Calea Victoriei is Bucharests oldest and arguably, most charming street. Designed in 1692 to connect the Old Princely Court to Mogosoaia Palace, the street (initially named Podul Mogoșoaiei) was originally paved with oak beams. The street became Calea Victoriei in 1878, after the Romanian War of Independence victory. Between the two world wars, Calea Victoriei developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city. Stroll along this street from Piata Victoriei to Piata Natiunilor Unite to discover some of the most stunning buildings in the city, including the Cantacuzino Palace , the Revolution Square , the Military Club , National Savings Bank Palace and the National History Museum . Cantacuzino Palace (Palatul Cantacuzino) Address: Calea Victoriei 141 Admission charge. Grigore Cantacuzino was thought to be one of Romanias wealthiest citizens in 1899. As Prime Minister, it was his wish to have the most elegant residence in Bucharest. Using the designs of architect Ion Berindei, the Cantacuzino Palace was built between 1898 and 1900 in eclectic French style. Combining a neoclassical architectural style with art nouveau elements, it features wrought iron balconies, tall arched windows and a porte-cochere (an elegant wrought-iron doorway) flanked by two lions. Today, the palace houses the George Enescu Museum (more information). Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei) The square gained worldwide notoriety when TV stations around the globe broadcasted Nicolae Ceausescus final moments in power on December 21, 1989. It was here, at the balcony of the former Communist Party Headquarters, that Ceausescu stared in disbelief as the people gathered in the square below turned on him. He fled the angry crowd in his white helicopter, only to be captured outside of the city a few hours later. The squares importance stretches back long before the dramatic events of the 1989 Revolution. On the far side of the square stands the former Royal Palace , now home to the National Art Museum , the stunning Romanian Athenaeum and the historic Athenee Palace Hotel . At the south end of the square, you can visit the small, but beautiful, Kretzulescu Church .
The Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf) Address: Piata Arcul de Triumf (map) Initially built of wood in 1878 to honor the Romanian soldiers who won the Independence War, Bucharests Arch of Triumph was rebuit in 1922 and redecoreted in 1936 with base reliefs carved in granite brought from Deva (Transylvania). Designed by the architect, Petre Antonescu, the Arch stands 89 feet high. An interior staircase allows visitors to climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The sculptures decorating the structure were created by leading Romanian artists, including Ion Jalea, Constantin Medrea and Constantin Baraschi. Calea Victoriei