During the interwar time, Bucharest has been dubbed the ‘Little Paris of the East’ due to its Parisian-resembling architectural style and vibe. And if Paris has an Arch of Triumph, so does Romania’s capital.
The arch has its own significance. So it’s worth learning more about this monument when you pass by it while visiting Bucharest.
In this article, you’ll find out what importance the Arch of Triumph bears and why this completes your trip to Romania.
A Bit of History
Generally speaking, triumphal arches are commemorative constructions that celebrate a military victory or landmark in a community’s history. They are designed so as to span over streets whereby soldiers could march after the victory.
In the case of Bucharest, there have been several ‘arches of triumph’ celebrating Romania’s victory in the War for Independence (1878) or King Carol I’s 40th kingship anniversary.
After the Romanian Army’s victory in the First World War alongside the Allies, it was decided that a commemorative installment is set up. The definitive version of it, made out of solid materials, was completed only by 1936.
The moment was of high importance for Romania, since the end of WWI also marked the formation of Greater Romania (1918) – the first time almost all Romanian speakers were united under the same flag and recognized as a nation.
Thus, 1922 was the year which saw the Triumphal Arch of Bucharest completed and ready to host the 4th anniversary of Greater Romania.
Depicting Scenes of Bravery
Although not so visible from the street side, the arch is adorned with reliefs picturing symbols and inscriptions. This is another characteristic of triumphal arches – representative of military bravery, they showcase war scenes in different contexts.
The final reliefs were consolidated in 1932 so as to present more durability in a sober and more polished style. There have been added allegorical representations of victory, faith or courage.
Other significant elements and figures inscribed onto the arch are:
- King Ferdinand and Queen Mary (main architects of building a modernized Romania)
- lateral inscriptions honoring political figures who contributed to the diplomatic recognition of Greater Romania.
- central inscriptions mentioning WWI war heroes.
- the Royal Emblem of Romania.
In recent history, the Arch of Triumph has been established as a symbolic spot to showcase military parades during Romania’s National Day (held on December the 1st).
Note: on December 1st, 2018, Romania celebrates its centenary, so you might want to consider this date in case you’re visiting Bucharest in winter.
Also, a quite well-kept secret is Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph hosts a small museum (4 exhibitions) which opens on certain dates, while also providing access to an upper terrace where the panoramic view can be admired.
A Spot Which Is Hard to Miss when Visiting Bucharest
In case you’re planning a trip to Romania’s capital and wondering how you could add the Arch of Triumph to your itinerary, rest assured. Almost any Bucharest tour includes it – at TravelMaker, for instance, we’re offering a few options:
- The Half Day Bucharest Sightseeing Tour
- The Full Day Bucharest Sightseeing Tour
- The Bucharest by Night Tour
- The Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner
- The Bucharest Panoramic & Walking Tour
We’re here for any additional information you might need prior to visiting Bucharest.