I'm from Bucharest and it's a pleasure to see that foreigners have come to visit our Arch, as it's one of the most beautiful monuments in the Romanian capital. If you're in Bucharest, you can't miss it!
The Romanian Athenaeum is well-known for the quality of its acoustics. This near-mythical concert hall has hosted all the big names from the world of classical music like Ravel, Strauss, and Enescu. It's located near Franklin Street and has a small park in front where you can admire the facade from the comfort of a bench. It was built by French architect Albert Galleron in 1888 and the entryway features small medallions representing the great figures of Romanian history. The concert hall can seat about 1,000 people, and on the ceiling of the rotunda, you can see frescoes about Romanian history. It's open from Monday to Friday from 9 to 15:30 before closing for acoustic testing before the evening concerts.
The Place Charles de Gaulle, or Piata Charles de Gaulle in Romanian, is a square in northern Bucharest, on the intersection of Aviatorilor and Prezan Constantin Avenues. As you walk through the gardens, you'll come to a lake. In the centre of the square is the Millennium Cross, a sculpture by Neagu, which was built in the 1990's. In 2006, a statue of General Charles de Gaulle, the work of Mircea Spataru, was unveiled. It stands nearly five feet tall. The square was originally named for Piata Jiano, a popular hero from the revolution. During World War II, it was renamed after Adolf Hitler, but after the end of the war the name changed again - first to Stalin, during the communist era, and finally it was given the name of Charles de Gaulle during the 90's. The Arc de Triomphe is a few metres away in another square.
Curtea Veche is an old royal palace that was apparently built by Vlad Tepes around the fifteenth century. Vlad the Impaler, as he is commonly known, was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. He ascended the throne during a war that left many dead, and refused to pay taxes to the Ottomans. They sent armies to assassinate him and he not only killed them all, but he beheaded and impaled a great number of them - hence his name and reputation. The Curtea Veche is in one of the oldest parts of the city and is actually located on a fault line, which explains why there has been so little modern construction.
The name Presei Libere means "free press". It is a huge building next to the Herastrau lake and public park. From its construction in 1956, until 2007, it was the tallest building in Bucharest. Before then, it was a horse racing track. Construction lasted from 1952 to 1956, and the building was originally named Scinteia after a communist newspaper. It was designed by the architect Maicu, in a style typical of Soviet socialist states; it looks like the building of Moscow University. It was built to house all the capital's press equipment. In total, the building covers 32,000 square metres, and measures 92 metres high without its antenna, which adds another 12 metres to the height - a total of 104 metres. The building used to appear on the 100 LEI notes. There was a statue of Lenin from 1960 to 1990, but was removed after the revolution. Now is the headquarters of the Bucharest stock exchange and the independent press.