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Nicolae Romanescu Park
A special sight in Craiova is represented by "Nicolae Romanescu" Park, with its picturesque character. Unique in Romania, this valuable architectural monument is also one of the most interesting accomplishments of its kind in Europe.
The biggest and most famous park in Craiova is "Nicolae Romanescu" Park. Located in the southern part of the town, at the end of Unirii Street, the park is also known as "Bibescu" Park or the People`s Park, all names being accurate.
At first, it was called "Bibescu" Park, given the fact that the land it was located upon, bought by Craiova Town Hall in 1853 for 12,000 ducats,had belonged to Iancu Bibescu, the brother of rulers Grigore Bibescu and Barbu Ştirbei. Around the end of the last century, a great park was created, at the initiative of Nicolae P.Romanescu, the mayor of Craiova during those times. The order was given to the French landscape architect Emil Redont in 1899. Displayed at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, in 1900, the park`s plans received the Golden Medal. The works began in 1901, under the supervision of the project`s author, assisted by artists Jules Redont (his brother) and Emil Pinard. For two years, 50.000 seedlings of ornamental trees and shrubs, from among which many species difficult to adapt to our climate were planted. Thus, the park began to take shape: the lake and the two islands, the river, bridges, small waterfalls, alleys, "The Suspended Bridge", with its two gorgeous porticos, "The Enchanted Castle", "The Circular Hall", the deers`pen and the bears`cave, the pier and the restaurant on the bank of the lake, pavilions, greenhouses, imitations of rocks and tree trunks made of armoured-concrete etc. The park`s inauguration took place in May 1903, and the celebrations caused by the event lasted for two weeks. Conceived and created like a romantic park with a surface of 90 hectares, plus the lakes(4 hectares) and the racecourse(20 hectares), the park is unique in Romania, in its own way. Moreover, this is the second largest park of its kind in Europe, and the racecourse is the biggest in the Balkan area. In 1956, it was enclosed with a fence, the monumental portal at the main entrance being built at the same time.