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Address: Piata Arcul de Triumf Initially built of wood in 1878 to honor the Romanian soldiers who won the Independence War, Bucharest's Arch of Triumph was rebuit in 1922 and redecoreted in 1936 with base reliefs carved in granite brought from Deva (Transylvania).Designed by the architect, Petre Antonescu, the Arch stands 89 feet high.

Location: Southern Romania Elevation: 190 - 295 ft (55 - 90 m) Size: City of Bucharest - 88 sq.miles (228 sq.km); Bucharest Metropolitan area - 587 sq.miles (1,521 sq.km) Inhabited since: 500 BC First documented: 1459 AD Population: 1.921 milion Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of "Little Paris"), Bucharest, Romania's largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis.

Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means "joy." His flute playing reportedly dazzled the people and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place.

Between 19, the House of the Free Press housed almost all of Romania's capital printing presses and headquarters of print media companies.

Today, Casa Presei Libere carries out much the same function but the southern wing is now the home of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

Today, the massive auditorium plays host to various conferences and events, including some of the George Enescu International Festival concerts. Banquets and official events are still hosted in the ballrooms, while the upstairs area is reserved for the army's library, as well as offices and classrooms for officer instruction.

The main part of the building is off-limits to civilians, but the sumptuous restaurant and summer terrace is open to the public. Address: Calea Victoriei 11 - 13 Boasting one of the most impressive neoclassical facades in the city, this structure was built in the 19th century to the design of French architect Paul Gottereanu (who between 18 designed more than 50 buildings in the city, to house the first Romanian Savings Bank.

The square-shaped palace has a large central dome with metallic ribs separated by glass, which allows natural light to come in; there are also four smaller domes. Soon, the area became known as Lipscani, named for the many German traders from Lipsca or Leiptzig.

The arch at the entrance, with its Corinthian columns, is a highlight of any architectural tour of the city. At the beginning of 1400s, most merchants and craftsmen - Romanian, Austrian, Greek, Armenian and Jewish - established their stores and shops in this section of the city; a jumble of streets between Calea Victoriei, Blvd. Other streets took on the names of various old craft communities and guilds, such as Blanari (furriers), Covaci (blacksmiths), Gabroveni (knife makers) and Cavafii Vechii (shoe-makers).

Between the two world wars, Calea Victoriei developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city.

Stroll along this street from Piata Victoriei to Piata Natiunilor Unite to discover some of the most stunning buildings in the city, including the Cantacuzino Palace, the Revolution Square, the Military Club, National Savings Bank Palace and the National History Museum. Address: Calea Victoriei 141 Admission charge Grigore Cantacuzino was thought to be one of Romania's wealthiest citizens in 1899.

The square's importance stretches back long before the dramatic events of the 1989 Revolution. The outdoor market is surrounded by butcheries, cheese, flower and medicinal plant shops. Radu Beller 3 - 5 Tel: 021 2 Upscale neighborhood market with a selection of fresh produce and flowers Piata 1 Mai Address: Blvd.

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