Herastrau Park in Bucharest
When on a Bucharest tour, do not forget to take the time for a stroll in Herastrau Park.
The area of the park has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, traces of settlements being found at the Herastrau sand quarry, including flint tools made by the Mousterian culture, a culture generally associated with the Neanderthals. During the quaternary glaciation, the area was inhabited by large mammals such as the woolly rhinoceros and the mammoth, bones of the latter being found in the Herastrau sand quarry.
During the iron age, a settlement of the first part of the Hallstatt era belonging to a pastoral population was located in Bordei-Herastrau (the area between Herastrau and Floreasca lakes, today part of the Herastrau Park), which gives the name of the culture (Bordei-Herastrau culture). In the Dacian settlements of Herastrau, which has been dated, with the help of the coins, to 1st century BC, archeologists found a treasure containing silver fibulae, silver spiral bracelets, a silver bowl, as well as Ancient Greek coins (from Tomis and Dyrrachium) alongside with Dacian imitations.
Phanariote Prince of Wallachia Alexander Ypsilantis built an Ottoman-style kiosk (summer house) on the banks of the Herastrau Lake. The plain along the lake was used in 1831, during the Russian occupation, for military exercises by a joint force of the Wallachian and Russian militaries. By mid-19th century, Herastrau was the main promenade area used by the Romanian élite for walks.
In 1936, the work began for the creation of the National Park (Parcul Național) in Herastrau. For this, several dozen squalid houses, as well as an industrial plant were expropriated and torn down, being replaced with alleys and trees, being finally open for the public in May 1939, becoming Bucharest’s largest park.
Nowadays, it is a refuge for sport lovers, especially bikers and runners, but it also hold great oportunities for a charming dinner lake side, or an adventurous sail boat ride on the lake. Or simply just come in, sit down on the benches and enjoy the nature, the squirrels and the people going by. This is where you can get a true taste of Bucharest.
See you here soon on a tour of Bucharest.