The first known documentation of Bucharest as a city was found in 1459, when it was mentioned as one of the homes of Vlad III. The city became popular as a favorite spot for Vlad’s court when he was voivode of Wallachia. Perhaps, because of his royal favor, the city was sacked and all but destroyed no less than three times between 1476 and 1594.

It lay close to ruins until the mid-1600s, when another member of the Wallachian royal family, Prince Matei Basarab, decided to locate his court there. Of course this didn’t result in any better prosperity for the city, for it was sacked yet again, by the Transylvanians, in 1655

The Kingdom of Romania came into being in 1881, following the Russo-Turkish War and the country’s subsequent independence from the Ottoman Empire. This constitutional monarchy was first ruled by King Carol I of Romania. Bucharest had secured the coveted title of capital city of the kingdom, a hard earned victory made possible by the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia, twenty years earlier, when they had joined to form the Principality of Romania.

Late 19th and early 20th century Bucharest was a booming city. One which boasted fine architecture, cutting edge art and a reputation for being rather cosmopolitan and sophisticated in all things cultural. The nickname ‘Little Paris’ was pertinent and well deserved, although this aspect of Bucharest life would be relatively short lived.


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