Top Attractions to See in Bucharest, Romania

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    Athenaeum

    Atheneum Building in Bucharest
    ••• John Borthwick / Getty Images

    The Athenaeum 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 Athenaeum

    Statue Atop the Atheneum in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Bucharest (c) Linda Garrison

    The French baroque Athenaeum 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

    Memorial of Rebirth in Revolution Square
    ••• benedek / Getty Images

    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

    Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• 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. 

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    Kretzulescu Church on Revolution Square

    Church Kretzulescu
    ••• ncristian / Getty Images

    The Kretzulescu Church dates back to the early 18th century and sits on one corner of Revolution Square. The Eastern Orthodox church was built in the Brâncovenesc style and is nearby to the former Royal Palace.

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    Bucharest Central University Library

    Bucharest Central University Library on Revolution Square in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• Linda Garrison

    This lovely library, which sits across the street from the National Museum of Art in Romania, was designed by the French architect Paul Gottereau. The building was heavily damaged during the December 1989 revolution, but was restored shortly thereafter. 

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    Bucharest Union Square

    Bucharest Union Square
    ••• Things to Do and See with a Day in Bucharest Bucharest Union Square. 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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    Patriarchal Cathedral

    Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• 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
    ••• 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
    ••• 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
    ••• 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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    Palace of the Patriarchy

    Palace of the Patriarchy in Bucharest
    ••• Linda Garrison

    The Palace of the Patriarchy complex has many buildings including the cathedral, the Patriarch residence, and other administrative and housing structures. The Palace is the centerpiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith and has undergone many improvements over the years. It was first constructed between 1654 and 1658.

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    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles

    Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral External Altar for Lighting Candles
    ••• 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. It is off the beaten path, but a very impressive experience.

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    Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue

    Alexandru Ioan Cuzu Statue in Bucharest, Romania
    ••• 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

    Triumphal Arch of Bucharest
    ••• 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.