The cold late autumn is less warm for walking and at times like this, when it is getting colder, I am reminded of summer sunshine. Most of the time the memories take me to the sea but this time the walk was much closer, in the city center. Downtown and midsummer form a very hot combination. Lots of concrete, asphalt and the scorching sun turns into a big furnace but that doesn't stop me from taking the walk there because it's one of my favorite parts of the city.
It's time to make the introductions. The city is Bucharest and it's the capital of Romania. The place of the walk is Revolution Square, named after the Romanian revolution of December 1989, a revolution in which I participated, along with a large number of the city's inhabitants. Previously, this square had several names, changed with the political changes. Piata Palatului, because this is where the royal palace is located, Piata Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the name of the first communist leader, after the abdication of the king, Republic Square, after the death of Dej and now, Revolution Square. I hope they don't change the name from now on!
The most important building in this square is the Royal Palace, now the National Art Museum of Romania. Now I'm going to ignore it because my interest is drawn to two nearby monuments, two monuments celebrating different events at the two ends of the 40-year period of communism in Romania.
Equestrian statue of King Carol I
An imposing statue, as a statue of a king should be. A bronze statue, 13 meters high and weighing 13 tons.
Carol I of Romania, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, reigned for 48 years, the longest reign of a Roman ruler. During his reign, the country gained independence from the Turks (1877) and began the modernization of the country.
This statue, placed right in front of the Royal Palace, is a recognition of the merits of this monarch and a reminder of the country's history.
The other monument is a controversial one. It was placed in the square after the anti-communist revolution of 1989.
Memorial of the Renaissance - Eternal Glory to the Heroes and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989
Of course, the new revolution that brought democracy to the former communist country Romania deserves a monument too. Especially since the Romanian Revolution was bloody, it was the only transition from communism to democracy among the former communist countries of Eastern Europe that were violent. More than 1000 people died in those events.
The main parts of the monument are this 35-meter high column, called The Pyramid of Victory, and the Wall of Remembrance, a wall inscribed with the names of the 1,058 people who died during the revolution.
As I said, this monument has been highly criticized, both for its cost, more than ten million dollars, and because it seems copied from other works, such as a trophy in Brazil or a monument in Armenia.
I don't like it either and it bothers me that there are suspicions of financial fraud and plagiarism for the most important monument dedicated to the Romanian revolution and the memory of those who died then.
There will always be such controversies, in fact, the statue of King Carol has its problems, but, they are not the problems of monuments, they are the problems of contemporary Romanian society.
It was a walk full of "heat", a heat hard to bear and that explains why the streets and this square are so empty. Even though I wanted to be at the seaside, I must say that I like this square in Bucharest!
I'll say it again and again, I've found that my main activity lately is... walking. Like all of you, I love to walk, but only now I have realized that walking has become my main mode of relaxation. Slowly, slowly overtaking the other pleasures I still have.
The explanations are these, among others... age, the need to do at least some semblance of sport, the pandemic. There's probably more but I can't identify it now.
HiveBloPoMo - Day 24
This is my attempt to post every day in November!