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The city proper is administratively known as the "Municipality of Bucharest" (Municipiul București), and has the same administrative level as that of a national county, being further subdivided into six sectors, each governed by a local mayor.The Romanian name București has an uncertain origin.Tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur, who was a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a hunter, according to different legends.

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From top, left to right: Colțea Hospital panorama • Romanian Athenaeum • Victory Avenue • Lipscani district, view towards Caru' cu bere and Stavropoleos Monastery • Palace of Justice • CEC Palace • National Bank of Romania • Floreasca park, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459.In 1881, it became the political centre of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Romania under King Carol I.During the second half of the 19th century, the city's population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began.In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris).

Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Nicolae Ceaușescu's program of systematization, many survived.During this period, gas lighting, horse-drawn trams, and limited electrification were introduced. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris) of the east, with Calea Victoriei as its Champs-Élysées.Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest, with the official capital temporarily moved to Iași, in the Moldavia region.A short-lived revolt initiated by Tudor Vladimirescu in 1821 led to the end of the rule of Constantinople Greeks in Bucharest.The Old Princely Court (Curtea Veche) was erected by Mircea Ciobanul in the mid-16th century.Also, some of the city's main landmarks were built in this period, including Arcul de Triumf and Palatul Telefoanelor.