Monday, September 7, 2009

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is famous for its Communist-era block buildings and stray dogs. I saw plenty of both, but was surprised at the diversity of the city’s architecture.

The most famous building is the Palace of Parliament, the world’s second largest building in surface area after the Pentagon. I joined a tour of the building, which only covered less than 3% of it! This gargantuan structure was built starting in the 1984 in a neo-classical style with Romanian features. Inside, gigantic halls with ornate chandeliers, colorful carpets and decorous curtains adorned the area. The palace also has a great view of Boulevard Unirii, Bucharest’s “Champs Elysees”, with small fountains lining the middle of the avenue.

Another highlight was my visit to the Village Museum, an open-air place with churches and homes from different areas of Romania. There were homes with straw roofs and those with wooden roofs. There were wooden churches and windmills. The complex also contained a good number of farm buildings: stables, mills, crushers.

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