the earthquake of 1977 and demolished two years later.
The hotel changed name in Victoria in 1948, after being nationalised by communists. Since it's opening in 1860, it was called Hotel de France, Grand Hotel and Grand Hotel Lafayette.
The French came back to the same spot, when the construction works of the financial plaza was contracted to Bouygues.
Built around the same time as the opposite Palace of Posts, after the plans of famous French architect Paul Gottereau, between 1896 – 1900, the use of the building has remained unchanged throughout its history – headquarters of the first popular bank in the country – Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni.
The CEC palace is at an equilibrium between aesthetic and functionality, maybe as a counterweight of the sobriety of the opposite Palace of Posts.
The interior is definitely worth seeing!
The Calea Victoriei is an interesting avenue that cuts right through the centre of Bucharest, southwards from the Piata Revolutiei. There are a lot of historic buildings along the avenue, but also some interesting new architecture.
Prager building is located opposite thehistory museum, and it served as offices for the Compania Agricola untill the end of WW II.
The imposing building of the history museum was formerly the Palace of Posts & Telegraph, and looks similar with the Palace of Posts in Geneva, Switzerland. The palace was built between 1894 – 1899.