Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bucharest bounces back from brink

Free tourist attractions abound in a city steeped in history

BY ALISON MUTLER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUGUST 6, 2013

It was founded by a shepherd, according to local legend, and was later nicknamed the Paris of the East. But Bucharest's idyllic roots and elegant reputation eventually gave way to a series of 20th-century calamities: war, invasions, earthquakes and communism. Today the Romanian capital is home to two million people, with a cityscape that ranges from rundown grandeur to Communist monstrosities and sleek modernism. Old villas, some dilapidated, from the pre-communist aristocracy, sit next to multi-rise office blocks and modern new villas - many of which are empty due to recent economic troubles. But while Bucharest is messy, overcrowded and shabby in parts, it also hums with a cosy, vibrant and seductive Byzantine charm. Here are some places, all of them free, that help tell the city's stories.

REVOLUTION SQUARE

If you want the drama of history, there is no better place to start than Revolution Square, where the final showdown between the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and the people took place. Ceausescu gave his last speech here in the final hours of his 25-year rule and was booed and jeered for the first time. Afraid of the angry crowds and his own army, which had begun to desert him, he fled the square from the roof of a Communist party building by helicopter, the last time he ever saw Bucharest.

On Christmas Day 1989, he and his wife Elena were summarily executed in the nearby city of Targoviste after a 55-minute trial. Revolution Square saw some of the fiercest fighting as Ceausescu loyalists fired on unarmed demonstrators, and the building that housed the dreaded Securitate Communist secret police has been preserved.

Before the Second World War, Romania was a monarchy. The royal palace (now the national art museum), where officials announced that Romania had switched sides from the Nazis to the Allies in 1944, is also in the square, as is the Athenee Palace, a legendary hotel that inspired a book about spies, diplomats and journalists during the Second World War, and the Cina restaurant, a top place for the latest gossip during that war.

For more cultural pursuits, there is the Atheneum, a neoclassical concert hall built in the late 19th century with a grand columned entryway and domed roof, considered one of the city's most beautiful buildings.

BELLU CEMETERY

Bellu is the city's grandest and probably most overcrowded cemetery in a country where funerals and burials can be elaborate and very public affairs.

The cemetery is also considered one of Europe's most valuable because its immense collection of sculptures constitutes a vast outdoor museum.

Every Romanian academic, writer, scientist and musician of note is buried here.

The cemetery is just south of the Heroes' Cemetery, the final resting place for the 564 people who died in the 1989 revolution. Also buried here are national poet Mihai Eminescu, playwright Ion Luca Caragiale, and the inventor and airplane builder Aurel Vlaicu.

CISMIGIU GARDENS

Bucharesters traditionally seek refuge in the city's parks during the scorching summer months. Cismigiu is one of the city's oldest gardens and a traditional meeting place for students, lovers and chess players. It boasts an artificial lake, a skating rink in winter, winding paths, a panoply of trees and shrubs, and a memorial commemorating French soldiers killed in the city during the First World War. It also appears in short stories written by Caragiale.

CHURCHES

Bucharest enjoys a rich multi-faith tradition, revived since 1989, with synagogues, mosques and Romanian Orthodox churches in every neighbourhood. There are also other Christian churches such as the Armenian Church, the

Lutheran Church and the red-bricked Anglican Church of the Resurrection, which turns 100 this year. Especially worth visiting are the Roman Catholic St. Joseph's Cathedral, possibly the city's grandest church, and the 18thcentury Stavropoleos Monastery, which has the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania.

THE OLD CITY

Once a rundown area, the old city or Centru Vechi, which is basically all that remains of pre-Second-World-War Bucharest, has in recent years become a vibrant quarter for entertainment and tourists, boasting antique shops, theatres, boutique hotels, restaurants, and bars. Getting around Bucharest is not free, but it's cheap. The subway transports passengers cheaply and efficiently around the capital, and taxis are plentiful and cheap.

2 comments:

Ken Research said...

The focus of this report is on medical disposables which is a part of overall medical device industry. The report presents industry structure of medical devices and disposables. Here we discuss total market size of medical disposables and its segments. We have also analysed industry by geographies like United States European Union (total EU market, Romania and Czech Republic) and India. Apart from market size this report talks about opportunities prevailing in the market and recent industry trends. This industry is driven by many factors; few are highlighted in the report. Future outlook is an important part of the report which gives an idea of industry performance in near future. Also there are many players helping the industry to grow, out of which few are discussed in this report.

In the medical disposable market, Non Woven products are the fastest & the largest growing segments. Surgical drapes & gowns would be the top gainers as the hospitals & ambulatory surgery centres have upgraded the surgical infection prevention safeguards.
Hospitals would be the largest customers for disposable medical devices.
The global market for pre-filled syringes is expected to grow by 8.7% CAGR 2006–2016E. In 2008, 1.5 billion syringes worldwide were sold.
The market for medical gloves is growing at 7% annually. The major factors contributing to the growth are hospital admissions & also ageing population.
In United States, Catheters, drug delivery & related disposables experienced the fastest growth among the other product groups at 6 % every year from 2003 – 2008. The demand for these products reached US$~ billion in 2008.
US is the largest market in terms of gloves usage and consumption is around 30 billion pieces of gloves annually.
The EU market is the second largest market for medical devices & disposables. It has a market share of 30% which is only second to US which has a share of 45% of the total world market.
In Romania, during 2002 – 2006 the production of medical devices & disposables increased by 14 % because of increased standard of living & international demand.
In Czech Republic, Syringes, needles & catheters is the most on demand hospital supplies which is slowly making a separate market and started counting in a niche category. In 2007, this category accounted for 8.25% share in the total consumption of medical devices and disposables.
In Indian Medical disposable device segment, the domestic production is bound to increase in the coming future, but imported high end goods will constitute the majority of sales.
India is the fourth largest market in the Asia Pacific region in regards to healthcare/pharmaceuticals, behind Japan, China and South Korea.
China is a leading producer of medical gloves and with the modernization of China’s healthcare system the growth opportunities for disposable medical devices are growing day by day.
Contract manufacturers specialized in medical products are the major factor behind the growth in demand for medical disposables such as syringes and intravenous devices.
Worldwide, the medical disposable market’s demand for plastic is expected to reach more than US$~billion by 2011, with a combined annual growth rate for injection moulded products ranging from 4.0-5.5% between 2006 and 2011.

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http://www.kenresearch.com

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