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Bucharest

Bucharest (population 2 million, Romanian, Bucureşti) is the capital city and industrial and commercial centre of Romania, located in the southeast of the country, on the Dāmboviţa[?] river.

Along a small tributary of Dimbovita, named Colentina, several lakes stretch across the city. Lake Floreasca, Lake Tei, Lake Colentina. In addition, in the center of the capital there is a small artificial lake - Lake Cismigiu. Surrounded by gardens and parks, it has a rich history, as it was frequented by famous poets and writers.

History

The legend says that Bucharest was founded by a shepard named Bucur, another variant, more likely, is that it was established by Mircea cel Batran[?] in the 14th century after a victory won over the turks (bucurie means joy in Romanian, for this reason Bucharest is often called "The City of Joy.").

Like most ancient cities of Romania, its foundation has also been ascribed to the first Walachian prince, the half-mythical Radu Negru[?] (1290-1314). More modern historians declare that it was originally a fortress, erected on the site of the Daco-Roman Thyanus[?], then it was used to command the approaches to Targoviste[?], formerly the capital of Walachia.

Bucharest is first mentioned under its present name as a residence in 1459 of the Walachian prince Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler). It soon became the summer residence of the court. In 1595 it was burned by the Turks; but, after its restoration, continued to grow in size and prosperity, until, in 1698, Prince Constantin Brancoveanu[?] chose it for his capital and of the united provinces of Walachia and Moldavia from February 1859 (renamed Romania in December 1861 while still nominally subject to the Ottoman Empire).

During the 18th century the possession of Bucharest was frequently disputed by the Turks, Austrians and Russians. In 1812 it gave its name to the treaty by which Bessarabia and a third of Moldavia were ceded to Russia. In the war of 1828 it was occupied by the Russians, who made it over to the prince of Walachia in the following year. A rebellion against Prince Bibescu in 1848 brought both Turkish and Russian interference, and the city was again held by Russian troops in 1853-1854. On their departure an. Austrian garrison took possession and remained till March 1857. In 1858 the international congress for the organization of the Danubian principalities was held in the city; and when, in 1861, the union of Walachia and Moldavia was proclaimed, Bucharest became the Romanian capital. Alexandru Ioan Cuza[?], the first ruler of the united provinces, was driven from his throne by an insurrection in Bucharest in 1866.

During Nicolae Ceauşescu's communist dictatorship, most of the historical part of the city, including old churches, was destroyed, to be replaced with grandomanic socialist buildings.

Population

The city's population increased from 32,000 in 1800 and 282,000 in 1900 to the present-day number slightly over two million (excluding the largely rural outer ring of Ilfov county).



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