August 9th, 2009, 09:56 PM
In the brig
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Calea Victoriei / Victory Avenue - Renovation & Rehabilitation
Initially, the road was named Drumul Braşovului, being part of the trade route between Bucharest and the city of Braşov, in Transylvania.
Between 1692 and 1700, a paved road which linked the centre of Bucharest to the Mogoşoaia Palace of Constantin Brâncoveanu was built and it was named Podul Mogoşoaiei, being made out of oak wood.
Most roads in the Balkans at that time became muddy in the spring and autumn, and the wood prevented this. Consequently the road was one of the most important construction works of the area and a source of pride to Bucharesters. The area surrounding the road became the most fashionable part of Bucharest: 35 boyar houses were located on the road itself in 1775.
Podul Mogoşoaiei was the first street in Bucharest to be illuminated with candles during the night, starting July 1814.
The wood was not a very sturdy material and often it was in a bad state, despite being repaired several times (including in 1793 and 1814). During the Russian occupation of the Danubian Principalities, in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829), an extension from Piaţa Victoriei northward was built by Pavel Kiseleff, the commander of the occupation troops, and is today named after him. In 1842 the road was paved with cobblestone. It was later upgraded to asphalt.
The road was renamed "Calea Victoriei" after the Romanian victory in the Independence War of 1877-1878.
CEC Palace, 2006
Cercul Militar Naţional, 2006
The front of the Bucharest Novotel, shown under construction May 2006, replicates the façade of the old National Theatre, damaged in World War II and subsequently demolished.
 Buildings and monuments
Major buildings and monuments along the street include (from north to south):
* George Enescu Museum
* Museum of Art Collections
* Ştirbey Palace
* The Athénée Palace Hotel, now a Hilton
* Romanian Athenaeum
* National Museum of Art of Romania
* The library of the University of Bucharest
* Kretzulescu Church
* Piaţa Revoluţiei (Revolution Square), including the Memorial of Rebirth
* Palatul Telefoanelor
* Odeon Theatre
* Casa Capşa
* Cercul Militar Naţional
* Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse
* Bucharest Financial Plaza
* National Museum of History of Romania
* Casa de Economii şi Consemnaţiuni (CEC)
It was also long home to the Constantin Tănase Revue Theatre (as of 2006, relocated to the Lipscani district), and was the site of the old Romanian National Theater just north of Palatul Telefoanelor; the departed theatre's façade is replicated by the front of the Bucharest Novotel that opened in summer 2006. The Romanian Athenaeum is set back slightly from the street, with a small park in between.
Calea Victoriei was Bucharest's showpiece street in the Interwar years. Tudor Octavian wrote, "this is how the whole of Bucharest would look if we had been allowed…, if its builders had been clever enough…". After roughly half a century of decline, it has recently been returning to this role. The National Museum of Art of Romania (the former royal palace) and the University Library across the street from it (both damaged in the 1989 Revolution) were restored in the 1990s; Palatul Telefoanelor was restored 1997–2005; and there has been an ongoing refurbishment of the street's many hotels, including the Athénée Palace, the Majestic, the Capitol, and the Capşa Hotel; as of 2006, the Grand Hotel du Boulevard and the Continental are undergoing remodeling, and a brand new Novotel is due to open in summer 2006.
Some nice old pictures:
And "now and then":
And a map of the area:
Last edited by Le Clerk; October 9th, 2009 at 12:17 PM.