Iiij. ml Iik 11 lliiil lliiiliiiii.il Wit'. ItHllldcd ' . I.. | I.. . I ilium .1 lliii in (/'in uric; liter |H) |..| i mhit I.mil .I . Inn. Ii i)ii the right

11. H , i. In. Ii lli", mi ii»' Wallachian |i.i.. i.. i ii lli. i it 11 tut Ii in ti foothills I il.. I i.ihiiIm River, was settled by •..i" l "... .r. .'.nly as 70 BC. By 1459 . |.i in. fly i. itlfiii e .intl military citadel had I., .ii i 'it ,i I il i '.| i I'd under the chancellery of iiiliiinnti'. 1'ilme Vlad |'cpe§. By the end ..I tin' I/lli i enlury, the city was the capital .it Wullui Ilia ami ranked among southeast-etn I,mope's wealthiest cities. Bucharest lit-i .line the national capital in 1862, as it lay on the main trade route between East and West and offered a strategic base to defend Romania against marauding Turks.

I'lie early 20th century was Bucharest's golden age. Large neoclassical buildings sprang up, fashionable parks were laid out and landscaped on Parisian models and, by I lie end of the 1930s, Bucharest was known throughout Europe as 'Little Paris'.

Bombing by the Allies during WWII, coupled with a 1940 earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale, destroyed much of Bucharest's prewar beauty. In March 1977 a second major earthquake claimed 1391 lives and flattened countless buildings. Ceau§escu's criminal redevelopment of the city marked the final death knell of Romania's elegant past.

The revolution of 1989 ripped the city to shreds. Although still haunted by its bloody

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