Bucharest - Capital of Romania

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    Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel - Bucharest, Romania

    Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel - Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel - Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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...MORE 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.

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    Atheneum - Bucharest, Romania

    Atheneum - Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Atheneum - Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Statue Atop the Atheneum in Bucharest, Romania

    Statue Atop the Atheneum in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Statue Atop the Atheneum in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square - Bucharest, Romania

    Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square - Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square - Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    This tall 82-foot pillar is the centerpiece of the Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square, which honors the patriots of the 1989 uprising.

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    Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania

    Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Cretulescu Church on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania

    Cretulescu Church on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Cretulescu Church on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The Cretulescu Church dates back to the early 18th century and sits on one corner of Revolution Square.

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    Bucharest Central University Library on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania

    Bucharest Central University Library on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Central University Library on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    This lovely library was designed by the French architect Paul Gottereau. The building was heavily damaged during the December 1989 revolution but was restored.

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    Bucharest Union Square

    Bucharest Union Square
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Union Square. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    Union Square is Bucharest's largest. It is filled with fountains, but surrounded by numerous clunky buildings constructed during the Ceausescu era.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Bell Tower in Bucharest, Romania

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Bell Tower in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Bell Tower in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    This bell tower was built in 1698 and restored in 1958. The bell tolled almost constantly during our short tour.

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    Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania

    Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral and Palace Complex

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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).

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    Crosses at the Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral

    Crosses at the Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Crosses at the Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    These three modern crosses appear stark when compared to the ornate Patriarchal Cathedral nearby.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex Building

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex Building
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Complex Building. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The Patriarchal Cathedral complex sits atop the Mitropoliei hill. This complex has been the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church since the 17th century.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Chandelier

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Chandelier
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral Chandelier. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The interior of the Patriarchal Cathedral is very ornate and topped with this beautiful chandelier.

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    Palace of the Patriarchy in Bucharest

    Palace of the Patriarchy in Bucharest
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Palace of the Patriarchy in Bucharest. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The Palace of the Patriarchy complex has many buildings including the cathedral, the Patriarch residence, and other administrative and housing structures.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    View of Bucharest from the Patriarchal Cathedral Hill

    View of Bucharest from the Patriarchal Cathedral Hill
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest View of Bucharest from the Patriarchal Cathedral Hill. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The Patriarchal Cathedral complex sits on one of the few hills in Bucharest.

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    Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue in Bucharest, Romania

    Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Triumphal Arch of Bucharest

    Triumphal Arch of Bucharest
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Triumphal Arch of Bucharest. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Entertainment at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest

    Entertainment at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Entertainment at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    Passengers on the Viking Neptune enjoyed a lunch with entertainment during our day tour of Bucharest. The Restaurant Pescarus is located on Lake Herastrau.

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    Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest

    Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Traditional Romanian dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    We all enjoyed these traditional Romanian dancers who entertained the passengers on the Viking Neptune.

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    Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest

    Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Dancers at Restaurant Pescarus in Bucharest. Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The traditional Romanian dancers entertained passengers from the Viking Neptune who were embarking on a Danube River cruise later that evening.