The Old Town, probably the most notorious place in Bucharest at the moment, stubbornly hangs on to its antique touch and eventful history. Today however, for Romanians and tourists alike, it is the heart of the city’s nightlife. In the past, Strada Franceză (i.e. “The French Street”), has been as vibrant and renowned as it is today.
Back in the past, since 1700, the Old Town was a meeting place for merchants worldwide. Romanians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbians, Turks and even Austrians have opened here numerous bazaars, inns or tailors. Most often, at the ground floor were shops with large windows, and above them lived the merchants.
Strada Franceză, together with Lipscani, Şelari and Gabroveni, is one of the liveliest streets in the Old Town, and it has been in the past as popular as it is today. It was the first street paved with cobblestones, brought all the way from Scotland in 1860, and back then, the street was named Işlicarilor. The name was acquired from “işlicuri”, the kind of hats worn by lords and great boyars of those times.
The name of this street dates back to 1798 when here was the Consulate of France, but its name has changed several times: it was called the Street of the Royal because it connected the Old Court (the first Royal Court of Bucharest) and Bridge Mogosoaia, then Street Carol I, after he was elected ruler, and subsequently Maniu Street.
Today Strada Franceză is a place of entertainment, nightlife and stories. Here you also can find The Mansion, the chic and modern boutique hotel that preserved history and combined it with Romanian and international architecture.