When have I started to understand and love Bucharest ?
I must admit I began to see Bucharest in other light (a better light, nevertheless) after I returned from Paris, in 2014.
Bucharest is not Little Paris, as they say. It is Big Beautiful Bucharest. But it is, in a strange way, similar to Paris. The beauty one can find in Paris is resembling, mysteriously, with the beauty of Bucharest. And I think it is something about women.
In the late 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century Bucharest was under the spell of France. The culture, the daily life of the middle and upper class, and especially the architecture were French inspired. Downtown, one can easily spot a lot of beautiful houses resembling those in Paris. Partly because of this, Bucharest was and is still called Little Paris.
Simultaneously, in the same period, a new unique architectural style flourished in Big Bucharest: Neo-Romanian. It is inspired from old churches and the Constantin Brâncoveanu (Prince of Wallachia between 1688 and 1714) architectural style. The distinguished feature of the style is the massive appearance, combined with arcades and verandas and towers. The buildings transmit power and confidence, strength of character and vigor of mind.
Where to find some nice buildings representative of the Neo-Romanian architectural style? I shall give you a hint now. Take the subway and get off at Piața Victoriei stop. You will easily discover the Geology Museum
and the Peasant Museum
and the well-known Casa Doina Restaurant
and a lot of other interesting buildings located on Duiliu Zamfirescu Street or on the Paris street.