The Union Square (Piata Unirii) is where the downtown starts. Two of
Bucharest subway lines intersect here and the square is the site of one of the city's
department stores, Unirea. Unfortunatelly this place was also Ceausescu's playground
for experimentation, as the square was caught in his plan for "urbanization" and
creation of the ugly soviet style Civic Center. To make way for his Civic Center
Ceausescu ordered the demolition of all the buildings located in and around Unirii Square.
The Brancovenesc Hospital, the Sf. Vineri Church, the Sf. Spiridon Church, the Vacaresti
Monastery and many others historic buildings and monuments as well as lots of private
houses were virtually wiped out. It's worth coming here and seeing the Civic Center
just for realizing how ugly the architecture is (the blocks of apartments are just ugly,
but the fountains along the Unirii boulevard are truly hideous).