Piata Universitatii

Some of the fiercest fighting took place here during the 1989 revolution. Journalists watched tanks roll over Romanian freedom fighters and soldiers shoot into crowds of protestors from their viewpoint inside Hotel Inter-Continental. Scour the area and you'll find bullet marks in buildings and 10 stone crosses commemorating those killed. A black cross (B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 18) marks the spot where the first protestor, Mihai Gatlan, died at 5.30pm on 21 December 1989.

Piata Universitatii (Map p60; B-dul Regina Elisabeta) is the hub of Bucharest's intellectual and political life. The main university building (Map p60; B-dul Regina Elisabeta) - built between 1856 and 1868 and inaugurated in 1869 - is on the square's northwestern corner.

The onion domes of the Student Church (Map p60; B-dul Regina Elisabeta) peep out from the southeastern side of the square. This Russian Orthodox church dates from 1905-09. East from Piata Universitatii, heading along B-dul Carol I, you come to the alabaster ArmenianjChurch (Map pp54-5; ® 313 9070; B-dul Carol 143; ® 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 8am-1pm Sun).

Theodor Pallady Museum (Muzeul Theodor Pallady; Map pp54-5; @211 4979; Str Spatarulul 22; S 10am-6pm Wed-Sun) is housed inside the exquisite 18th-century Casa Melik, a former merchant's house. It contains the private art collection of the Raut family (now part of the National Art Museum).

HISTORY & ART MUSEUM The museum (Map p60; @ 315 6858; B-dul IC Bratianu 2; admission €0.50; ® 10am-6pm Tue-Sun) has displays of costumes and artefacts from 19th-and 20th-century Bucharest. Designed by two Austrian architects, the neo-Gothic palace was built between 1832 and 1834 for the $utu family, notorious for their high-society parties. The document, issued by Vlad Tepe§ in 1459, in which the city was chronicled for the first time, is also housed here.

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