Bucharest

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Bucharest

(bo͞o`kərĕst, byo͞o`–), Rom. Bucureşti, city (1990 pop. 2,394,284), capital and largest city of Romania, SE Romania, in Walachia, on the Dîmboviţa River, a tributary of the Danube. It is Romania's chief industrial and communications center. Agricultural machinery, automotive equipment, and buses are the main manufactures. The city, probably founded in the late 14th cent., was first known as Cetatea Dambovitei [Dambovita citadel] and was a military fortress and commercial center astride the trade routes to Constantinople. It became (1459) a residence of the Walachian princes and changed its name (15th cent.) to Bucharest. In 1698 the city became the capital of Walachia under Constantine Brancovan; after the union (1859) of Walachia and Moldavia it was made (1861) the capital of Romania. The Treaty of Bucharest (1913) stripped Bulgaria of its conquests in the Second Balkan War (see Balkan WarsBalkan Wars,
1912–13, two short wars, fought for the possession of the European territories of the Ottoman Empire. The outbreak of the Italo-Turkish War for the possession of Tripoli (1911) encouraged the Balkan states to increase their territory at Turkish expense.
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). During World War I, Bucharest was occupied (1916–18) by the Central Powers. After Romania's surrender to the Allies (Aug., 1944) in World War II, German planes severely bombed the city; Soviet troops entered on Aug. 31, by which time a coalition of leftist parties had seized power. Bucharest served as headquarters of the CominformCominform
[acronym for Communist Information Bureau], information agency organized in 1947 and dissolved in 1956. Its members were the Communist parties of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia.
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 from 1948 to 1956.

Today Bucharest is a modern city, with parks, libraries, museums, and theaters, and is the seat of the patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Landmarks include the Patriarchal Cathedral or Metropolitan Church (1650s), the New St. George Church (17th cent.), the Radu Voda (early 17th cent.) and Stavropoleos (1724–30) churches, and the Athenaeum, devoted to art and music. Among the city's educational institutions are the old university (founded 1864), the new university (1935), an engineering college, and several academies and scientific institutes. During the 1980s, Romanian President Nicolae CeauşescuCeauşescu, Nicolae
, 1918–89, Romanian statesman. The son of a peasant, he early became active in the Romanian Communist movement and was arrested as a revolutionary; he spent the late 1930s and early 40s in prison, where he became acquainted with the future first
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 attempted to transform Bucharest into a model socialist-planned city. He ordered the demolition of much of the Old City to make way for massive new state buildings, most prominently the Palace of Parliament (formerly the House of the People; 1984), the world's largest civilian administration building. To provide the city with a river, he had the Dimboviţa River rechanneled through S Bucharest.

Bucharest

 

(Bucureşti in Rumanian), capital of the Socialist Republic of Rumania (SRR) and the country’s political-administrative, economic, and scientific-cultural center. Situated in the central part of the Walachian Plain on the unnavigable Dîmboviţa River, it has a temperate and continental climate. The average January temperatures measure about 1° C, with an absolute minimum of −10° C. The average July temperatures measure 22°-23° C, with an absolute maximum of 35° C. The city has an area of 970 sq km. Its population numbers 1,468,000; with suburbs the population totals about 1.6 million (1969), which accounts for 7.6 percent of the country’s entire population and about 20 percent of its total urban population. The population of Bucharest numbered 80,000 in 1781,200,000 in 1881, 340,000 in 1912, and 1,042,000 (including suburbs) in 1948, which was 6.5 percent of the country’s total population and 25 percent of its urban population.

Administration. Bucharest is the administrative center of the district of Ilfov; the city constitutes an independent administrative unit and has the status of a city-municipality, with extensive rights in local government. Administratively, it is under the direct jurisdiction of republican governmental organs. The governmental body in Bucharest is the municipal people’s council, which is elected for four years by citizens over 18 years of age. The council’s executive body is the executive committee, headed by the general primar (mayor), who is elected by the people’s council of the city. Bucharest is divided into city districts, which elect district people’s councils that establish their own respective executive committees headed by the district primars.

I. P. IL’INSKII

History. The territory of Bucharest has been inhabited since Paleolithic times. Bucharest has been known by its present name since the 14th century. The fortress of Bucharest—founded by the hospodar Vlad the Impaler in order to protect Walachia from Turkish invasions—was first mentioned in 1459. Bucharest was the capital of Walachia from 1659. Beginning in the 1820’s, Bucharest became the center of a national liberation and revolutionary democratic movement (the Walachian Uprising of 1821 and the Revolution of 1848). Bucharest became the capital of Rumania in 1861. During World War I the city was occupied by German troops from Dec. 6, 1916, to Nov. 17, 1918. There was a powerful demonstration of the proletariat in Bucharest on Dec. 13 (26), 1918. The actions of the workers of Grivita (the railroad workshops of Bucharest) initiated the February strikes of 1933 in Rumania. Fascist German troops were brought into Bucharest in June 1941. The city was liberated from the Hitlerite occupation as a result of the armed popular uprising of Aug. 23, 1944. On Dec. 30, 1947, the People’s Republic of Rumania was proclaimed in Bucharest and in July 1965, the Socialist Republic of Rumania.

Economy. Bucharest is intersected by trans-European main lines linking the countries of the Danube basin and Central Europe with the Black Sea, the USSR, and the countries of the Near East. It is the junction of seven radiating railroads and numerous highways and a major center for domestic and international airlines (Băneasa Airport). More than one-sixth of the country’s industrial output comes from Bucharest; industry employs more than 300,000 people. The leading branches of industry are machine building and metalworking (29.4 percent of Bucharest’s industrial output), food (19.3 percent), textiles (13 percent), chemicals (11 percent), clothing (7.2), and leather and footwear (4.2 percent). Bucharest accounts for 24 percent of the Rumanian output of machine-building products (transport and agricultural machines, electrotechnical equipment, and radioelectronic industrial equipment), 26.5 percent of the chemical industry’s output (primarily plastics, tires, paints and varnishes, pharmaceuticals, and household chemical items), 31 percent of the textile industry’s output (particularly cotton and silk fabrics), and 31 percent of the leather and footwear industry’s output. The food industry is diversified (meat and meat canning, butter, confectioneries, beer, and tobacco). Bucharest has enterprises of the ferrous and nonferrous metallurgical, construction materials, glass and china, and the woodworking and pulp and paper industries. The city is linked closely with the country’s gas and oil regions—Ploieşti and central Transylvania.

IU. A. KRUKOVSKII

Architecture and city planning. Bucharest is built up according to a radial-circular plan. The oldest part of the city is located on the left bank of the Dîmboviţa, in the section of the former Flour Bazaar—narrow, crooked streets with two-or three-story houses; the Curtea Veche Church (1559; portico, 1715), and the Stavropoleos Church (1724-30) with its stone four-pillar portico-loggia smartly decorated with carvings. Nearby, on the hilly right bank of the Dîmboviţa, are the Mihai Veche Church (1589-91), the Patriarch Church (1654-58), and the palace of the Great National Assembly (1907; architect, D. Maimarolu). A new center formed in the city north of the old sections during the 19th and 20th centuries; its main thoroughfares run from north to south—the Avenue of Victory (Calea Victoriei), which turns into Kiselev Avenue, as well as General Măgheru Boulevard, Balcescu Boulevard, and the Boulevard of 1848, which are intersected by the Boulevard of the Republic. The architectural appearance of the new section is determined by the imposing buildings of the late 19th-century and the first half of the 20th, buildings executed in the spirit of eclecticism, national romanticism, neoclassicism, and functionalism; these include the Athenaeum (G. Enescu Philharmonic Society; 1886-88; architect, A. Galleron), the Palace of Justice (now the Central Library; 1890-95; architect, A. Ballu), the post office (1900; architect, A. Săvulescu), the Dr. Minovici National Museum (1914; architect, C. Cerchez), the university (1856-69; architect, A. Orăscu; reconstructed in 1912-26; architect, N. Ghica-Budeşti), and the Palace of the Republic (1930-37; architect, N. Nenciulescu). After the victory of the popular regime, a general plan for the reconstruction of Bucharest was drawn up (1952). The Scinteia building (1948-53; architects, H. Maicu, N. Bădescu, and others), the Opera and Ballet Theater (1953; architect, O. Doicescu), the hall of the Palace of the Republic (1959-60; architects, H. Maicu and others) with an adjoining square and ensemble of residential buildings, the circus (1961; architect, N. Porumbescu), the complex of buildings of the Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy (1964), the Radio and Television Building (late 1960’s), and other buildings have been erected. Well-built residential sections, free in their layout, sprang up on the outskirts of the city in the 1950’s and 1960’s—Floreasca, Titan (Balta Albă), Drumul-Taberei, Bucureştii Noi (New Bucharest), Ferentari, and others. The Cismigiu, Freedom, and August Twenty-third parks are located in Bucharest; there is a recreation area on the northern outskirts of the city along the chain of lakes (Tei, Floreasca, Herăstrău, and others). The Mogosoaia Palace (1700-02) in the national Brincovean style and the Fundeni Doamnei Church (1699), with its lush stucco decor, are located near Bucharest.

Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Bucharest has many institutions of higher education, including a university (founded in 1864); polytechnic, construction, and economic institutes; and a conservatory. It is the site of scientific research institutes, the Academy of Sciences of the SRR (founded in 1879), dozens of museums—the Museum of Art of the SRR (in the Palace of the Republic; founded in 1950), the Museum of Folk Art, the National Museum of Antiquities (founded in 1864), the Village Museum, the Historical Museum of Bucharest, and others—and theaters, including the Opera and Ballet Theater and the I. L. Caragiale National Theater.

REFERENCES

Georgescu, F. Bucureşti. Bucharest, 1959.
Istoria oraşului, vol. 1. Bucharest, [1965].
Jonescu, G. Bucureşti: Ghid istoric si artistic. Bucharest, 1938.

Bucharest

the capital of Romania, in the southeast. Pop.: 1 764 000 (2005 est.)
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