The Cişmigiu Park is, without a doubt, one of the top tourist sights in Bucharest. The park stretches on a surface of 17 hectares, and, while being unanimously deemed the most beautifully landscaped garden in Bucharest, it also enjoys a central location in the city. The south side is bordered by the Regina Elisabeta Boulevard, whereas the north side is delineated by the Ştirbei Vodă Street. The Schitu Măgureanu Street stretches on the west side, and the Brezoianu Street marks the east side of the Cişmigiu Park. The park is accessible through several entrances, distributed on each of the thoroughfares which encircle it, less on the Brezoianu Street.
The history of the Cişmigiu Park starts in 1779 when the prince of Wallachia at the time, Alexandru Ipsilanti, commissioned the construction of two wells in order to enhance the public water supply of the city. This was, as it were, a preparatory phase of the future park, since laying out a park proper was not the intent of the authorities at the time. However, the name of the present venue dates back to those times, deriving from the title of the official in charge with supervising the functionality of the wells (in Romanian, “cişmigiu”, deriving, at its turn, from “cişmele”), a certain Dumitru Siulgi. Also, the lake inside the park, formerly known as the Lake of Dura the Merchant (Dura Neguţătorul), started to be called the Cişmigiu Lake.
It was only in 1830 that General Pavel Kiseleff ordered the construction of a public park on the site of the pond which, back then, was nothing but a nuisance given the pond was a source of danger for the public health. The general’s initiative was materialized only 17 years later, by order of Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, who commissioned Wilhelm Mayer and Franz Harer to do the job. Barbu Ştirbei continued the plans of his predecessor, such that in 1852 the first construction works were initiated.
The park was officially opened in 1854. Since then, it is one of the locals’ favorites in terms of daily leisure. Indeed, the park offers an excellent refuge during the hot summer days and, given the Cişmigiu Lake ices over in winter and it is, hence, turned into an open-air skate rink, the park can be deemed an all-season leisure opportunity, and, in fact, a top one, for that matter. By following the meandering alleys of the park, visitors can stumble across highlights like the Writers’ Ring (where the busts of the most important classic writers of the history of the Romanian literature can be admired), the Roman Ring, a memorial monument built in the honor of the French soldiers who died during the Second World War, plenty of statues, a bridge and even the first newspaper stand ever built in the capital.
The quality of the moments spent in the Cişmigiu Park is also enhanced by the overall view: lush greenery, colorful flower beds, the lake constantly crisscrossed by boats (which can be rented from the dock) during the hot season. If not in the mood for searching out the shaded alleys of the park, visitors can just as well relax on one of the benches or they can go to the historical restaurant inside the park, Monte Carlo, a venue which dates back to the early 20th century, restored subsequently to World War Two.
Blvd. Regina Elisabeta, Bucharest, Romania