Paupers Graves

Ghencea Civil Cemetery (Cimitirul Civil Ghencea; Map pp54-50; Calea 13 Septembrie; H 9am-6pm) has two infamous inhabitants: Nicolae Ceaujescu and his wife Elena (who was dubbed Eva Peron).

The pair was secretly buried here on 30 December 1989, in hastily prepared graves. Nicolae lies in row 135, on the left of the cemetery. No stone tomb adorns his earth grave, dug into a pathway, but two crosses - one metal, the other stone - mark his body. The black steel cross is inscribed with his name, date of birth and death. A red marble cross bearing a picture of Nicolae and the inscription, 'A tear on your tomb from Romanian people' was erected in 2001 by the Communist Party, and he is visited each year by delegations from China and Russia. His own people have stayed away - and surprisingly there's no graffiti, just a lit candle and a motley collection of fresh flowers.

Elena was burled separately from him, in row H25, directly across the cemetery to the right. They weren't buried together as it was said they did too many bad things together so should stay apart. Her name is daubed with white paint across a black metal cross. The body of their playboy son Nicu, who died from liver cirrhosis in 1996, is buried nearby.

To get here, take bus No 385 or 173 from Piata Unirii; or bus No 203, 204, 214 or 303; or tram No 8, 47 or 58.

66 Mill II AIII SI W, liking liHir

ItWIHI HIM MftMl '.I

"in I Ill h i • . liuiiollil.il Influence on the Romanian public - a daring project

ii ' |ihi| I liy inic ill the smallest ethnic minorities in today's Romania,' said i ...i- .. Mi Hi..ilai' ' .i|.il .1 Moumnlan Academy member.

It . Iw.ty« .ii lludi.irtst had a thriving Jewish community dating from the 16th

-huh, , In n tin ii li.iiii'. and traders settled here. By 1861 more than 6000 Jews lived in the H|.il»l Ilium wnti .iiiiund to synagogues at this time.

tin' I'Mli lentury brought anti-Semitism along with internal conflicts within the Jewish community, mil many Jews left. Nevertheless, on the eve of WWII there were an estimated 95,000 It'ws in IIiii haii'st and 80 working synagogues. Today, there are only 4000 Jews in Bucharest (/(Mill in Romania).

I In- lowMi History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie al Comunitatilor Evreiejti din Romania; Map pp54-5; @311 1)8/0; Sfi Miliiiulari 3; admission €1; ® 9am-1pm Mon, Wed, Sun, 10am-6pm Thu) bears testimony to the city's onef thriving history. The museum, housed in the beautiful former tailor's synagogue, has been Innovated and is now the city's showpiece lesson in Jewish culture. It dates from 1850 and Is one of three surviving pre-WWII synagogues. The Holocaust Room shows horrific photographs and a sculpture of a shrouded man in memory of the 150,000 Jews who were deported to hard-labour camps in Transdniestr, Moldova, and the 200,000 from Transylvania who died in Auschwitz. You can hire an English-speaking guide for €1.25.

Little remains of the old Jewish quarter of Vacarejti, northeast of Piata Unirii in Bucharest's historic heart. During the Iron Guard's fascist pogrom in 1941, entire streets of houses were burnt to the ground, synagogues looted and Jewish-run businesses razed. What remained was levelled by Ceaujescu in the mid-1980s.

The Choral Temple (Map p60; fH 315 5090; Str Sfanta Vineri 9), built in 1857, is the city's main working synagogue. It's visually stunning inside, but getting inside is hard as non-Jewish people are not permitted entry by the tough security. Its magnificent Moorish turrets, choir loft and organ remain intact. A memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, put up in 1991, fronts the temple.

The Sephardic Jewish Cemetery (Cimitirul Evreisc de rit Sefard; Calea Jerban Voda) lies opposite Belu Cemetery in the south of the city (metro Eroii Revolutiei). Two rows of graves dated 21-23 January 1941 mark the Iron Guard's pogrom against the Jewish community in Bucharest, during which at least 170 Jews were murdered.

pool. Using any of these facilities will cost you €15 per day. Cheaper is Hotel Turist's (p69) pool and gym, where a swim costs €4 and the gym €3.

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