Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 70 kilometres (43 mi) north of the Danube.Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 and is the centre of Romanian media, culture and art. Its architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and Art Deco), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of „Little Paris” .Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Ceaușescu’s program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.Bucharest is the 10th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits.
Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has big convention facilities, educational institutes, cultural venues, traditional „shopping arcades” and recreational areas.
The city proper is administratively known as „The Municipality of Bucharest” (Municipiul București), and has the same administrative level as that of a national county, being further subdivided into six sectors.
The name of București has an uncertain origin: tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur who was either a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a hunter, according to different legends. In Romanian the word stem bucur means ‘joy’, („beautiful”) and it is believed to be of Dacian origin.
There are other etymologies given by early scholars, including the one of an Ottoman traveler, Evliya Çelebi, who said that Bucharest was named after a certain „Abu-Kariș”, from the tribe of „Bani-Kureiș”. In 1781, Franz Sulzer claimed that it was related to bucurie (joy), bucuros (joyful) or a se bucura (to become joyful), while an early 19th century book published in Vienna assumed its name has been derived from „Bukovie”, a beech forest.The official city name in full is „The Municipal Area of Bucharest” (Romanian: Municipiul București).A native or resident of Bucharest is called a „Bucharester” (Romanian: bucureștean).