Walking Tour

This tour visits the main sites of the 1989 revolution and Bucharest's Communist legacy.

Start at the fountain on Piata Unirii (1; p57), one of Europe's largest public squares. Note the uniform architectural style beloved by Ceau^escu. Head down B-dul Unirii. You'll see how quickly the atmosphere changes to a ghost town the further west you travel. Cut through an alleyway to find Antim Monastery (2; p59), which survived the urban cull. Continue to the vast area fronting the Palace of Parliament (3; p57), which has space for 300,000 people, and the balcony intended for Ceau^escu's speeches. Visit the monstrous edifice!

Head north to Izvor metro station, cross over the bridge and head west alongside the still waters of the rechannelled Dàmbovita River. Turn right at Str Constantin Noica towards the National Military Museum (4; p63) for the revolution exhibition. From here, head southeast to Piata Universitâtii (5; p59) along B-dul Mihail Kogâlniceanu and its continuation, B-dul Regina Elisabeta. Once in the square you're in the heart of the revolution struggle. Discover the 10 stone crosses dedicated to victims and spot the black cross at B-dul Nicolae Bâlcescu 18. From the towering Hotel Inter-Continental (6; p70) was where journalists filmed the carnage.

Continue north along B-dul Nicolae Bâlcescu for a short way, then turn left into Str Ion Câmpineanu and continue until Calea Victoriei. Turn right (northwards) at Calea Victoriei to Piata Revolutiei (7; p61), where you'll see the former Central Committee

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Historic Quarter

1500 m 10.3 miles burned out building shell (9; p62), which was targeted as the former Securitate (secret police) headquarters. The Royal Palace (10; p62) was also damaged by fire and bullets.

Head north along Calea Victoriei to Piata Victoriei (11; p63), then north along B-dul Aviatorilor, turning off to the Romanian TV Headquarters (12; p64), the scene of some of the fiercest fighting. The end of the Ceau$escu regime was broadcast from here on the night of 22 December 1989.

Continue northwest through Piata Charles de Gaulle, turning right up $oseaua Kiseleff. Looming ahead is the ominous Press House (13; p64); look for the remains of its huge hammer and sickle midway up the tower.

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