Standing in the northern part of the city, since 1956, it is universally known as The House of the Spark (Casa Scanteii). The building is a smaller replica of the Lomonosov University in Moskow – Russia (inaugurated in 1953). Between 1956 and 1989, the House of the Free Press housed almost all of Romania”s capital printing presses and headquarters of print media companies. Today, it carries out much the same function but the southern wing is now the home of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Initially built of wood in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I, Bucharest”s very own Arch of Triumph was finished in 1936.The Arch stands 85 feet high. An interior staircase allows visitors to climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The sculptures decorating the structure show the declaration of the king, the places of battle in the war and historic figures of Romanian history.
It is Bucharest”s oldest and arguably, most charming street. Built in 1692 to link the Old Princely Court to Mogosoaia Palace, it was initially paved with oak beams. The street became Calea Victoriei in 1878, after the Romanian War of Independence victory. Between the two world wars, Calea Victoriei developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city. Between Piata Victoriei and Piata Natiunilor Unite one can discover some of the most stunning buildings in the city: the Cantacuzino Palace, the historical Revolution Square, the Military Club, the CEC Palace and the National History Museum.
We all remember when TV stations around the globe broadcasted Nicolae Ceausescu”s final moments in power on December 21, 1989. At the balcony of the former Communist Party Headquarters Ceausescu stared in disbelief as the people gathered in the square below turned on him. He fled the angry crowd in his white helicopter, only to be captured outside of the city a few hours later.The square”s importance stretches back long before the dramatic events of the 1989 Revolution.
Opposite from the balcony the square stands the former Royal Palace, now home to the National Art Museum, the stunning Romanian Athenaeum and the historic Athenee Palace Hotel. At the south end of the square, you can visit the small, but beautiful, Kretzulescu Church.
Full with crowds and trafficat any hour of day or night, this area is one of the most popular meeting places in Bucharest. The square brings together architectural masterpieces on each corner: the University of Bucharest”s School of Architecture, the Bucharest National Theatre, the neoclassical Coltea Hospital (and its lovely church, 1702-1794) and the Sutu Palace, now home to the Bucharest History Museum.
In the middle of the square 10 stone crosses pay respect to heroes of the 1989 revolution. Below the square is a modern underground passage with shops and eateries, allowing pedestrians to cross from one side of the square to another and to access the subway station.