If you are looking for a place to chill out after a long walk thorough Old Town and on Victory Avenue or an afternoon relaxation in a beautiful day, take Regina Elisabeta Boulevard towards City Hall. Across the street from there you will find the main entrance to the oldest and most famous park in Bucharest: Cismigiu Gardens (Gradina Cismigiu). The park was created during the 19th Century and followed the model of English landscape gardens. Thousands of trees, shrubs, and flowers were brought from different places in the Carpathian Mountains and European botanical gardens. The amount and the types of plants you will find here are overwhelming and include fragrant climbing roses that create some of the most captivating displays. Romanians take pride in their national heritage and culture. As in any park in Bucharest that has a history, you will find here sculptures of famous Romanian writers and different monuments that commemorate Romanian and foreign soldiers fallen during the two World Wars. Cismigiu Gardens is a place for anyone in any season.
Warm up in the spring with a multitude of colors. In the summertime, listen to marching band music, classical music, and Romanian folk music performed by real artists. Sit down on one of the famous green benches and read a newspaper, sip on a cup of coffee at the cafe, have refreshments at kiosks, lunch, or dinner on the terrace of the restaurant inside the park from where you can view nature. Go biking, row boating on the man made lake that is also home to swans and pelicans, or play chess with the locals. During fall, go for walks on the alleys where you can pick oak and maple leaves, chestnuts, walnuts, and acorn. In the wintertime, go skating upon the lake if the ice is thick enough or at the nearby ice skating rink.
I will always remember my trips to the park with my dad. He used to take me there for walks, buy me a soda at the restaurant and cotton candy from one of the kiosks, tell me stories about the writers, take me to the playground, and teach me how to maneuver a row boat.
Photo above: postcard Cismigiu Gardens in 1973 (courtesy of Dan Nichifor, http://www.etimpu.com)
A few years later, the park looked like everything stopped in time. It was receiving less and less attention. Fewer people were visiting it. The music stopped playing. It was still a nice place to take your sweetheart for a walk when you did not have any money or spend some time during the school program when skipping class if you were lucky to attend one of the high schools nearby. I am glad that in the past two decades the park has regained its vitality and been given the same consideration I have known as a child.
Featured Image: photo has been cropped for better view: I, Jmabel [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photos 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and 12 by Britchi Mirela (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. Photo 12 has been cropped.
Photo 10 by Korinna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ro/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photos 1 and 2 by Calinos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ro/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Painting: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
In Parks of Bucharest also see A Stories Telling Park in Bucharest – Carol Park