Bucharest, the capital city and industrial and commercial centre of Romania, was originally known as the Dambovita citadel. As compared to most of the other European cities, Bucharest is a relatively new city, its existence first being referred to by scholars as late as 1459. Between the two World Wars, Bucharest was called Little Paris owing to its elegant architecture, the sophistication of its elite and its wide, tree-lined boulevards. Most of the buildings and districts in the historic centre were damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes and Nicolae Ceausescu's program of restructuring the city, but much survived.
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