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Bucharest, Romania
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    (circa 500 BC- )
    Capital and largest city of Romania
    Area: 228 km2 (Municipality), 285 km2 (Urban), 5,046.1 km2 (Metro)
    Population: 1,931,838 (2011)
    First mentioned on September 20, 1459 as Vlad the Impaler's summer residence
    Founded according to Romanian legend by a prince or outlaw named Bucur, meaning ‘joy’ in Romanian
    Capital since 1878
    It copied Paris by building an arch based on the Arc de Triomphe and named it ‘Arcul de Triumf’, meaning ‘Arch of Triumph’ in Romanian.
    It was said to be located on one of the world’s strongest magnetic lines, which may have contributed to stories of psychics and vampires in the area.
    Even though it means ‘city of joy’, visitors would initially view the city as overcrowded and run-down.
    It was sacked by the Ottomans. (1554 and 1594)
    It was struck by Caragea’s plague, which killed 20,000-30,000 people in the city alone. (1813-14)
    Many parts of its historic center were devastated by war, earthquakes, and Nicolae Ceauşescu's construction programs.
    During the Communist era tall, large buildings were built near churches to hide them.
    It witnessed one of the most violent anti-Communist uprisings in Eastern Europe, with both Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu executed by a firing squad on Christmas Day. (1989)
    Its quality of life is slowly decreasing.
    It was known as ‘Little Paris’ during the 1900s.
    Three treaties have been signed there (May 28, 1812, March 3, 1886, August 10, 1913)
    Many of its old buildings were destroyed and 1,500 people were killed in an earthquake. (March 4, 1977)
    The Guinness Book of Records says that the city’s Palace of the Parliament is the largest and most expensive civilian administrative building in the world as well as the heaviest building in the world.
    It has one of the largest transportation systems in Europe, complete with buses, minibuses, trams, trolleybuses, and light rail.
    It has an eclectic music scene.

Credit: Big Lenny

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