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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
of land and houses for different classes—­Wages of artisans; of gipsies—­Habits of the working-classes—­Cost of living, food, clothing, &c.—­Native costumes made by the peasantry—­Their beauty and variety—­The poorest class—­Mamaliga—­The gipsies—­Their origin and history—­Their slavery—­Wilkinson’s account of them in his day—­Their emancipation and present condition—­Laoutari or musicians—­Their other occupations—­Their religion—­Fusion with the native Roumanians—­Striking contrast between gipsies and natives—­Lipovans—­Roumanian love of bright colours—­Pictorial advertisements—­Amusing signboards—­Absence of intellectual entertainments and occupations—­Want of exchange and market buildings—­Great advances since 1857—­Edgar Quinet’s account of Roumania in his day—­’The Roumanian Company for erecting Public Edifices’—­Funerals—­Octroi duties—­Their onerous character—­A few words on the Jews—­Bitter journalistic attacks upon them—­Curtea d’Ardges—­Its beautiful cathedral—­The exterior—­Fine tracery and ornaments—­The interior—­Legendary history—­Negru Voda and Manole—­Poem of Manole—­Entombs his wife alive in the foundation—­His fate—­True history—­Neagu Bassarab, its founder—­John Radul—­Quaint and interesting tablets concerning its history down to 1804—­Subsequent history and present condition—­(Note:  Brief history of Christianity in Roumania—­Atheism and indifference to religion).

I.

The chief cities or towns in Roumania are Bucarest, the capital, in the district of Ilfovu; Jassy or Iasi, the old capital of Moldavia, in that of the same name; Galatz or Galati, in Covurluiu; Curtea d’Ardges, in the district of that name; Braila or Ibrail, Craiova, Botosani, Ploiesti, and Pitesti.  We have not named them exactly in the order of their size, as it is our intention to give some details of the first four only.

[Illustration:  PLAN OF BUCAREST, WITH THE MAIN STREETS AND BUILDINGS.

(Reduced from Plan by Professor Zamphirolu.)

1.  Filaret Railway Station.

2.  Tirgovistea Railway Station.

3.  Metropolitan Cathedral.

4.  Palace.

5.  National Theatre.

6.  Council of Ministers.

7.  Academy.

8.  British Embassy.

9.  Post and Telegraph Offices.

10.  Church, Radu Voda.

11.  Ministry of Finance.

12.  Summer Palace (Cotroceni).

13.  Asyle Helene.

14.  Coltza Hospital.

15.  Colentina Hospital.

16.  Bank of Roumania.]

Of the capital, Bucarest, the reader will here find a general plan, in case he should at any time visit the city.  To give any lengthened account of it, however, would be a mistake; for such a description would certainly be inaccurate a few years hence, as the city is undergoing great change and improvement from day to day.  Still it is the heart of Roumania, the centre from which all progress emanates; and whilst we shall refer to some of its more valuable institutions when we come to deal with national and social questions of general importance, we propose to dwell upon it for a brief space.

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