About Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mormantul Soldatului Necunoscut) is a national Romanian monument built in 1923 to commemorate the soldiers who died for the country during World War One.
History of Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
In 1923, it was decided to choose one of the fallen soldiers to represent all of those who had sacrificed their lives during war. A child whose father had died on the front in 1917 was chosen to select ten unidentified soldiers to be exhumed and laid to rest in oak coffins, doubled with zinc, to rest inside the ‘Assumption of Mary’ Church in Marasesti.
At the ceremony to bury the ten coffins, the same child knelt in front of the fourth coffin lined up and said ‘this is my father.’ As a result, the Unknown Soldier’s Coffin was placed on a processional train, adorned in full Romanian Tricolor, and was greeted by King Ferdinand, State Officials, and an honor guard. After an extensive procession and being laid in state for the public to pay their last respects, the coffin was laid to rest inside a crypt in Carol Park with full military honours, and in the presence of the Royal family, Government, and members of Parliament.
Controversially, one night in December 1958, the Unknown Soldier crypt was very secretly dismantled and moved to the Marasesti Mausoleum by the Communist regime to make room for the Mausoleum of the Communist Heroes, where several leaders of the party were later buried.
After the fall of the regime in 1991, the Tomb was moved close to its original site in Carol Park. In 2007, the tomb was moved even closer to its original 1923 location, next to the Communist mausoleum.
Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today
The Tomb is a popular and sombre tourist attraction, with frequent changing of the guard displays consistently drawing a crowd. The area is considered a sacred one, and bicycles, roller skates, scooters, prams and so on are banned from the area. The tomb borders the picturesque Carol Park which features a French Garden, historical monuments, and a lake.
Getting to The Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb is a 22 minute walk and a 6 minute drive through the scenic centre of Bucharest. It is on the edge of Carol Park, a picturesque park
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