When my flight was preparing for landing in Bucharest, my thoughts turned to the revolution of December 1989 which overthrew the Ceaușescu regime. His final speech was given from this balcony. Although he escaped, we all witnessed his execution on the news.
On this same plaza is the Romanian Athenaeum which is the heart of Romania’s musical tradition. As I walked around today I can understand why Bucharest was named the “Paris of the East.” At first it is hard to recognize that because of a severe earthquake a few decades ago and the decades of neglect under Communism; however the restoration of some of the buildings creates in one’s mind the former late 19th century architectural splendor of the city.
Across Revolution Plaza stands the former royal palace from the early 19th century. From the photo you can see it sustained much damage during the 1989 Revolution.
In Saint Joseph Cathedral, as you leave the church, there are two mosaics: to the left, Divine Mercy; to the right, Blessed Ghika. He demonstrated true mercy through his witness to the truth of the gospel that liberated people from deception that degrades humanity.