Bucharest, Romania – often marketed as “little Paris”, “the Berlin of the Orient” would do it more justice. It is an intriguing blend of oriental medieval architecture, French-style Belle Époque buildings, Soviet-style utilitarian and monumental buildings, as well as American-flavored glass and steel sky-scrappers. Its main tourist attraction – the People’s Palace – is rarely promoted as a tourist site at official level, although it is hard to miss as a tourist due to its sheer size.
Bucharest resembles most other former Communist capitals from Eastern Europe. However, it lacks an official promotion of its Communist history and past, which has shaped most of its current aspect. Bucharest needs to stand out from the dozens of cities which have fallen behind the Iron Curtain, assume its Communist past and market its rich Communist heritage to tourists and locals alike.
This blog and the walking tour of Communism attempts to do just that: they are an opportunity to learn about the Communist history of the city, the events and people that have shaped its current look and feel, and to explore the lesser known areas of the city, in the company of an English-speaking guide who is passionate about the city and well educated in the Communist history of Romania.
The tours will tell the story of the conflict of two worlds – a brutalized Bucharest under the Communist regime and the bucolic, peaceful and prosperous Bucharest of the interwar period. You will learn about why Bucharest is such a striking mix of very different architectural styles, how each regime has left its mark on the city, and how the city looked and what its inhabitants went through in their daily lives under Communism. You will re-live the emotions of the anti-Communist Revolution and the fall of the Iron Curtain. You will see beautiful places, as well as the ugly side of the city; you will see the main tourist attractions, as well as the lesser known areas. As long as you keep an open mind, and you want to experience the mark that Communism left on Romanian people and Bucharest, this blog and the walking tour are for you!
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