Bucharest History
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A quick history of Bucharest - Origins of Bucharest.

Bucharest's history alternated periods of development and decline from the early settlements in the Antiquity until its consolidation as the national Capital of Romania late in the 19th century.

First mentioned as the "Citadel of Bucuresti" in 1459, it became the residence of the famous Wallachian Prince Vlad III - 'The Impaler', who was the basis for the Legend of Count Dracula.
The Statue of Vlad Tepes stands proudly in the centre of Bucharest, keeping a watchfull eye over proceedings in the city he fought for many years ago, a reminder of Romanias bloody, but ultimately victorious history.

Ottoman Rulers
From the 18th century Ottoman rulers appointed Greek administrators to run the town, leading to a revolt, led by Tudor Vladimirescu in 1821, which ended the rule of the Constantinople-Greeks in Bucharest.

The Old Princely Court (Curtea Veche) was erected by Mircea Ciobanul, and under subsequent rulers, Bucharest was established as the summer residence of the royal court. During the years to come it competed with Targoviste on the status of Capital city after an increase in the importance of southern Muntenia brought about by the demands of the suzerain power - the Ottoman Empire.

Disasters and Plague
Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea's plague in 1813–1814, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia (three times between 1768 and 1806). It was placed under Russian administration between 1828 and the Crimean War, with an interlude during the Bucharest-centred 1848 Wallachian revolution.

From then, an Austrian garrison took possession after the Russian departure (remaining in the city until March 1857). Additionally, on 23 March 1847, a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings, destroying a third of the city.

In 1862, after Wallachia and Moldavia were united to form the Principality of Romania, Bucharest became the new nation's capital city. In 1881, it became the political centre of the newly-proclaimed Kingdom of Romania under King Carol I.

Urban Development
During the second half of the 19th century the city's population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began. During this period, gas lighting, horse-drawn trams and limited electrification
(see picture) were introduced. The Dambovita river was also massively channelled in 1883, thus putting a stop to previously endemic floods.
New buildings were added, including the Romanian Athenaeum, and the skyline increased in height - the Athénée Palace, the first one in the city to use reinforced concrete, had five stories. In 1885-1887, after Romania denounced its economic ties with Austria-Hungary, Bucharest's commercial and industrial development went unhindered: over 760 new enterprises were established in the city before 1912, and hundreds more by the 1940s. Limited use of electricity was introduced as early as 1882.

Next page ( First World War to present-)

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