University Square, Bucharest
The four statues outside the University depict poet Ion Heliade-Rădulescu (1882), prince Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) (1876), scholar Gheorghe Lazăr (1886) and mathematician Spiru Haret (1935).
In 1679, the Princely Academy was built on the site, which in 1857 was turned into the University of Bucharest. Initially, in the first half of the 19th century, the square bore the name of Ion Brătianu (local politician), whose monument stood in the center. University Square, as such, was established in 1857, as part of the University project run by architect Alexandru Orăscu. The University itself was built in several stages, following neoclassical aesthetic principles. The façade existing today was constructed between 1921 and 1943 by architect Nicolae Ghika-Budești.
Pedestrians now have at their disposal University Passage, constructed during the development of M2 metro line. The space of today's InterContinental hotel and National Theatre was once home to an outdoor circus, surrounded by outlets selling mititei (small sausages), beer and stum. All these disappeared in the 1960s following a gentrification plan seeking to redevelop the area for tourism and to improve cultural and administrative functions.
Between 1968 and 1970, the Hotel InterContinental (one of the tallest buildings in Bucharest) had been erected, along with the new National Theatre, constructed between 1964 and 1973. Damaged during the 1977 earthquake, the theater was rebuilt in 1982–1984.
The square was the site of the 1990 Golaniad, a peaceful student protest against ex-communists in the Romanian government. The demonstrations ended violently when miners from the Jiu Valley were called in by president Ion Iliescu to restore order in the capital.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bucharest. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
University Square on Map
Sight Location: Bucharest, Romania (See walking tours in Bucharest)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
Walking Tours in Bucharest, Romania
The name București has an unverified origin. Tradition links it to the guy named Bucur, who (according to various legends) was either a prince, outlaw, fisherman, shepherd or a hunter. The Romanian word “bucurie” means joy (happiness), which in turn explains one of Bucharest's... view more
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip
16 Uniquely Romanian Things To Buy in Bucharest