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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

III.

Under the same roof the geographical and other learned societies meet.  But we have said enough of this building, and must now pass on to a few more prominent edifices in the city.  Besides the Chaussee and its surroundings, there is another large park or pleasure-garden in the centre of the city, called the Cismegiu, which contains ornamental waters, flower-beds, and fine alleys of trees, and is a favourite resort of the humbler classes.  In the immediate vicinity of this garden stand the Courts of Justice, and the greatest service we can render to the people of Bucarest is to advise visitors to give them a wide berth, or at least to content themselves with a look at the exterior.  The interior of some portions at least vies, in filth and disorder, with the meanest of our police courts.  The Government buildings are of a much higher order, and that of the Ministerial Council is very spacious and well furnished.  None of the numerous churches of Bucarest are really fine, excepting in their external appearance, which is often very picturesque.  They are all built of brick and plastered, many roofed with metal, and the paintings in them are very inferior, however interesting some of them may be historically.  The finest is the cathedral, or metropolitan church, which stands upon a commanding eminence not far from the boulevard, and beside it are two poor buildings, in one of which the metropolitan resides, whilst in the other the Chamber of Deputies meets.  The church is comparatively recent, having been erected in 1656 and restored in 1859.

Bucarest has two railway stations, both situated at some distance from the centre of the city.  One is the terminus of the railway from Giurgevo, situated on the Danube about two hours’ ride distant; the other of the lines to Verciorova, Pesth, and Vienna, westward; Predeal and Kronstadt, Transylvania, to the north; and Galatz, Jassy, and Odessa to the north-east and east.  Passengers going to Constantinople travel by rail to Giurgevo, where they cross the Danube to Rustchuk, and thence proceed again by rail through Bulgaria to Varna, and on by steamer to Constantinople; but a line is in progress from Bucarest which will take them to the Black Sea through the Dobrudscha, namely, from Cernavoda to Constanta (Kustendjie), thence to the capital of Turkey by steamer.

Returning once more to the consideration of the public buildings, we have to refer to the hospitals, which are admirably managed by the ‘Eforia Spitalelor,’ the hospital board, as we should call it, and by its Director-General, Dr. Davila, whose work one encounters continually in Bucarest.  There are seven hospitals or infirmaries, of which three at least are well worth a visit.  The Colentina hospital makes up 200 beds, 130 for women and 70 for men.  The wards are roomy, well ventilated and warmed, and the beds and bedding clean and comfortable. (The same cannot,

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