Wallachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians. Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections, Muntenia (Greater Wallachia) and Oltenia (Lesser Wallachia). Wallachia as a whole is sometimes referred to as Muntenia through identification with the larger of the two traditional sections. Wallachia was founded as a principality in the early 14th century by Basarab I, after a rebellion against Charles I of Hungary, although the first mention of the territory of Wallachia west of the river Olt dates to a charter given to the voivode Seneslau in 1246 by Béla IV of Hungary. In 1417, Wallachia accepted the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire; this lasted until the 19th century, interrupted by a brief periods of Russian occupation between 1768 and 1854. In 1859, Wallachia united with Moldavia to form the United Principalities, which adopted the name Romania in 1866 and officially became the Kingdom of Romania in 1881. Later, Transylvania joined the Kingdom of Romania in 1918, forming the modern Romanian state.
With an area of approximately 77,000 km2 (30,000 sq mi), Wallachia is situated north of the Danube (and of present-day Bulgaria), east of Serbia and south of the Southern Carpathians, and is traditionally divided between Muntenia in the east (as the political center, Muntenia is often understood as being synonymous with Wallachia), and Oltenia (a former banat) in the west. The division line between the two is the Olt River. Wallachia’s traditional border with Moldavia coincided with the Milcov River for most of its length. To the east, over the Danube north-south bend, Wallachia neighbours the Dobruja (Northern Dobruja). Over the Carpathians, Wallachia shared a border with Transylvania; Wallachian princes have for long held possession of areas north of the line (Amlaş, Ciceu, Făgăraş, and Haţeg). The capital city changed over time, from Câmpulung to Curtea de Argeş, then to Târgovişte and, after the late 17th century, to Bucharest.
Bucharest (Romanian: București ) is the capital of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 70 km north of the Danube River. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 . Its architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and Art Deco), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of “Little Paris. Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Nicolae Ceauşescu’s program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom. According to 2011 census, 1,883,425 inhabitants live within the city limits. The urban area extends beyond the limits of Bucharest proper and has a population of about 1.9 million people. Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area of Bucharest would have a population of 2.27 million people. According to unofficial data, the population is more than 3 million. Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits, after London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Paris.
Bucharest is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has big convention facilities, educational institutes, cultural venues, traditional “shopping arcades” and recreational areas. The city proper is administratively known as “The Municipality of Bucharest” , and has the same administrative level as that of a national county, being further subdivided into six sectors.
Bucharest’s crime rate is rather low in comparison to other European capital cities, with the number of total offenses declining by 51% between 2000 and 2004, and by 7% between 2012 and 2013.The violent crime rate in Bucharest remains very low, with 11 murders and 983 other violent offenses taking place in 2007. Although in the 2000s, there were a number of police crackdowns on organized crime gangs, organized crime generally has little impact on public life. Petty crime, however, is more common, particularly in the form of pick pocketing, which occurs mainly on the city’s public transport network. Confidence tricks were common in the 1990s, especially in regards to tourists, but the frequency of these incidents has since declined. However, in general, theft was reduced by 13.6% in 2013 compared to 2012. Levels of crime are higher in the southern districts of the city, particularly in Ferentari, a area where the main population is part of the poor and uneducated Gipsy minority.
Although the presence of street children was a problem in Bucharest in the 1990s, their numbers have declined in recent years, now lying at or below the average of major European capital cities. There are still an estimated 1,000 street children in the city, some of whom engage in petty crime and begging.
Bucharest is a major intersection of Romania’s national road network. A few of the busiest national roads and motorways, link the city to all of Romania’s major cities as well as to neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine. The A1 to Pitești, the A2 Sun Motorway to the Dobrogea region and Constanta and the A3 to Ploieşti all start from Bucharest.
The city’s municipal road network is centered around a series of high-capacity boulevards, which generally radiate out from the city centre to the outskirts. The main axes, which run north-south, east-west and northwest-southeast, as well as one internal and one external ring road, support the bulk of the traffic. The city’s roads are usually very crowded during rush hours, due to an increase in car ownership in recent years. In 2013, the number of cars registered in Bucharest amounted to 1,125,591. This results in wear and potholes appearing on busy roads, particularly secondary roads, this being identified as one of Bucharest’s main infrastructural problems. There has been a comprehensive effort on behalf of the City Hall to boost road infrastructure .
One of the main reasons to visit Bucharest is to see the second largest administrative building of the world.
The Palace of Parliament (Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului) is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the World Records Academy, the Palace is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, most expensive administrative building and heaviest building. The Palace was designed by architect Anca Petrescu at the orders of Ceausescu when she was only 28 years old and nearly completed in 1989. The structure of the building, and construction itself was planned at “Proiect Bucuresti” the main institution of Civil Engineering in Bucharest. Nicolae Ceaușescu named it the People’s House (Casa Poporului), also known in English as the People’s Palace. The building itself came at the price of aprox. 3.3 Billion euros, some dozens of dead construction workers and is considered a tyrants dream – and a architectural madness. The unholy interpretation of neoclassical building guidelines and the sheer monumental size of every architectural feature and detail is creating a mind-crushing effect on almost every visitor (except on those who seek to become themselves dictators to plan and build their own mind sick monument).
A trip to Bucharest can be part of any journey to Romania, but for the motorcycle rider the city is offering maybe a little too much traffic, too much cars, too much noise and too high prices to make the city worth the while. Its up to everybody, but it can be also a adventure and a unforgettable experience, in its best or worst.