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The 25 best European city breaks for 2021 and beyond

5 min read

Bucharest’s history alternated periods of development and decline from the early settlements in antiquity until its consolidation as the national capital of Romania late in the 19th century. First mentioned as the “Citadel of București” in 1459, it became the residence of the famous Wallachian prince Vlad III the Impaler.[18]:23

Early 18th century woodcut of Bucharest (1717)

The Ottomans appointed Greek administrators (Phanariotes) to run the town from the 18th century. A short-lived revolt initiated by Tudor Vladimirescu in 1821 led to the end of the rule of Constantinople Greeks in Bucharest.[19]

The Old Princely Court (Curtea Veche) was erected by Mircea Ciobanul in the mid-16th century. Under subsequent rulers, Bucharest was established as the summer residence of the royal court. During the years to come, it competed with Târgoviște on the status of capital city after an increase in the importance of southern Muntenia brought about by the demands of the suzerain power – the Ottoman Empire.

Bucharest finally became the permanent location of the Wallachian court after 1698 (starting with the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu).

Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea’s plague in 1813–14, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia(three times between 1768 and 1806). It was placed under Russian administration between 1828 and the Crimean War, with an interlude during the Bucharest-centred 1848 Wallachian revolution. Later, an Austrian garrison took possession after the Russian departure (remaining in the city until March 1857). On 23 March 1847, a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings, destroying a third of the city.


Ottoman massacre of Greek irregulars in Bucharest (August, 1821)

After Wallachia and Moldavia were united to form the Principality of Romania, Bucharest became the new nation’s capital city. In 1881, it became the political centre of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Romania under King Carol I. During the second half of the 19th century, the city’s population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began. During this period, gas lightinghorse-drawn trams, and limited electrification were introduced.[20] The Dâmbovița River was also massively channelled in 1883, thus putting a stop to previously endemic floods like the 1865 flooding of Bucharest.[21] The Fortifications of Bucharest were built. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of “Little Paris” (Micul Paris) of the east, with Calea Victoriei as its Champs-Élysées.

Bucharest in 1868

Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest, with the official capital temporarily moved to Iași (also called Jassy), in the Moldavia region. After World War I, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania.

In the interwar years, Bucharest’s urban development continued, with the city gaining an average of 30,000 new residents each year. Also, some of the city’s main landmarks were built in this period, including Arcul de Triumf and Palatul Telefoanelor.[22] However, the Great Depression took its toll on Bucharest’s citizens, culminating in the Grivița Strike of 1933.[23]

In January 1941, the city was the scene of the Legionnaires’ rebellion and Bucharest pogrom. As the capital of an Axis country and a major transit point for Axis troops en route to the Eastern Front, Bucharest suffered heavy damage during World War II due to Allied bombings. On 23 August 1944, Bucharest was the site of the royal coup which brought Romania into the Allied camp. The city suffered a short period of Nazi Luftwaffe bombings, as well as a failed attempt by German troops to regain the city.

I.C. Brătianu Boulevard in the 1930s

After the establishment of communism in Romania, the city continued growing. New districts were constructed, most of them dominated by tower blocks. During Nicolae Ceaușescu‘s leadership (1965–89), much of the historic part of the city was demolished and replaced by “Socialist realism” style development: (1) the Centrul Civic (the Civic Centre) and (2) the Palace of the Parliament, for which an entire historic quarter was razed to make way for Ceaușescu’s megalomaniac plans.

On 4 March 1977, an earthquake centered in Vrancea, about 135 km (83.89 mi) away, claimed 1,500 lives and caused further damage to the historic centre.

Mihail Kogălniceanu Square in 1941

The Romanian Revolution of 1989 began with massive anti-Ceaușescu protests in Timișoara in December 1989 and continued in Bucharest, leading to the overthrow of the Communist regime. Dissatisfied with the postrevolutionary leadership of the National Salvation Front, some student leagues and opposition groups organized rallies.

Since 2000, the city has been continuously modernized and is still undergoing urban renewal. Residential and commercial developments are underway, particularly in the northern districts; Bucharest’s old historic centre is being restored.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape

Now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:


Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it. 

Below is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box.

This was a sample post built with Gutenberg blocks only. Gutenberg is the new editor, a very user friendly interface that you will absolutely love.


Thanks for watching Gutenberg in action!

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