04) History of Bucharest

Ancient times
Much of the territory of Bucharest and Ilfov county was covered by the thick forests of Codrii Vlăsiei. This was probably the reason why no large city was developed in the area in antiquity. However, there were many small settlements of the Getae (or Dacians), an Indo-European people.
Small Dacian settlements were found in various places around Bucharest, such as Herăstrău, Radu Vodă, Dămăroaia, Lacul Tei, Pantelimon and Popeşti-Leordeni. We know that these populations had commercial links with the Romans, judging by the jewels and coins of Roman origin found in Giuleşti and Lacul Tei.
Bucharest was never under the Roman rule, and it is assumed that the local population was Romanized after the retreat of the Roman Empire from this region. Slavs founded several settlements in the Bucharest region, whose names still remain today, such as Snagov, Glina and Chiajna. The Slavic population was already assimilated by the Romanians before the end of the Dark Ages.

Middle Ages
The legend says that Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur, another variant, more likely, is that it was established by Mircea cel Bătrân in the 14th century after a victory won over the Turks (bucurie means joy in Romanian, for this reason Bucharest is often called "The City of Joy."). The origin of the word bucurie appears to be Dacian and it has a cognate in Albanian "bukur", meaning beautiful.
Like most ancient cities of Romania, its foundation has also been ascribed to the first Wallachian prince, the half-mythical Radu Negru. More modern historians declare that it was originally a fortress, erected on the site of some Daco-Roman settlements, then it was used to command the approaches to Târgovişte, formerly the capital of Wallachia.
Bucharest is first mentioned under its present name as a residence in 1459 of the Wallachian prince Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler). It soon became the summer residence of the court. In 1476, the city was sacked by Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great, and in 1595 it was burned down by the Turks; but, after its restoration, continued to grow in size and prosperity, until, in 1698, Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu chose it for his capital and of the united provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia from February 1859 (renamed Romania in December 1861 while still nominally subject to the Ottoman Empire).

Modern history
During the 18th century the possession of Bucharest was frequently disputed by the Turks, Austrians and Russians. In 1812 it gave its name to the treaty by which Bessarabia and a third of Moldavia were ceded to Russia. In the war of 1828 it was occupied by the Russians, who made it over to the prince of Wallachia in the following year.

Fighting in Bucharest in 1821
On 23 March 1847 a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings of Bucharest (about a third of the city).
A rebellion against Prince Bibescu in 1848 brought both Turkish and Russian interference, and the city was again held by Russian troops in 1853-1854. On their departure an Austrian garrison took possession and remained till March 1857. In 1858 the international congress for the organization of the Danubian principalities was held in the city; and when, in 1862, the union of Wallachia and Moldavia was proclaimed, Bucharest became the Romanian capital. Alexander John Cuza, the first ruler of the united provinces, was driven from his throne by an insurrection in Bucharest in 1866.
In the second half of the 19th century, the population of the city increased dramatically. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of The Paris of the East (or Little Paris, "Micul Paris"), with Calea Victoriei as its Champs-Élysées or Fifth Avenue, but the social divide between rich and poor was described at the time by Ferdinand Lassalle as "a savage hotchpotch."

20th century
On December 6, 1916 the city was occupied by the German forces, the capital being moved to Iaşi, but it was liberated in November 1918, becoming the capital of the new united Kingdom of Romania.

The Red Army entered Bucharest on 31 August 1944.
Bucharest suffered heavy loses during WWII due to the English and American bombardments. On November 8, 1945, the king's day, the communists suppressed pro-monarchist rallies.
During Nicolae Ceauşescu's leadership, most of the historical part of the city, including old churches, was destroyed, to be replaced with the grandomanic socialist buildings of the Centru Civic, notably the Palace of the Parliament. Some historic districts remain, but many argue whether Bucharest is really the Paris of the East today.
In 1977, a strong 7.4 on the Richter-scale earthquake claimed 1,500 lives and destroyed many old buildings.
Mass protests began in Timişoara in December 1989 and continued in Bucharest, leading to the overthrow of Ceauşescu's communist regime.
Unhappy with the results of the revolution, mass protests supported by the students' leagues continued in 1990 (the Golaniad) and were violently stopped by the miners of Valea Jiului (the Mineriad). Several other Mineriads followed, the results of which included a government change.
After the year 2000, due to the advent of Romania's economic boom, the city has modernized and many historical areas have been restored to their former glory.

Treaties signed in Bucharest
1. Treaty of May 28, 1812, at the end of the Russo-Turkish War. Romania loses Bessarabia.
2. Treaty of March 3, 1886, at the end of the war between Serbia and Bulgaria.
3. Treaty of August 10, 1913, at the end of the Second Balkan War.
4. Treaty of August 4, 1916, the treaty of alliance between Romania and Entente (France, England, Russia and Italy).
5. Treaty of May 6, 1918, the treaty between Romania and the Central Powers, which was never ratified.

Population history
• 1789: 30,030 inhabitants; 6,000 houses
• 1831: 60,587 inhabitants; 10,000 houses
• 1859: 122,000
• 1900: 282,000
• 1918: 383,000
• 1930: 639,000
• 1966: 1,452,000
• 2000: 2,300,000

• 1459 - Bucharest is mentioned for the first time in a document during the rule of Vlad Ţepeş
• 1595 - the city is burned by the Turks
• 1678 - first book printed in Bucharest: "The Key to Knowledge", by Ioanidie Galitowski
• 1694 - first Wallachian Academy is opened, at the Saint Sava Monastery
• 1698 - capital moved to Bucharest
• 1702 - Mogoşoaia Palace is built by Constantin Brâncoveanu
• 1704 - first hospital of Bucharest is opened, at the Colţei Monastery
• 1789 - Austrian troops occupy and stay in Bucharest for two years
• 1808 - Manuc's Inn is built
• 1813 - Caragea's plague
• 1821 - Tudor Vladimirescu's Revolution rules Bucharest for 56 days, Ottomans sack Bucharest
• 1829 - Russian Army occupation
• 1834 - The Bucharest National Library founded
• 1844 - first fire brigade set up in Bucharest
• 1847 - a great fire destroys large part of the commercial center of the city (2000 houses)
• 1848 - 1848 Revolution in Bucharest; Bucharest is occupied by the Turkish troops.
• 1852 - National Theatre built
• 1853-1856 - Successive occupations of the Russians, Ottomans and Austrians
• 1854 - Cişmigiu garden opened
• 1857 - Bucharest is the first city in the world to use petrol lamps for public lighting
• 1859 - the capital of the unified Romania
• 1860 - the Gheorghe Lazăr and Matei Basarab high schools founded
• 1864 - the Bucharest University founded, built on the place of the Saint Sava Monastery.
• 1869 - Filaret, Bucharest's first train station was built
• 1871 - first tram line, between Gara de Nord and Obor
• 1872 - Gara de Nord opened (initially named Gara Târgoviştii)
• 1882 - electricity introduced to the Royal Palace and the Bucharest National Theatre
• 1884 - Universul daily newspaper is launched
• 1884 - first phone line installed between the Internal Ministry and the Central Post
• 1885 - the Botanical Garden was opened in Cotroceni
• 1885 - the building of the National Bank of Romania was built
• 1888 - Romanian Atheneum opened
• 1889 - Foişorul de Foc (fire watchtower) opened
• 1892 - first Movie theater opened
• 1893 - Cotroceni Palace opened
• 1894 - first tram line, between Cotroceni and Obor
• 1916 - German occupation; capital moved to Iaşi
• 1918 - Bucharest liberated; capital moved back
• 1933 - Palatul Telefoanelor built
• 1935 - Arcul de Triumf built
• 1936 - Herăstrău park (1.87 km2) opened
• 1937 - the construction of the Royal Palace (now the National Museum of Art of Romania) finished
• 1957 - Casa Scânteii built
• 1960 - Sala Palatului opened
• 1961 - Globus Circus opened
• 1970 - Intercontinental Hotel becomes the tallest building of Bucharest
• 1977 - 1977 Bucharest Earthquake kills 1,500 people
• 1986 - building of the Danube-Bucharest Canal began
• 1989 - Romanian Revolution of 1989
• 1990 - the Golaniad, a Mineriad
• 1992 - a Mineriad changes the Petre Roman government
• 1992 - first connection to the Internet at the Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bucharest

Places of interest: (go to TOP of this Post)
See also: Museums in Bucharest

Arcul de Triumf (Triumph Arch)
Raised in 1922 to commemorate Romania's Great War dead, the original construction was of wood, replaced by the present, Petru Antonescu designed, concrete structure in 1935. Standing 25 metres high, the Arc has a staircase that allows visitors to climb to the terrace on the top of the monument, though for reasons we have not been told, it is currently closed. The sculptures that decorate the monument were created by leading artists of the day, including Ion Jalea, Constantin Medrea and Constantin Baraschi.

George Enescu Museum (Muzeul National George Enescu)
Packed full of memorabilia and artefacts on the life of Romania's most famous composer, George Enescu, the museum occupies three rooms in a beautiful art-nouveau building that was his former residence. Admission ~1.50 lei.
Calea Victoriei 141; Tel: 659 63 65; Fax: 312 91 82; 10:00-17:00
except: Mon: Closed; Fri: 10:00-17:00

Historic Centre (Centru Istoric)
Bucharest was founded, legend has it, by Bucur the Shepherd, who built a church somewhere on the eastern bank of the Dâmboviţa; nobody is sure exactly where, or when. What we do know is that by the first reign of Vlad Ţepeş (1459-1462) there was a palace and court here (the Palatul Curtea Veche, see below), and that what we term Historic Bucharest today grew up quickly around the palace. Described loosely by the river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the east, Bălcescu to the west and Regina Elisabeta to the north, the historic centre of the citz is usually refrred to as simply Lipscani, the name of its most prominent street. The area - open to pedestrians and taxis only - is a veritable treasure of Baroque and Secessionist architecture, though almost all of its buildings are in a poor way. Talk of fully restoring the area at government expense goes on, but we suggest you do not hold your breath. Instead enjoy its eclectic, electric mix of cafes and bars, antique shops and galleries, and surprisingly steep cobbled streets.

National Art Museum (Muzeul National de Arta)
The country's largest, and most impressive art collection is housed inside the splendid former royal palace, first built in 1812 as a private home by the wealthy trader Dinucu Golescu. When his sons fell into financial ruin some years later, they were forced to sell the building to the state, which carried out huge modifications, adding a number of new wings. It became a royal residence in 1859, when it became the sight of the court of the first prince of the united principalities, Alexandru Ion Cuza. Although slightly remodelled in the 1930s, the building we see today is more or less the original, revolutionary damage notwithstanding. Indeed, some parts of the building have only recently been reopened after the mindless vandalism of those mad days in December 1989, when the building was ransacked by the iconoclastic mob, which saw the building (named the Palace of the Socialist Republic during the communist period) as a symbol of the regime. It would be impossible to describe the wide variety of works on show, but rest assured that all of Romania's greatest painters and sculpters are well represented, including Theodor Aman, Constantin Brancusi, Gheorghe Patrascu, and Gheorghe Tattarescu. The museum also plays host to a fine collection of Old European Masters, and increasingly daring and original exhibitions by contemporary European artists. Recommended. Admission ~7.00 lei.
Calea Victoriei 49-53; Tel: 313 30 30; Fax: 312 43 27;
10:00-18:00 except: Mon: Closed; Tue: Closed; Fri: 10:00-18:00

Old Court Palace & Church (Palatul şi Biserica Curtea Veche)
Historic Bucharest grew up around the Old Court, first built on this site in the second part of the 15th-century by Vlad Ţepeş. It was considerably extended during the 16th-century, by Mircea Ciobanul (Mircea the Shepherd), and again a centry later, this time at the hand of Constantin Brancoveanu, who added a splendid voievodal palace, decorated with marble and icons. The palace however was destroyed by a series of fires in the 19th-century, and neglected by foreign invaders. By the 20th-centruy almost the entire palace had been lost. Much of what remains today was uncovered during archeological digs that took place from 1967-72, when the palace ruins were opened as a museum. There are fragments of the original 15th-century walls, as well as remnants of the voievodal palace throne room, in which most of the relics found on the site are exhibited. Next door to the palace is the Old Court Church, the oldest in Bucharest, dating from 1545. It was enlarged in 1715, during the reign of Ştefan Cantacuzino, and the frescoes inside, painted by maestros Constantin Lecca and Mişu Papa, were added in 1847.
Str. Franceză; 10:00-18:00; except: Mon: Closed.

Peasant Museum (Muzeul Taranului Roman)
In most people's opinion, the Peasant Museum is the best museum in Bucharest, and one of the best in the country. Housed in a wonderful red brick building designed by Nicolae Ghica-Budeşti, dating from 1912, the museum offers well laid out and presented exhibits which tell you all you need to know about the diverse and fascinating history of life around the country over the past four centuries. There are exhibitions covering all aspects of Romanian peasant life, from handpainted Easter eggs to terracotta pottery, from colourful religious icons to traditional clothing. Replicas of much of what is on display can be bought in the excellent museum shop. Fittingly for the building that from 1948-89 was home to the catchily-titled Museum of the Communist Party and Romanian Revolutionary Workers Movement, there is a Communist iconography exhibition in the basement. Admission ~6.00 lei. Şos. Kiseleff 3; Tel: 650 53 60; Fax: 312 98 75; 10:00-18:00; except: Mon: Closed.

Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului Dimitrie Gusti)
Founded by Royal Decree in 1936, and covering some 15 hectares on the shores of Lake Herăstrău, Muzeul Satului is one of the greatest outdoor museums in the Balkans. There are more than 60 original houses, farmsteads, windmills, watermills and churches from all of Romania's historic regions: Transylvania, Oltenia, Dobrogea and Moldavia. Every exhibit has a plaque showing exactly wher in Romania it was brought from. Some even have recorded commentary in four languages (if the stickers are missing, press the second button for English). Most of the houses date from the mid 19th-century, but there are some, such as those from Berbeşti, in the heart of Romania - celebrated for their intricately carved entrances - which date from as early as 1775. The highlight of the museum is probably the steep belfry of the wooden Maramureş church, complete with exquisite but faded icons. You should also not miss the earth houses of Straja, dug in to the ground and topped with thatched rooves, or the brightly painted dwellings of the Danube Delta. The museum has a great souvenir shop, and a stall selling traditional Romanian sweets and cakes. Children love the museum, and it makes for a perfect summer's family day out. Admission ~5.00 lei, students/children ~2.50 Sos. Kiseleff 28-30 Tel: 222 91 06; Fax: 222 90 68 09:00-19:00; except: Mon: 10:00-17:00

Palatul Parlamentului
Largest administrative building-world record set by The Palace of the Romanian Parliament. The Palace of the Romanian Parliament has a floor area of 360,000 square meter and is the largest administrative building (for civilian use*). The Palace of the Romanian Parliament is also the Heaviest Building in the world: is made from 1.5billion lb (700,000 metric tones) of steel and bronze, plus 35.3 million ft³ (1 million m³) of marble, 7.7 million lb (3,500 metric tones) of crystal glass, and 31.7 million ft³ (900,000 m³) of wood. The Palace of the Parliament is also the Most Expensive Administrative building/Palace in the world: updated total costs (2006) are estimated at 4 billions USD. The building is constructed entirely of materials of Romanian origin. Among them: 3,500 tonnes of crystal - 480 chandeliers, 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured; 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 m³ of wood (over 95% domestic) for parquet and wainscotting, including walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore maple; 200,000 m² of woolen carpets of various dimensions (machines had to be moved inside the building to weave some of the larger carpets); velvet and brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold. The Chief Architect is Mrs. Anca Petrescu; she was the leader of a team of 700 architects and 20,000 people working 27/7.The Palace of the Parliament measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground. It has 1,100 rooms and is 12 stories tall, with four additional underground levels currently available and in use, with another four in different stages of completion. The security features, a testimony to Ceausescu's fears of attack, might still be useful during the April NATO meeting if the Alliance's leaders were to come under threat, said its designer and chief architect, Anca Petrescu. "The building is prepared for a high degree of security," she said for Reuters. The underground parking has enough space for 20,000 cars! The building was originally known mainly as the House of the People (Casa Poporului), and sometimes as House of the Republic (Casa Republicii), and was intended to serve as headquarters for all the major state institutions (similar to what the Houses of Parliament operated like). However, the project was just nearing completion at the time of Nicolae Ceausescu's 1989 overthrow and execution. Since 1997, the building has housed Romania's Chamber of Deputies, which had previously been housed in the Palace of the Patriarchy; the Romanian Senate joined them there in 2005, having previously been housed in the former Communist Party Central Committee building. The Palace also contains a massive array of miscellaneous conference halls, salons, etc., used for a wide variety of other purposes. Also in the building is the headquarters of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), an organization focused on regional cooperation among governments against cross-border crime. Parts of the building (some of the west wing, some of the east wing, parts of the second floor, basement 3 and everything below) are yet to be completed. Currently, a new underground car-park is being built inside a former stadium, currently used as a warehouse, which was covered during the construction of the palace. Tunnels linking 13 Septembrie Avenue with the basement of the building will be built. There are public tours organized in a number of languages. The Palace of the Romanian Parliament hosted the largest NATO summit on April 2-4, 2008, the largest international event ever staged in Romania. Heads of state or government from 26 NATO member states attended the summit in the Union Hall, the largest room in the building, which features a sliding glass ceiling that could support the weight of a helicopter.
Source: http://www.worldrecordsacademy.org/biggest/largest_administrative_building_world_record_set_by_the_Palace_of_the_Romanian_Parliament_80185.htm
* The largest administrative building for military use is the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA: it has a floor area of 6.5 million ft² (604,000 m²).

Romanian Orthodox Church (go to TOP of this Post)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Romanian Orthodox Church (Biserica Ortodoxă Română in Romanian) is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. A majority of Romanians (18,817,975, or 86.8% of the population, according to the 2002 census data) belong to it. Among all Orthodox Christians, the mere numbers of Romanians make the Romanian Orthodox Church second only to the Russian Orthodox Church in size.

Adherents of the Romanian Orthodox Church sometimes refer to it as Dreapta credinţă ("right/correct belief"; compare to Greek Ορθος δοξος, "straight/correct belief"). Orthodox believers are also sometimes known as dreptcredincioşi or dreptmăritori creştini.

The Romanian Orthodox Church was founded 1872 by dint of separation of the orthodox Metropoly of Ungrovalachia and Moldavia from the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the same year was constitued the separate synod of the Orthodox Church in Romania.
The Romanian Orthodox Church has been fully autocephalous since 1885 and had its own patriarchy since 1925, its first patriarch being Miron Cristea.
The Communist regime
The Communist government, through the 1948 Law of Cults made the Church to be tightly controlled by the state. The monasteries were transformed into craft centers and priests were encouraged to learn other 'worldly' jobs.
The leadership of the Church had a good relations with the Communist regime, but there were many members of the clergy which dissented: until 1963 as many as 2,500 individual priests and monks were arrested and further 2,000 monks were forced to give up the monastic life.
While the dissenters were sentenced to fairly long terms in prison, there were also many priests who collaborated and were informers for Securitate, the secret police. In 2001, the Romanian Orthodox Church tried unsuccessfully to change the law which allowed the access to the archives of Securitate, in order to deny public access to the files of the priests which collaborated with the Securitate.
It was only after the 1989 Romanian Revolution, when Romania became democratic, that the Church was freed from state control.
The Church in Moldova
Romanians in the Republic of Moldova belonging to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia (rom. Mitropolia Basarabiei), having resisted russification for 192 years (after the annexation of Bessarabia by the Russian Empire in 1812) are 2 million strong in 2004. In 2001 they won a landmark legal victory against the Government of the Republic of Moldova at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.
This means that despite current political issues, the Moldovan Metropolitan Church is now recognized as " the rightful successor" to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia and Hotin, which existed from 1918 till 1940 and was only brought by Stalin under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow patriarchate.
Relationships with the Greek Catholic Church

In 1948 the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic was outlawed, and all its assets, including churches, were handed over to the Orthodox church. After the fall of the Communist regime, the Greek Catholics have requested that their churches be returned, but so far only 16 of the 2600 claimed churches have been returned. There are reports that several old Greek Catholic churches were demolished while under the administration of the Orthodox Church.
Unique features
The Romanian Orthodox Church is the only Orthodox church using a Romance language in the divine liturgy.
Byzantine religious records also mention a unique form of bishoprics in the region - namely the chorepiscopate or countryside episcopate - as opposed to the better-known religious centers in large cities. This can possibly be compared to the "monastic bishops" of Ireland, who united the functions of countryside Abbot with that of district Bishop in another country that did not emphasize an urban episcopate, at least for a time.
The very word for "church" in Romanian, Biserică is unique in Europe. It comes from Latin "basilica" (in turn a loanword from Greek βασιλικα - meaning "communications received from the king" and "the place where the Emperor administered justice"), rather than "ecclesia" (from Greek εκκλησία, from "those called out").

Canonical status
The Romanian Orthodox Church is organized as the Romanian Patriarchate. The highest hierarchical, canonical and dogmatical authority of the Romanian Orthodox Church is the Holy Synod.

There are five Metropolitanates and ten archbishoprics in Romania, and more than twelve thousand priests and deacons, servant fathers of ancient altars from parishes, monasteries and social centres. Almost 400 monasteries exist inside the country for some 3,500 monks and 5,000 nuns. Three Diasporan Metropolitanates and two Diasporan Bishoprics function outside Romania proper. As of 2004, there are, inside Romania, fifteen theological universities where more than ten thousand students (some of them from Bessarabia, Bukovina and Serbia benefiting from a few Romanian fellowships) currently study for a doctoral degree. More than 14,500 churches (traditionally named "lăcaşe de cult", or worshiping places) exist in Romania for the Romanian Orthodox believers. As of 2002, almost 1,000 of these were either in the process of being built or rebuilt.
Relations with other Orthodox Jurisdictions
Most Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, including the Romanian, maintain a respectful spiritual link to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Now in office is His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome.

Famous theologians
Father Dumitru Stăniloae (1903 - 1993) is one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century. His other magnum opus, aside from his duhovnicesc (deepest spiritual) opus, is the 45-year-long comprehensive collection known as the Romanian Philocaly.
Father Archmandrite Cleopa Ilie (1912 - 1998), elder of the Sihastria Monastery, is the most representative elder and spiritual father of contemporary Romanian Orthodox spirituality.

List of Patriarchs:
• Miron (1925-1939)
• Nicodim (1939-1948)
• Iustinian (1948-1977)
• Iustin (1977-1986)
• Teoctist (1986 - 2007)
• Daniel (2007 - present)

Romanian Jews - History and Map
From the History Museum of the Romanian Jews; Hasefer Publishing House

2nd c. C.E. - Earliest mentions of the Jews in the Roman province of Dacia.
12th c. C.E. (second half) - Benjamin of Tudela describes the Vlachs living south of the Danube and their relations with the Jews.
14th c., first half - A Jewish quarter is mentioned in the town of Cetatea Alba (Bolgrad), Bessarabia.
1473-1474 - Isaac Beg, a Jewish doctor sent over by Sultan Uzun Hassan, is accredited at the court of Stephen the Great of Moldavia.
Before 1480 - Jewish merchants are mentioned as traveling on the commercial roads of the Romanian principalities.
1532, February 10 - In a letter to Danish philologist Johannes Campensis the Romanian humanist Nicolaus Olahus expresses interest in learning Hebrew.
c1550 - A Sephardic community is first mentioned in Bucharest.
1593-1594 - The Italian geographer Giovanni Antonio Magini notes the presence of Jews in Moldavia in Michael the Brave's days.
1618-1620 - Del Medigo and Shlomo Ibn Arvay, prominent rabbinical personalities of the Jewish Middle Ages, are signaled in Iasi. Their visit confirms the presence of an organized community in the Moldavian capital.
1623, June 18 - Prince Gabriel Bethlen of Transylvania issues an edict granting privileges to the Jews.
1640 - Documents indicate the presence of Jewish physicians at Prince Vasile Lupu's court in Moldavia.
1640 - The Govora bill of rights (pravila) includes a provision on the status of Jewish converts to Christianity.
1646 - Cartea romaneasca de invatatura ("The Romanian Book of Learning") published in Iasi contains legal pro­visions with respect to the Jews.
1653 - For fear of Cossack uprising led by Bogdan Chme­lnitzki, Ukrainian Jews seek refuge in Moldavia, accord­ing to a chronicle by Neta Nathan Hannover, who serves as rabbi in Iasi during the late 17th c. His testimonial is issued in Venice.
1655 - The Swedish preacher Conrad Jacob Hildebrandt men­tions Jewish communities in the towns of Alba Iulia, Iasi, Soroca, and Stefanesti.
1657 - Documents indicate Jewish communities living in Craiova and Targoviste.
1676-1677 - Date of the oldest tombstone still standing in the Jewish cemetery of Piatra Neamt, Moldavia.
1686 - A synagogue is mentioned in the belt makers' neigh­bourhood in lasi.
1694-1701 - A Jewish guild is mentioned in the records of the Walachian Treasury under Prince Constantine Brancovan.
1698 - Documents show the existence of a synagogue in the town of Focsani.
1702-1704 - Jewish physicians and apothecaries are mentioned as practicing their trade at Constantine Brancovan's court.
1715 - Oldest tombstone inscription preserved in the Jewish cemetery of Sevastopol Street in Bucharest.
1717 - Demetrius Cantemir's Descriptio Moldaviae, which includes significant references to the Jews of Moldavia, appears in St Petersburg.
1720-1721 - Jews are mentioned in a public conscription taking place in several northwestern Transylvania counties.
1724 - Documents acknowledge the presence of the Jewish doctor and philosopher Daniel de Fonseca at the court of Nicholas Mavrocordat, prince of Walachia.
1727-1743 - Register of Prince Constantine Mavrocordat contains important data on the Jews of Moldaiva.
1731 - A statute regularizes the Sacred Brotherhood (Jewish Society for medical and funeral assistance) of the Jews in Oradea.
1741 - Jewish community in Iasi decides to elect secular leadership on an annual basis.
1756, April, - Earliest known princely decree confirming the appointment of a hakham bashi, supreme leader of the entire Jewish community in Moldavia and Walachia.
1774 - Census conducted by the Russian military administration in Moldavia finds around 1, 300 Jewish heads of families.
1780, August 18 - Prince Constantine Moruzi of Moldavia issues a decree authorizing the Jews to found the borough of Soldanesti (Falticeni)
1783 - Ordinance by the lieutenancy of Bratislava regulates status of the Jews in western Transylvania in accordance with Emperor Joseph II's Edict of Tolerance.
1792, May 30 - Boyar Costache Mares enters an agreement with a group of Jews he has sent for abroad to settle a market town on his estate of Vladeni (now Mihaileni)
1803 - Condica liuzilor, a tax register of the Moldavian Treasury, records about 3000 Jewish heads of families.
1804 - Prince Alexander Constantine Moruzi of Moldavia renews a rule which prohibits Jews from leasing land estates.
1816-1817 - Art. 141 in Prince Callimachi's Code authorizes Jews to buy houses and shops in the Moldavian towns.
1818 - Prince Caragea of Walachia approves a request of the Bucharest Sephardim to build a synagogue in one of the suburbs.
1831-1832 - Organic Regulations go into force in Walachia and Moldavia providing that the Jews, though living there for centuries, shall be regarded as aliens and have no political rights.
1834-1849 - Reign of Michael Sturza in Moldavia mixes privileges to the Jews with anti-Jewish restrictions. Jews are encour­aged to settle in Moldavia, found new towns, hold morefairs, and multiply fair days.
1846-1847 - A Great Synagogue is built and inaugurated in Bucharest.
1848 - A number of Jewish intellectuals and craftsmen join the revolutionary movements. Jewish bankers Davicion Bally and Hillel Manoah, painters C.D. Rosenthal and Barbu Iscovescu, and others provide active support to the Revolution.
1848 - Manifesto of the Romanian Revolution in Moldavia stipulates gradual emancipation of the Israelites.
1848, June 9 - Islaz Proclamation is adopted. Art. 21 provides the "Emancipation of the Israelites."
1852, August, 28 - Romanian-Israelite school with Romanian tuition opens in Bucharest.
1857, March 22 - Israelitul Roman ("The Romanian Israelite"), the first Jewish newspaper in the Romanian principalities, is published in Bucharest in Romanian and French.
1859, January 24 - Unification of Moldavia and Walachia into a national Romanian state. A. I. Cuza is elected prince, the first of modern Romania, and reigns till 1866.
1864 - Cuza gives a speech in which he promises the gradual emancipation of the Jews.
1866 - Carol of Hohenzollern becomes prince of Romania following Cuza's abdication.
1866 - The first Constitution of modern Romania provides in Art. 7 that only Christians can become Romanian citi­zens. Jews native of Romania are declared stateless per­sons. A Jewish problem officially develops in Romania.
1867, July 6 - Bucharest's Choral Temple is consecrated. Representatives and consuls of several foreign powers, the mayor of Bucharest, cabinet ministers, members of Parliament such as N. Lahovari, I. Marghiloman, etc., attend the ceremony. Rabbi Antoine Levy gives the inaugural speech.
1867 - The Jews of Hungary, those dwelling in Transylvania implicitly included, become Hungarian citizens, enjoy­ing all rights shared by whosoever country's habitant.
1877-1878 - Romania's War of Independence. The Jewish population provides material support for the military. Drafted Jews go to battle fields. Financed and manned by the Jews, the Zion ambulance service operates in the combat area.
1879 - Under pressure of the Berlin Peace Conference, Art. 7 of the Constitution is amended granting non-Christians the right to become Romanian citizens. A number of 888 Jews are naturalized for having fought in, or supported, the War of Independence. This does not resolve the Jewish problem, though. Naturalization is granted on a case-by-case basis and is subject to Parliament approval. An application takes over ten years to process. By 1913 as few as 2,000 persons, including the 888 war partici­pants, had been naturalized.
1897 - Representatives of Romanian Zionist Movement parti­cipate to the First International Congress of Zionism, which takes place in Basel, Switzerland.
1899 - A Romanian census records 266,652 Jewish residents, or 4.5 percent of total population.
1909 - The Native Jews Union is created with the main goal of securing naturalization of all native Jews.
1913 - Nicolae Iorga's History ofthe Jews in Our Lands is pub­lished. Though with an anti-Jewish bias, it is the first survey of the country's Jews by a Romanian historian.
1916-1919 - Romania's unifying war. Over 20,000 Jews, accounting for 10 percent of Jewish residents, are enlisted or enlist voluntarily. Of them, 882 die in action and more than 700 others are wounded; 825 are decorated.
1918 - Romania's Great Unification. The country's Jewish organizations hail the historic fulfillment of Romanian endeavours. The number of Jewish residents rises three­fold, as new provinces join their homeland.
1922 - The Union of Jewish Communities in the Old Kingdom is accredited.
1922-1932 - Jewish personalities and organizations get involved in parliamentary activity.
1923 - The Native Jews Union turns into Romanian Jews Union.
1923 - New Constitution is adopted. Art. 133 extends Romanian citizenship to all Jewish residents and equal­ity of rights to all Romanian citizens. The Jews are thereby granted political rights equal to those of all other citizens.
1930 - Census counts 756,930 Jewish residents, or 4.2% of total population. 32.99% of Jewish residents were occu­pied in trade, 29.9% in the processing industry, and over 4% in liberal professions.
1931 - The Jewish Party of Romania is founded.
1937 - The Federation of Jewish Communities Unions (FUCE) is established.
1937 - Goga-Cuza government takes office. Anti-Semitism becomes state policy.
1940, July 10 - FUCE issues a declaration of solidarity with the Romanian nation, as the state loses the provinces of Bessarabia and Bukovina.
1940, August - A law-decree imposes a legal status of the Jews based on the racist principles of the Nuremberg legislation that Nazi Germany had adopted in 1935.
1940, August - Dictate of Vienna decides that Transylvania's northern and western part is to be given up to Hungary. Over 150,000 Romanian Jews used to live on this territory.
1940, September Romania is proclaimed a National Legionary State.
1940,Sep.-1941,Jan. - Generalisation of anti jewish legislation. The ruling Legionnaires foster a policy of loot and terror against the Jews.
1941, January 22-23 - Over 120 Jews are killed in Bucharest pogrom associated with the Legionnaire rebellion.
1941, June 22 - Romania joins Nazi Germany in war against Soviet Union. Anti-Jewish terror sets in.
1941, June-July - The Jews are evacuated from the countryside and small towns and forced to relocate in county capitals. Those from oil-rich basins are interned in the Teis-Targoviste camp. Groups of Moldavian Jews are interned in Targu Jiu camp for political detainees.
1941, summer and fall - Pogroms in Bessarabia and Bukovina. The Jewish residents of Bessarabia and those of northern and southern Bukovina are deported to Trans-Dniester death camps.
1942, fall - Deportations are halted. Antonescu regime for circumstantial reasons refuses to deport the Jews from Romania to Nazi death camps.
1944, May-June - Horthyite occupation regime deports the Jews from northern Transylvania to Nazi death camps.
1944, August 23 - Antonescu regime is overturned in Romania.
After 1944 - The Communist regime gradually takes control of the country. Mass emigration of the Jews begins. Most of them immigrate to Israel. Those that stay behind go through a deep social and economic restructuring and are gradually integrated in the new social and economic structures of Romanian society.
1948 - The State Jewish Theater opens in Bucharest.
1949, June - The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER) and the Mosaic religion are given legal status.
1956 - Revista cultului mosaic ("The Magazine of the Mosaic Cult") - renamed Realitatea Evreiasca ("JewishReality") in 1995 - starts to be published.
1977 - The Center of Romanian Jewish History Research is established.
1978 - The History Museum of the Jewish Communities in Romania opens in Bucharest. The Romanian Jewish History Documentation Center is established.
After 1989 - FCER expands its activity.
The Jewish Museum in Bucharest (Str. Mamulari 3, Bucharest, Romania; Tel: 021/311-0870), Romania is located in a former synagogue that, remarkably, survived both World War II and Nicolae Ceauşescu unscathed. The museum gives broad coverage of the history of the Jews in Romania. Displays include an enormous collection of books written, published, illustrated, or translated by Romanian Jews; a serious archive of the history of Romanian Jewry; a collection of paintings of and by Romanian Jews that, while relatively small, consists of works of a calibre worthy of a major art museum (many of the same artists' works hang in the National Museum of Art); memorabilia from Jewish theaters including the State Jewish Theater; a medium-sized display devoted to Zionism; a small but pointed display of anti-Semitic posters and tracts; two rooms off to a side, one dealing with the Holocaust era from a historical point of view, the other a Holocaust memorial; discussion of both favorable and unfavorable treatment of the Jews by various of Romania's historic rulers; in short, a museum devoted to looking seriously at the history of a particular ethnic group within a society. In contrast to its Hungarian equivalent in Budapest, this is not a museum that sees the exodus of the majority of the country's surviving Jews to Israel as a culmination: this museum is focused more on what that means for those who have stayed, what is the continuing contribution of Jews to Romanian culture, what has been, what is, and what will be the role of Jews in Romania. The Museum also contains a large collection of Jewish ritual objects from Romania, collected by Rabbi Moses Rosen (1912–1994), the late Chief Rabbi of the Romanian Jewry.

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