Bucharest, the Capital of Romania, can be an extraordinary city to visit if you know where to go and what do you want to see. Bucharest is a mix of styles and history. It is a unique place where modern buildings, old houses and communist construction are all oddly combined to create an extraordinary urban scenery. On this blog we will reveal this city’s most interesting secrets.
Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned Bucharest its nickname of “Little Paris”), Romania’s largest city and capital is today a bustling metropolis.
Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of
the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literally means “joy.”
His flute playing reportedly dazzled the people and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place.
Like all major cities in the world, Bucharest should be seen from its core to the sides, from its old buildings lying in the heart of the city to the newest ones scratching the skies.
Dark legends have been born around the old city of Bucharest. On the darkest streets, at night, you can almost feel the shadows of past inhabitants moving rapidly around the corners and disappearing under burnt street lights as if they wanted to express their discontent with all the modern fuss that is disrupting the old peace in the area.
Some can almost swear that they have seen shadows on this paved streets. Others dismiss the idea as nonsense. But maybe in spite of the ones that deny any of the ghost stories, the legends continue to live on.
Between the subway station Universitate (University) and Piata Unirii (Union Square) and around the area lies the old city of Bucharest with its many streets winding between huge renovated buildings and creepy ruins. Tourist are enjoying the view either by strolling down these streets or spending time at one of the hundreds restaurants, coffee houses, bars and clubs that can be found in the area.
Nothing seems out of ordinary at the light of day but the sunset can cast a touch of grim on the place. Without knowing, many tourists are walking past few of the darkest places in Bucharest’s history.
The desperate orphans
One of them is an old building that can be found on Strada Franceza (French Street) at number 13. It is said that there was an old orphanage where hundreds of children were abandoned by their mothers that were either too poor or simply didn’t want children. The owner of this place, in the period of the 19th century, was a man named Stavrache Hagi-Orman. And he was more than gruesome. He hated those kids and used to let them starve for days. Many died of starvation but in those times nobody asked question about these children that nobody wanted. Nowadays, many people that passed by this building swore that they heard voices of children asking desperately for water.
The House of Black Blood
Another legend is related to one of the most famous writers in Romania: Mircea Eliade (March 13, 1907 – April 22, 1986). He was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor. He lived in a house in the historical center of Bucharest, on Mantuleasa Street, number 33. From 1946 to this day, that house hasn’t been inhabited and people named it “The house of the black blood”. Some say that Eliade is still haunting the corridors of this house. Other argue that it is not his ghost that haunts the house but another spirit that actually inspired the writer to write his fictional masterpieces. Some neighbors say that they know that the ghost haunting the house is the spirit of a prostitute killed there in the 19th century. The house has been given its weird name (The House of the Black Blood) because it is said that some mornings little black spots can be seen at the entrance.
The Ghost of Hotel Cismigiu
Another haunted building is on the way from The University to Cismigiu park. This old building was built in 1914 as a modern hotel. In 1970 it was closed due to lack of maintenance. After getting out of use as a hotel, the Romanian authorities decided to transform it into a student dorm. At the beginning of the ’90, as the story says, one student, a young girl, fell into the elevator’s well. She cried, she screamed but no one heard her cries for help. After a few hours she died in agony. It is said that she can still be seen on the corridors of the building (now renovated again into a hotel). If you want to try this hotel, click here. If you dare…
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