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Cișmigiu Gardens, Bucharest

Cișmigiu Gardens, Bucharest (must see)

Cişmigiu Gardens (Romanian: Parcul Cişmigiu) is a public park near the centre of Bucharest, featuring 17 hectares of green space surrounding an artificial lake. Its creation was an important moment in the history of Bucharest.

Established in 1847, at the time when Bucharest was still the capital of Wallachia, this is oldest and the largest park in the city. It was laid out on a site formerly known as Lacul lui Dura Neguţătorul ("Lake of Dura the Merchant"), or simply Dura. The pool it replaced had been a popular fishing ground from as early as the 17th century, and was inhabited by mallard colonies. Part of the present-day gardens was occupied by vineyard, which was planted around a water source: the latter had been tapped during the bubonic plague epidemic of 1795, when the two sons of Prince Alexander Mourousis took refuge in the largely uninhabited area.

The decision to replace the lake was taken in 1846, during a period of Imperial Russian administration introduced by Regulamentul Organic. It was based on an earlier proposal made by Russian governor Pavel Kiselyov in 1830, and various small-scale works had first been undertaken in 1837. The initiative, countersigned by Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, was part of a series of major public works, and the plan of the park itself dates back to 1844. On February 27, 1845, the area passed into public ownership by a princely decree. In 1843, Bibescu called on experts in horticulture and planning to join in the effort to restructure the city gardens; as a result, two citizens of the German Confederation, the horticulturist Wilhelm Friedrich Carl Meyer and his assistant, the gardener Franz Hörer, arrived in Bucharest, where their first work involved the floral arrangements on each side of Şoseaua Kiseleff. They were to become involved in redesigning the entire Dura area: Meyer was responsible for setting up the new lanes for planting new floral species, as well as for setting up a romantic landscape with rocks leading down to the lake.

The word “cişmigiu” is of Turkish origin: ceşme is a public fountain and cişmigiu (or cişmegiu) used to be a person responsible for building and maintaining public fountains. The name replaced older references to Dura, and was coined by the public because, at the time, the administrator of Bucharest fountains was living on the park grounds.

Cişmigiu continued to be developed by Meyer long after its official inauguration: in 1870, the horticulturist laid out a plan to redesign the lanes, to introduce an artesian aquifer, and to create a kiosk for an orchestra. He also proposed to have gondolas carrying visitors over the lake. By 1851, new species of trees were brought in: chestnuts from Gorj County, walnuts from Dâmboviţa County, and other plants from places such as Vienna and Braşov. At the same time, the lanes were reinforced with debris from the ruins of Curtea Nouă and Zlătari area.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bucharest, Romania within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cișmigiu Gardens on Map

Sight Name: Cișmigiu Gardens
Sight Location: Bucharest, Romania
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bucharest, Romania

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