Today was slightly more relaxed than yesterday. We saw various sites around Bucharest starting with the Palace of the Parliament (PP). Before the PP was constructed a huge swab of Bucharest had to be leveled to make way for the new structure beginning with “relocating” the individuals that lived in the area. PP was constructed starting in 1984 by than Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu but was eventually completed in 1997 – many years after he was killed in the revolution in 1989. The structure like many communist buildings was big and imposing, many fixtures (such as carpets, chandeliers and window drapes) that were record breaking in size. Ceaușescu had even grand ideas for the PP but had never come to fruition because of his death.
After the PP we went to a nearby Christian Orthodox campus that housed the patriarch of Romania. In every Christian Orthodox country there is a patriarch that functions similar to the pope in the Vatican. One of the structures on the campus was the original building used by the Romanian parliament that had since moved to the PP due to concerns about earthquake safety. When the parliament moved the government donated the building to the patriarch of Romania.
After visiting the campus of the patriarch we visited the historical district in Bucharest – Lipscani. Lipscani was named after German merchants that came to Bucharest from Leipzig to sell their wares who were traveling through the area. Lipscani is an area of Bucharest which needs much more work as many once beautiful buildings are decaying and derelict – however there is much construction in the area and I am told it used to be much worse. We had lunch at what our guide called the oldest inn in Bucharest named Manuc’s Inn. We had an array of grilled meats and mustard – it was a fairly hearty lunch. Afterwards we visited a 15th century archeological site located underground the city. We set off to the Historical Museum of Bucharest but it was closed due to Romanian Flag Day.
We then traveled to the Village Museum which consisted of historical houses brought from different regions of Romania. Because of different environments of the country and the local materials available – the houses from one region to another had a very different look. For example, houses from Maramureș in the north would look different than a county in the south because Maramureș has a different kind of timber. The ground was nice and lined with trees – it felt more like a park than a museum. We were than taken to Revolution Square where our tour guide (who told us he was at the Romanian revolution in 1989) told us of his account of what happened in 1989. If you are interested click here to see a video of the revolution in this square in 1989.
For dinner we were tired so we just decided to eat dinner at our hotel’s restaurant. The food was okay, but it was nice to eat close by. Tomorrow we are going to Sibiu, a German town in Transylvania.