The wildest place in the heart of Bucharest

Today I will take you to a place situated in Bucharest. It looks almost like a park with some small lakes in it. You can admire some vegetation that grows wild. If you like bird watching you can admire a lot of rare birds: like a black flycatcher, egrets, swans, cormorants, and also you can meet some animals like foxes, otters, rabbits, muskrat, sea snakes, all of this in the city.
You can have a walk and just enjoy the view of wild vegetation, or you can take your bike and go cycling on top of it. Or just go down, in the middle of the wild vegetation, and admire the view more closely.
Now, let me tell you about the history of this place.
First, I have to tell you the name of this place is Vacaresti lake, it is situated in Vacaresti neighborhood in section four of the city, it is an anthropic lake with a surface of 189 ha. It was designed as a defense hydrological system against floods but was never finished due to the end of the Ceausescu era.
Vacaresti lake was just once filled with water from the Dambovita river, the river that is passing Bucharest. But the costs of filling were too high for the use of it. The place and the idea were abandoned. Now at this moment, the place is just a place where nature took control of it.
Maybe soon it will become what some people are trying to do with a national park, but that is to see.
Below you can see some pictures with it to make an idea of the place. This time will be just a few pictures. I hope you can enjoy it.
But I was just saying earlier, I will tell you about what used to be this place before Ceausescu decided to make it a lake.
I will take you on a short trip back in time. In 1716, a foreign prince ruled Wallachia for the first time… The Ottomans were the ones who brought him from Fanar. On his name, Nicolae Mavrocordat decided to make a gorgeous new monastery.
He chose for his monastery a hill. So in 1716, the first stone for the monastery was put. In 1722, the monastery was finished. It was made in a Brancovenesc style and consecrated to the Trinity.
Nicolae Mavrocordat made a school at the monastery, where the teaching language was Greek. The monastery also had a printing press and a very nice library. At that time, the library was one of the most complete from all Europe.
After the death of Nicolae Mavrocordat in 1730, Wallachia will be ruled by his son Constantin, who in 1736 will add at the east wing another chapel and a new yard. The monastery at that time was one of the biggest monasteries from south-east Europe.
A century later, the monastery will become something totally different, a prison.
Now we are in the time of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. There is a legend about how it became a prison; at that time, most churches from here were dedicated to Holly mountain. This means that all the properties and the money from what the church had were going out of the country to the monks from the holly places.
The church then, as also now, didn’t pay any taxes, but they had to help the poor ones and give shelter to those in need, but the reality was a bit different. The monks were really corrupted. Getting back to the legend there is said that one night Cuza decided to take one of his incognito walks. So he went to the Vacaresti monastery dressed as a poor man who needed some food and shelter. When they saw him, the monks closed the door in his nose. Somewhere nearby, he had a little army waiting for him and some thieves, so he got all the monks out of the sanctums and put the thieves instead because the monks were like the thieves.
Since then, the monastery became a prison and stood like this for many years. For political reasons, many prominent personalities were imprisoned, among them writers and political people.
The monastery also used to have extensive tunnels going to different places in the city. The tunnels were big enough for a carriage so the people from the high society could come to the monastery without being seen.
In 1973 the prison was dismantled, and the monastery’s restoration started. The East Wing of the monastery is restored, but three years later, the big earthquake will damage the monastery, but not the kind that would affect the structural strength. After the earthquake, a few years later, Ceausescu, the ruler of that time, decided to demolish the monastery and make a complex with a sports hall and a conference hall or a Court instead. But in the end, he tried to make an anthropic lake as a defense system for flooding. The revolution came, and Ceausescu era ended, and the project was never finished.
Now, I hope you enjoyed my little story. I leave you to see the pictures that I promised you.
Enjoy!

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