The Romanian Athenaeum is Bucharest's most prestigious concert hall. The idea for a building that would serve as a temple of the arts and sciences arose among the most illustrious minds of Bucharest's cultural and scientific circles in the second half of the 19th-century. Donations financed the buildings' construction. The donation campaign lasted for 18 years and its slogan - “Give a penny for the Athenaeum” - has become a part of the city's mythology. Building finished in 1888 and, with its high domed roof and columns, really does look like a temple. The concert hall is famous not only for the ornate frescoes on its ceilings and walls but also for its outstanding acoustics. The building was heavily damaged during the second world war and was later restored.
|Address||Strada Benjamin Franklin 1, Bucharest|
Athenee Palace Hotel
Across from the Athenaeum is another multi-story building, namely, the Athenee Palace Hotel, which is now a part of the Hilton network of hotels. Designed by French architect Theophile Bradeau and built in 1914, it comes directly from the period when Bucharest was also known as "Little Paris". The building's more recent fame has come from Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy, where the hotel serves as the setting for World War II spies and intrigue.
|Address||Epidcopiei 1-3, Bucharest|
Cantacuzino Palace in Bucharest
An exciting building along the Calea Victoriei is the splendid Cantacuzino Palace. It now houses a museum dedicated to the famous Romanian composer George Enescu of Romanian Rhapsody fame. Commissioned by former Romanian Prime Minister Grigore Cantacuzino and built in 1898-1900, this is one of the most extravagant buildings in the city. As one of the wealthiest people in the country, Cantacuzino wished to be remembered for owning the most elegant residence in the city. The building is a true example of French Eclecticism, uniting Neoclassic architecture with elements of Art Nouveau. Two majestic lions guard the palace's massive wrought-iron door.
|Address||Calea Victoriei 141, Bucharest|
Casa Doina in Bucharest
One of the most prominent examples of Neo-Romanian architecture is Casa Doina. It's Bucharest's oldest and best-known restaurant in the northern part of the city. The building was originally intended as Romania's pavilion at the 1889 Paris Exhibition. For various reasons, the project was never realized, but the construction of the building started in 1892 in Bucharest instead. In Casa Doina, elements from the folkloric style combine with a patriarchal aristocratic villa. The names of Romania's most famous vineyards are in colorful ceramic tiles under the roof cornice. Scenes from Romanian folklore cover the veranda's wooden pillars.
|Address||Soseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest|
Fun things to do in Bucharest
Tired of walking the streets and need some rest from all that sightseeing? Take a rest and relax at Therme just outside Bucharest. They really have a lot to offer, so you can easily spend a day here. The place has three main areas:
- Elysium, where you can have a sauna (they have 6) and enjoy a selenium enriched pool with a panoramic sight
- The Palm, with aroma therapy pools and Jacuzzi's hidden among the palms
- Galaxy, a place to enjoy indoor water slides and go wild in the wave pool
Therme Spa Bucharest On A Map
Bucharest's Otopeni Airport lies 17 kilometers from the city's center. Taxi's are yellow, with a "TAXI" light on the roof. A trip to the center of the city will cost you no more than EUR 20 - EUR 25. Just be sure that the driver turns the meter on once you get in.