In 1977, a major earthquake affected Romania and Bucharest’s city center suffered significant damages. For this reason, Ceausescu ordered the demolition of an important number of historic buildings, churches and residential areas. Also, inspired by the Chinese and North Korean urban architecture, he didn’t want to reconstruct anything, but to make way for the new “Civic Center”, a project consisting of Parliament Palace, and large boulevard lined with socialist-realist apartment blocks.
Initially called “Victory of Socialism”, the boulevard is West – East oriented, starts in front of the Parliament Palace (RBBIM Km 0), ends in Alba Iulia Square (RBBIM Km 4) and passes through one of the city’s most important areas – Unirii Square (RBBIM Km 2). The boulevard is longer and wider than Paris’s Avenue des Champs-Élysées – and this was one of Ceausescu’s strongest requests.