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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLocated in the center of Bucharest, the Cişmigiu Garden is the oldest public garden in the Romanian capital city, and the most popular retreat for families, teenagers, and tourists alike. While commonly referred to as a park, it is technically a garden, conceived by the German architect Carl Meyer in 1845, spreading over 17 hectares.
HistoryThe history of Cişmigiu dates back to 1779, when Alexandru Ipsilanti, the ruler of Wallachia (Southern Romania today), decreed the construction of two fountains in Bucharest. The first one was built on the spot of the current garden on Ştirbei Vodă Boulevard. This resulted in a pond which soon became a pest hole. In its vicinity, the lead fountain builder built a new home for himself, and soon the pond became known as that of the Cişmigiu (which literally means “fountain builder”).
The city did not extend towards the West because of the annual floods that were swelling up the lake, at a level that used to reach what is today the Military Circle.
In 1830, General Kiseleff ordered the purge of the pond and its transformation into a public garden. Works on this project only began in 1847, during the reign of Gheorghe Bibescu, when Wilhelm Mayer, the former coordinator of the Imperial Gardens in Vienna, was called to supervise the project. in 1848, Bibescu's successor, Barbu Ştirbei, demanded the digging of a lake inside the park, and canal that would connect it to the Dâmboviţa River .
The year 1852 saw the greatest changes for the park. This is when the grooves have been dug, and 100 oak benches were mounted. The works ended in 1854, when the official opening took place. In the winter of 1883, the lake froze for the first time, and the city hall organized ice skating contests. As the park grew in popularity, its surface was extended by 15,000 square meters, and swans and pelicans were brought to inhabit the lake.
AttractionsThe park is arranged in the fashion of English gardens, with a wide and rich vegetation and a polychromy of flower lawns, which offers a comforting ambiance. The tree vegetation includes Magnolias, Liriodendrons, Pears, Hazelnuts, decorative Apple Trees, and Ashes.
The Rose Garden is comprised of walls, stone columns, and wooden pergolas chained between them, to expose numerous types of roses.
The garden has numerous monuments, such as the Writer's Rotunda, where the most prominent Romanian writers and poets have their statues displayed, including Mihai Eminescu, Alexandru Odobescu; Titu Maiorescu, Ion Luca Caragiale; George Coşbuc, Ştefan Octavian Iosif; Ion Creangă, Alexandru Vlahuţă; Duiliu Zamfirescu, Bogdan Petriceicu Haşdeu; Nicolae Bălcescu, and Vasile Alecsandri, the Sissi Steadnidi spring, the French soldiers' World War I monument, and “La Cetate”, the ruins of an old monastery built in 1756, from which a secret tunnel used to link the Creţulescu Palace to the bank of Dâmboviţa, full of hideaways.
Beside the inviting restaurants and retreats where you can have a refreshing drink or a hot chocolate, the chess players' corner frequently hosts local chess championships, the children circle is a dedicated playground for small kids, and from place to place you will find several free outdoor gyms and spots where you can rent bicycles for free, with the requirement of ID.
When to VisitThe park frequently hosts events, and it has its attractions every season. The fanfare gazebo hosts small, classical music ensembles during spring and summer, astronomical observation, children's day festivities at the beginning of June, and many different contests. When weather permits, the lake offers the possibility of boat rides, and the price for a one-hour rental is 15 RON ($3.75) ( €3 ($3.45)). During winter it becomes the biggest ice skating rink in the capital city.
How to Get ThereTo reach the Cişmigiu Garden, take the subway to Universitate or Izvor station; there are also many buses that pass by: 122, 126, 137, 138, 168, 178, 226, 268, 368 - Cişmigiu station; 178 - Sala Palatului station; 163, 336, 601 - Grădina Cişmigiu station; trolley: 61, 66, 69, 70, 85, 90, 91, 92 - Grădina Cişmigiu station. If you're not close to the center, the best way is to take a cab, as they are cheap in Bucharest.
Other AttractionsThe Cişmigiu Garden is located close to mostly anything that's in the center. From here you can easily reach the historical center and Curtea Veche. If you are close to the Izvor station, you can also visit the Palace of the Parliament, while strolling towards north-west on Victoriei Lane (Calea Victoriei) will get you the National Museum (former Royal Palace), and the Romanian Athenaeum, house of the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra, and an architectural attraction in itself. Right next to the park is the nationally famous Gambrinus pub, a locale who was once owned by Ion Luca Caragiale , a very important Romanian writer and publicist.
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Author: aelumag. Last updated: Feb 27, 2015