Bucharest,(Romanian:Bucureşti), Romania, the largest city and capital of the country. The city lies on both sides of the Dîmbovita River, about 30 miles (48 km) north of the Danube. Bucharest has many splendid buildings, beautiful parks, and wide boulevards. Some of the city's historic buildings, especially in the old city center, were demolished in the 1970's and 1980's to make room for government office buildings and apartments. Cultural institutions in the city include the Romanian History Museum, the University of Bucharest (founded in 1864), the State Philharmonic, and the Romanian Opera. The Church of the Patriarchate, built in the 17th century, is the seat of the spiritual leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Bucharest is an important industrial center. Its products include machinery, metal goods, chemicals, and many consumer items. The city also has oil refineries and food-processing plants. With railways and highways radiating from its center, Bucharest is Romania's main transportation hub. The city also has an international airport.
Bucharest did not become prominent until the 15th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries it was captured and occupied by the Turks, Russians, and Austrians. In 1861 Bucharest became the capital of a united Romania. The Germans took the city in World Wars I and II, and the Soviets occupied it in 1944. The city was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1977 and saw violent demonstrations when the Communist regime fell in 1989. Coal miners rioted in the city for three days in 1991, forcing a change in national government.