01 of 22
Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel - Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest Is Interesting City Only an Hour North of the Danube River
Bucharest is only an hour's bus ride from the Danube River at Oltenita, and cruises such as the Viking River Cruises' Eastern European Odyssey from Bucharest to Nuremberg often visit the city. To those of us who lived in the late 20th century, Bucharest is best-known for its tyrant dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was overthrown and executed in 1989.
Bucharest was founded in the 14th century, and the city once was filled with elegant boulevards that looked much like Paris. Ceausescu tore down many of these French-style buildings and replaced them with ugly utilitarian Communist structures.
Today, Bucharest is rebuilding its remaining old town area and working hard to capture tourism dollars. If you have a day in Bucharest, be sure to visit Ceausescu's humongous Parliament Palace. Other interesting sites include the Village Museum, an outdoor museum featuring traditional Romanian structures. These Bucharest... photos were taken on a day trip prior to our cruise on the Viking Neptune.
Viking River Cruises used this Hilton hotel in Bucharest for an overnight before our Danube River Cruise. Its location was excellent -- next to the Atheneum.
We really enjoyed our short stay at the Athenee Palace Hilton in Bucharest. The rooms were large, and the restaurant was good. We were just a short walk from Revolution Square.Continue to 2 of 22 below.
02 of 22
Atheneum - Bucharest, Romania
The Atheneum is one of the finest buildings in Bucharest. Currently used for the George Enescu Philhamonic, the theater has 800 seats and excellent acoustics.Continue to 3 of 22 below.
03 of 22
Statue Atop the Atheneum in Bucharest, Romania
The French baroque Atheneum has a marvelous cupola, which features statues such as this one. The Athenenum was built in 1888 with funds donated by the public.Continue to 4 of 22 below.
04 of 22
Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square - Bucharest, Romania
This tall 82-foot pillar is the centerpiece of the Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square, which honors the patriots of the 1989 uprising.Continue to 5 of 22 below.
05 of 22
Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania is a memorial to the 1989 revolution. Over 1000 citizens died and another 3000 wounded during the revolt.
The week-long Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a violent time that culminated with the government of Nicolae Ceauşescu being overthrown. Ceauşescu and his wife Elena were tried and executed shortly after the revolt.Continue to 6 of 22 below.
06 of 22
Cretulescu Church on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
The Cretulescu Church dates back to the early 18th century and sits on one corner of Revolution Square.Continue to 7 of 22 below.
07 of 22
Bucharest Central University Library on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
This lovely library was designed by the French architect Paul Gottereau. The building was heavily damaged during the December 1989 revolution but was restored.Continue to 8 of 22 below.
08 of 22
Bucharest Union Square
Union Square is Bucharest's largest. It is filled with fountains, but surrounded by numerous clunky buildings constructed during the Ceausescu era.Continue to 9 of 22 below.
09 of 22
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Bell Tower in Bucharest, Romania
This bell tower was built in 1698 and restored in 1958. The bell tolled almost constantly during our short tour.Continue to 10 of 22 below.
10 of 22
Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania
The complex has been the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church since the 17th century and houses the cathedral and the residence of the Patriarch.Continue to 11 of 22 below.
11 of 22
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral and Palace Complex
The Patriarchal complex is the home to the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, much like the Vatican is home to the Catholic Church Patriarch (Pope).Continue to 12 of 22 below.
12 of 22
Crosses at the Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral
These three modern crosses appear stark when compared to the ornate Patriarchal Cathedral nearby.Continue to 13 of 22 below.
13 of 22
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex Building
The Patriarchal Cathedral complex sits atop the Mitropoliei hill. This complex has been the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church since the 17th century.Continue to 14 of 22 below.
14 of 22
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Chandelier
The interior of the Patriarchal Cathedral is very ornate and topped with this beautiful chandelier.Continue to 15 of 22 below.
15 of 22
Palace of the Patriarchy in Bucharest
The Palace of the Patriarchy complex has many buildings including the cathedral, the Patriarch residence, and other administrative and housing structures.Continue to 16 of 22 below.
16 of 22
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles
This small outdoor chapel is used by worshipers to light candles for their loved ones. It was moved outside to protect the cathedral from smoke and fire.Continue to 17 of 22 below.
17 of 22
View of Bucharest from the Patriarchal Cathedral Hill
The Patriarchal Cathedral complex sits on one of the few hills in Bucharest.Continue to 18 of 22 below.
18 of 22
Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue in Bucharest, Romania
Alexandru Ioan Cuzu was the first ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, which were a precursor to Romania.
Alexandru Ioan Cuzu (also known as Alexander John Cuzu) ruled between 1859 and 1866. He was responsible for much of the modernization of Romania. This statue is found on the hill leading to the Patriarchal Cathedral, which is the home of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.Continue to 19 of 22 below.
19 of 22
Triumphal Arch of Bucharest
Bucharest's Triumphal Arch was modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was erected in 1935 to commemorate the creation of Greater Romania in 1918.Continue to 20 of 22 below.
20 of 22
Entertainment at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
Passengers on the Viking Neptune enjoyed a lunch with entertainment during our day tour of Bucharest. The Restaurant Pescarus is located on Lake Herastrau.Continue to 21 of 22 below.
21 of 22
Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
We all enjoyed these traditional Romanian dancers who entertained the passengers on the Viking Neptune.Continue to 22 of 22 below.
22 of 22
Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
The traditional Romanian dancers entertained passengers from the Viking Neptune who were embarking on a Danube River cruise later that evening.