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Lacul Morii

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Mill Lake is one of the largest lakes in Bucharest, a beautiful place that offers beautiful and lush landscapes for those who are looking for a serene destination where they can relax and enjoy a slower pace of life. With an area of 246 ha and located at 6 km from Bucharest’s center, this blue attraction is one of the most appreciated destinations for locals or tourists with a passion for photography and unique scenery.

Mill Lake is actually an accumulation lake created in 1986 on Dambovita River after closing the Ciurel Dam, a dam that was built for protecting Bucharest from floods. The lake is located between the Crangasi neighborhood, Giulest neighborhood and Chiajna village. Mill Lake also allowed the construction of a recreational area in Crangasi neighborhood and ensures a rate of clean leakage on Dambovita within the Capital’s limits.

The Lake resulted when the 15 meters tall Ciurel Dam was built which has a central concrete body reinforced with earth dams that measure 7 km. It truly is a remarkable man made construction that generated one of the most stunning artificial lakes in the country. In the northern side of the lake there is one of its most interesting treasures, a 32.723 m² peninsula called “Mill Lake Island” which is connected to the lake’s shore by a narrow trail of land.  To enhance its beauty, in 2011 a few volunteers planted 475 trees here. Due to its unique and exotic beauty, the Mill Lake Island hosted a few very important music concerts, festivals, water sports and shows. For instance, the “Coke Live” music festival took place here.

Mainly, the lake is used as a recreational destination and very often it offers cultural shows, Air-Show exhibitions, scooter, boat and sailboats competitions. Windsurf is another increasingly popular sports on Mill Lake. Actually, here there are courses for water sky, windsurf, sky jet and other modern water sports.

There are even a few projects that plan to turn Mill Lake into a travel destination, a residential complex, a business and a commercial center. To ease the access to this fantastic attraction there is even a project of building a highway tunnel that would connect Bucharest’s center with Mill Lake and A1 highway.

The lake was built by the communists on a ground that used to be occupied by the Saint Nicolas Church and its cemetery. These two were covered by concrete and initially the architects wanted to build in the center of the lake shops, promenades and benches. But these plans were seized in ’89 and in their place Mill Lake resulted. Now this is the favorite destination for photographers, locals or tourists who are looking for a green alternative to the grayish city décor.

When you are in the mood of discovering a beautiful gem in Bucharest do not hesitate to take a short trip to Mill Lake where you can admire one of the largest lakes in the city, stunning scenery and even try out some thrilling water sports.

Tepes Castle in Bucharest

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If you ever find yourself simply walking through Carol Park and you have enough time on your hands to discover a less common tourist attraction, with a medieval appearance and gorgeously built out of red bricks, then be prepared to be surprised. Right in the center of the park there is the Water Tower that was built by the architects Stefan Burcus and V. Stephanescu in 1906, to commemorate 40 years from the coronation of Carol I, a moment when the Romanian authorities decided to organize the famous Romanian General Exhibition.

The Tepes Castle had a functional and utilitarian purpose. It was supposed to host a water reservoir, but it never fulfilled its purpose and it remained in history as the building that copied the architecture of the original Tepes Palace from Poenari, Arges County. Those who are interested in visiting this tourist attraction, it can be found on Candiano Popescu Street no. 6, Bucharest.

The Catle’s tower, measuring about 20 meters high and 8 meters in diameter, used to host a huge cylindrical iron basin with a capacity of 200 cubic meters and a 6 meters diameter. This was able to fill the inside of the tower entirely, leaving room only for a narrow spiraled staircase, which used to climb almost to the top of the building. The basin was constructed in the workshops of Oscar Maller and was assembled in the Palace’s interior.

From the Castle’s tower, from a special platform, one could admire Carol Park and Bucharest’s panorama. A powerful counterfort, completed by a wooden porch, holds the tower from crashing down, and in the right side there is a castellated stone wall, finished in the corner with another tower of smaller sizes.

Sadly, short after Queen Elizabeth opened the Exhibition, accompanied by the notes of 100 thumpers and the gun shots of the Calafat Company, the water basin became unused and it remained this way until this day.

After the relocation of the Unknown Soldier at Marasesti and the inauguration on 30 December 1963, the mausoleum nearby (built on the site of the former National Military Museum), Tepes Castle continued to be used by soldiers who provided security for Carol Park.

In 2010, the Castle was included in the list of national historical monuments which meant respecting a set of specific rules, applicable to those buildings which were part of the National Patrimony.

Unfortunately, the access at the inside of the castle is permitted only twice a year, due to security reasons. The building hasn’t been repaired or restored since 1990. The only days when the Castle can be visited are National Heroes Day and Army Day (25th of October). Still, every visit is one that you will surely remember. Besides the unique architectural style, you will also enjoy a gorgeous view of Carol Park and you will also get to visit the Mausoleum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cismigiu Park

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Cismigiu Park is located in the heart of Bucharest and it is the oldest public garden in the city. It is the place where both locals and tourists love to spend peaceful and relaxing afternoons surrounded by wonderful greenery while admiring the wonderful blue lake.

The Park enjoys a great positioning, right in the center of Romania’s Capital. Cismigiu has a surface of about 15,59 ha and it is located between Regina Elisabeta Street, Schitu Magureanu Street and Stirbei Voda Street. In the south-west part of the garden there is the National College Gheorghe Lazar – the reason why the park is mostly visited by teenagers who make its alley vibrate of laughter and vitality.

Cismigiu Garden is included on the list of Bucharest’s Historical Monuments. Among its highlights we should mention its beautiful greenery. The Park is designed in the style of the British Parks with diverse vegetation and a richly colorful selection of flowers that offer a charming and refreshing ambiance. Cismigiu is also famous for its collection of trees like plane trees, Liriodendron, magnolias, hazelnut trees, pear trees and decorative apple trees, meant to protect the public from the summer heat and the city dust.

In Cismigiu Park there are specially designed relaxation areas. These isolated corners are very peaceful and comfortable offer wooden benches for pleasant getaways. There are also numerous walking areas with ample alleys which direct their visitors towards very interesting park attractions.

Some of the most remarkable park attractions are the garden of roses which is made out of walls and stone columns and wooden pergolas with iron chains between them, for displaying numerous species of hanging roses, and the Roman Square which is a circular platform with a diameter of 20 m. From the four entress of the park, you can use the steps to access the lower circular alees with stone bricks, which separates the central square from the beautiful greenery from its sides. The Square’s area is surrounded by plants with a conical shape. During summer in the Fanfare’s Tower there are numerous concerts of both classical and traditional Romanian music.

Cismigiu Park is one of the most idyllic places in Bucharest. It is perfect for long walks in the summer or ice-skating in the winter. The corner with bushes and trees that have leaves that can survive even to the coldest winter days is located near the Lazar College and it is a magnificent place to visit all year long. Other interesting attractions are the Chess Players Corner, the Kids Corner next to Lake Cretulescu with small architectural embellishments, bridges and railings, as well as the Eminescu Spring nearby the slope from Stirbei Voda Street.

Some of the couples that found love here have named it “Little Venice”. Its charming waterways, the rich and colorful greenery and the relaxing ambiance are the things that fascinate visitors and that have turned Cismigiu Park into a unique place among Bucharest’s best tourist attractions.

Bucharest Botanical Gardens

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Maybe when compared to other botanical gardens from other major European Capitals, Bucharest’s Botanical Gardens isn’t that big and doesn’t have such a rich history, but it has a great quality- it is a very unique and beautiful green landscape that emphasizes the natural charm of Romania’s Capital.

For those who haven’t visited yet Bucharest’s Botanical Gardens we must mention that it is a highly modern and beautiful green park that is cleaner and more modern than most parks in the city. It is the ideal place for spending a pleasant and relaxing Sunday with your family or with friends while discovering interesting and beautiful species of plants.

If you adore taking long walks in a green and lush scenery then you are simply going to love this place. It offers a diversified collection of greenery, ranging from decorative bushes, rare plants from the Balkans and the Mediterranean, flora from Dobrogea and alpine plants to an Italian inspired garden, a cascade scenery, rosary, small trees and exotic plants.

Among the rare plants that you can see here we mention the pagodas trees (ginkgo balboa). There are three of them located at just 200 meters from the main entrée. Not too far from it there is the lake with the cypresses which are protected by environmental laws. Also here you will find the tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, which has beautiful large yellow flowers.

The foundation of the Botanical Garden was possible due to the great work of the professor Carol Davila who in 1869 donated to this project 7 hectares in the left side of Cotroceni. At that date, the garden belonged to the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the specialist who supervised the construction works was the botanist Ulrich Hoffmann.

The genetic database was soon enriched so that the first catalog included about 3,700 species and it was published only 6 years after its grand opening. Starting with 1870, the garden became a leisure park and the whole scientific base was moved on a land that belonged to the current Sutu Palace(Bucharest’s Museum). In 1874, Dimitrie Brandza started managing the Botanical Gardens. He was a famous scientist who brought many significant improvements to this important cultural institution and until this day the Botanical Gardens still carry his name.

Dimitrie Brandza succeeded in getting a larger land near the old location and he redesigned it as to host the current Botanical Gardens. The old establishment continues to be a part of Cotroceni Palace’s courtyard.

Bucharest’s Botanical Garden is an important tourist attraction that is visited by countless people every day. Its opening hours are between 08:00 and 20:00 in the summer and 09:00 to 13:00 in the winter. For students and retired people there is a 50% discount.

Herastrau Park

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Herastrau Park is a great way to spend time outdoors and admire nature during a casual stroll in Bucharest. The park is located in a very good area filled with bars and restaurant, so if you feel hungry or you want to grab a drink, everything is within reach. The park is situated in the north side of Bucharest and you can easily reach it with a taxi or by taking the metro to Aviatorilor station. It is the biggest park in Bucharest and it offers numerous attractions to those who visit it. Some of the things you can enjoy here are Herastrau Lake, where you can rent a boat and have a romantic outing with a loved one. There’s also a lovely summer theatre where people can enjoy contemporary or classical performances. In Herastrau Park people can also enjoy the nautical club, sport clubs, clubs and even a lovely hotel. You can even fish here if you have a permit. So, there’s something for anyone and those who want to visit one of the prettiest parks in Bucharest should definitely come and visit.

Historically, the park was created in 1936 as people used to walk down to the lake. It’s initial name was The National Park. Later, other elements were added, such as the Expo Flora area, the Rose Island, or, in 1998, the fascinating Japanese Garden. Due to large planting efforts the Park features now hundreds of species of trees and flowers.

During winter, people can enjoy the numerous taverns, bars and cosy restaurants and also the skate ring. But in summer and spring the Park really becomes a lovely attraction. You can rent a boat and relax on the lake or, for a more exciting time, you can try bungee jumping.

For those looking for a more historical incursion, the Park also features some interesting monuments. For example, the Sleeping Nymph is a beautiful statue that was created in 1906 and it’s linked to an interesting local legend that you will have to discover on your own while visiting there. Other interesting monuments are the statues representing Hercules and Prometheus, both extremely valuable and quite lovely to look at.

Sleeping Nymph

Besides all these, just taking a stroll and enjoying the calm and lovely atmosphere in the park is enough to help you unwind after a whole day of walking through the busy city. It’s a great spot for people-watching or just hanging out with friends.

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