The stocky building sitting on one of the corners
of University Square is the National Theater. It was built in 1973 after plans
by a group of Romanian architects. The old building of the National Theater was
destroyed during the WWII. Originally the building had a different facade, modeled after
the architecture of Moldova's monasteries but in 1984 it was remodeled and got its present
massive shape. The theatre has 4 performance halls.
The National Theater is named after the Romanian playwright and short-story writer
Ion Luca Caragiale (1852-1912). His plays made fun of the politics and politicians
and of the Romanian society of that day. For example the play that is considered to be
his masterpiece, "A Lost Letter", written in 1884, describes a provincial government election
won by a blackmailer. It's amazing how his works have the same power today as they did a
century ago. Not only that, but recently I saw one of his plays being performed in California
and I was surprized to see how the American public of today can relate to his story written in 1880.
Last, if you feel like having a refreshment, you'll find two bars located on top of the National
Theater. One is a open terrace bar called "La Motoare", open only in summer, while the
other one called "Laptaria lui Enache" is open during fall, winter and spring.
They are usually crowded, especially in the late afternoon and evening and especially in
the summer when it's difficult to find a table before 2AM in the morning. If you find a
table, be prepared to share it. At Laptarie you can catch live music most of the evenings.