When your view over the Revolution Square is obstructed by a 25-meter-high marble pillar, stop and stare: that's the Memorial of Rebirth, inaugurated in August 2005.
Designed by Alexandru Ghidus, this monument is suppose to symbolize the struggle and pain the heroes of 1989 went through but also Romania's rebirth after Communism.
The pillar is surrounded by a 600 m² plaza covered by marble and granite.
This monument is not particularly popular among locals or artists out of various reasons: either because Al.Ghidus was a designer more than a sculptor, or because some said it lacked symbolism or was too abstract.
While you're there please make an imagination exercise and try to de-code its meaning. Then, drop a line. I'm curious about the interpretations foreigners could give it.
"Eternal Glory to the Heroes and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989"
The Romanian Athenaeum, The Romanian National Art Museum, Kretzulescu Church, The Senate and The National Library – you can visit them all by stopping in Piata Revolutiei.
The Square is crossed by Calea Victoriei.
This is where Romania’s heart was for a long time: the center of the monarchy – the Royal Palace.
This is where historical decisions were made concerning Romania’s independence.
This is where communism began when king Mihai abdicated, but also where it ended: it’s from here that the communist leader Ceausescu and his wife fled away in a helicopter to the place where they met their death sentence.
In Romanian language this is "PIATA REVOLUTIEI" meaning the Revolution Square. The building there was the headquarter of the communist party led by Nicolae Ceausescu.
It was right here on December 21st 1989 when Ceausescu was speaking to the crowds (that were as usual planned to gather there with flags and cheers) and the unthinkable happened, there was first a rumor, voices, some still cheering and clapping, some brought the flags down and started shouting anti-Ceausescu remarks.
The historic images we all watched live on TV (I remember vividly this and brings back shivers on my spine), Ceausescu with his hand in the air, saying "ALO..ALO", trying to calm down people and not understanding how this kind of mutiny is possible, where are the people in charge with "crowd control". They were probably out because as you might know there would have been no revolution in 1989 in Romania without a master plan of some kind to take Ceausescu down and replace the regime with another.
In a few minutes Ceausescu was dragged to the helicopter on the roof, live images showing the heavy helicopter (probably too many people) struggling (almost going down) to take off. That was the leaving of a dictator, from that building in "Piata Revolutiei".
Later in the evening, more people came to the square, with flags of which the communist sign in the middle was cut up a hole, going to the balcony where Ceausescu used to speak. Then it was chaos, shots fired, all live on TV. We all watched in horror but with trust for a better times. Which were to come slowly in the next 20 years.
Bullet holes are still to be seen in buildings around the square (as well as in buildings around the National Television headquarter, north of Bucharest)
This square is one of Bucharests most famous symbols, it was the place where the revolution of 1989 was held. In that square, thousand of Bucharest citizens came to protest against the dictator Ceausescu. You can still notice today the signs of the bullets that hit the Royal palace during the revolution.
The square is located at the middle of Calea Victoriei, at the streets widest part were aits actully becomes a square.In addition to the Royal palace (that today is the National Art museum) there are some other famous sights of Bucharest in this square:
-The Central University Library
-Hilton "Athenee Palace"
Revolution Square was quite fascinating to visit because it has experienced so much of recent history. It was from the former Communist Party Headquarters here in 1989 that Ceausescu made his famous speech that went out live on Romanian TV. During his speech he was booed and heckled by the busloads of miners he has bussed in to support him. You can look at the balcony he made this speech from. On the opposite side of the square is the former royal palace - now the art museum. In the centre is a monument to those killed in the revolution which is irreverently called the olive on the stick by locals. There is also the university library, the former securitate building which was rebuilt after the revolution with its original stone bottom and a modern glass top. In addition there is the beautiful Cretulescu Church.
We walked here after taking the metro to University Square.
From Wikipedia " Revolution Square (Romanian: Piaþa Revoluþiei) is a square in central Bucharest, on Calea Victoriei. Known as Piaþa Palatului (Palace Square) until 1989, it was later renamed after the 1989 Romanian Revolution. The former Royal Palace (now the National Museum of Art of Romania), the Athenaeum, the Athénée Palace Hotel, the University of Bucharest Library and the Memorial of Rebirth are located here. The square also houses the building of the former Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (from where Nicolae Ceauºescu and his wife fled by helicopter on December 22, 1989). In 1990, the building became the seat of the Senate and since 2006 it houses the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform."
The Memorial of Rebirth is a marble obelisk with a crown "skewered" at the top and represents Romania's rebirth as a nation after the fall of Communism. I don't quite get the symbolism, but it is certainly interesting to look at. By the way, according to our guide, the red stains at the bottom of the crown are NOT there to symbolize blood - apparently, it is rust from the crown staining the marble.
This spot marks the death of President Nicolae Ceausescu more poignantly than the tombstone above his grave. On 21 December 1989, 80,000 people thronged this square, then called Piata Republica (Republican Square). They were supposedly there for a rally to support the President after riots broke out in the town of Timisoara over the arrest of an outspoken priest. Within 24 hours, protesters had stormed the building and Ceausescu and his wife had escaped in a helicopter from the roof; but within days they had been tried and shot by a firing squad.
The battle wounds from this deciding moment in Romania's history can still be seen in the buildings surrounding the square. The Royal Palace, housing the National Museum, and The Biblioteca (University Library), gutted by subsequent street fighting, had to be completely renovated. A house behind the library, on the southern end of Calea Victoriei, has been left in its ruined state as a grim monument. On the Central Committee Building, now part of the Senate, a white, marble plaque points to the balcony where Ceausescu lost his grip on the country. It says 'Glorie martirilor nostiri' ('Glory to our Martyrs'), in remembrance of revolutionaries killed in the fighting.
Actually, the monument is informally refered to as "Teapa", because of it its' look like a torture stake or thorn.
This odd monument is officially called The Revival's Memorial, erected in the memory of the people who died during the events of 1989 following the fall of Ceausescu,
In front of the Romanian Senate at Piata Revolutiei there is a monument of a sitting person. The man has a sad facial expression, i guess he had a hard life...
Im not sure who is the man or what he suppose to symbolize, but i guess he has a connection to the 1989 Revolution which happend in the exact place where he seats today...
Behind the Memorial to Corneliu Coposu, in the grounds of Creţulescu Church, is another memorial. It is a headless, multi-armed torso, commemorating those killed in the 1989 revolution. On the plinth is written simply, "Decembrie 89".
One of the most representativ monument for Brancovan architecture in Bucharest - Kretulescu church, built between 1720 - 1722.
Ceausescu used to see the church in front of his eyes every time he made a public speech in front of the masses. He asked several times the church to be demolished, or at least "burried underground".
This building concentrated the communist power for abotu 50 years.
Ceausescu flew by helicopter from the roof of this palace, while people were breaking an entrance at the groundfloor.
Hosted the Senate between 1990 - 2002.
The controversial Memorialul Renasterii, or Rebirth Memorial, is not popular with the citizens of Bucharest. In fact, because of its modernistic design, it is viewed as something of a joke and has been nicknamed the Potato of the Revolution, because it looks like a potato skewered by a spike although, to my eyes, it looks more like the Basket of the Revolution.
The white marble obelisk is 25 m high. It was designed by Alexandru Ghilduş to commemorate the Revolution of December 1989. It was built in 2004 and inaugurated in August 2005.
The 1989 revolution started in the Piata Revolutiei. It is also interesting to see the balcony from where Ceausescu held his last speech before he had to flee (first inside the building and finally to the roof from where he had to be rescued by a helicopter).
Many monuments tell their sad stories about the phases of the revolution; when those wanting the revolution and the Securitate-forces (of Ceausescu) ended up to fight with each other.
The Humanitas-library is known for the marks of fighting that are still visible beside and above the windows of the library. On the opposite of the library there is a church, which also has bullet holes in its concrete basement.
All these are sad marks and remainings of the 1989 fights between Romanian folks and the Securitate-forces.