History of Bucharest
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A quick history of Bucharest - First World War to present...

The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris) of the East, with Calea Victoriei as its Champs-Elysees.

World War I
Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest, with the official capital temporarily removed to Moldova county. After World War I, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania. In the interwar years, 30000 new residents decended on the growing city each year. However, the Great Depression took its toll on Bucharest's citizens, culminating in the Grivita Strike of 1933.

World War II
In January of 1941, as capital of an Axis country and a major transit point for Axis troops en route to the Eastern Front, Bucharest suffered heavy damage during World War II due to Allied bombings. On 23 August 1944 it was the site of the royal coup which brought Romania into the Allied camp, uncovering the extent of 'Das Program' (The holocaust) in this part of the world, suffering a short period of Nazi Luftwaffe bombings as well as a failed attempt by German troops to regain the city by force.

Cold War Years
After the establishment of Communism in Romania, the city continued growing. New districts were constructed, most of them dominated by tower blocks. Soviet military involvement was heaviest in Romania, compared to other eastern block countries of the era due to the populations cultural diffrence and non recognition of soviet ideals. During Nicolae Ceausescu's leadership (19651989), much of the historic part of the city was demolished and replaced by "Socialist Realism" style development. The Centrul Civic (the Civic Centre); the Palace of the Parliament, where an entire historic quarter was razed to make way for Ceausescu's megalomaniac plans.
Bucharest was also the home of numerous Romanian airbases and missile batteries, part of the Warsaw pact forces of the Communist Era.

On 4 March 1977, an earthquake centered in Vrancea, about 135 km (83.89 mi) away, claimed 1,500 lives and caused further damage to the historic 'old town' of Bucharest

The Romanian Revolution of 1989 began with massive anti-Ceausescu protests in Timisoara in December 1989 and continued in Bucharest, leading to the overthrow of the Communist regime. Dissatisfied with the post-revolutionary leadership of the National Salvation Front, some student leagues and opposition groups organized large-scale protests in 1990, which were violently repressed by the miners of Valea Jiului, called in by the authorities.

After 2000 the city was continuously modernized and is still undergoing urban renewal. Residential and commercial developments are underway, particularly in the northern districts, and Bucharest's old historic centre is now benefiting from a Government backed restoration programme.

I look forward to meeting you and showing you the delights of beautiful and historic Bucharest.

Back to page 1 (Origins of Bucharest to 1400 - 1900)
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