The name “Herastrau” comes from a sawmill (mechanical saw) located, around 1686, during the period of Serban Cantacuzino, on the lake shore. According to historical information, this saw was located somewhere via Ploiesti, so it’s very likely that it was situated close to today’s National Road 1, near Herastrau bridge.
King Mihai I Park of Romania (formerly Herastrau Park) is the largest park from Bucharest and the largest park from Europe inside a city, so that, it was rightly declared historic monument.
The lake in the center of the park is part of a chain of anthropic lakes of Colentina River and it was arranged by rehabilitating, between 1930 and 1935, a swampy area at that time on the outskirts of the city.
The man behind this initiative was Nicolae Caranfil, who electrified Bucharest and developed its water and sewerage network and who designed the systematization of the ponds around the city.
In 1936, when the park was open, a world premiere took place: the inauguration of the first open-air ethnographic museum in the world. Designed after Skansen Museum in Sweden, Stockholm, the Village Museum is named after one of its founders, professor Dimitrie Gusti. At the beginning, there were exhibited 29 houses, a wooden church in Maramureș, a water mill and five windmills and several outbuildings. The oldest exhibit is a house from Moldova, Vaslui, built in the 17th century, and the newest are from the 19th century.
Elisabeta Palace, located on Kiseleff Road 28C, was built in the early 1930s and inaugurated in 1937 according to the plans of architect Corneliu M. Marcu. The palace was intended for the residence of Princess Elisabeth of Greece – the first daughter of King Ferdinand I.
In 1948 the building was nationalized and became a state protocol house. During the 1990s, when it was hotel and restaurant, the interior of the palace was heavily transformed. In 2007, Elisabeta Palace returned to King Michael’s possession, being declared his official residence
Today, the palace has regained its brilliance and has hosted hundreds of events and meetings with people from academic, political, economic and cultural life from Romania and abroad.
The old area of Herastrau Park is for relaxation. Here are two theaters (one for children), two pavilions for exhibitions, libraries, reading and chess, Rose Island and the Japanese Garden, decorated in 1998 with the support of the Japanese Embassy in Romania.
Water bikes and boats can be rented here or boat trips can be made. In Expoflora area are organized periodically floral and garden furniture exhibitions; nearby there is an aquarium – Reef Aquarium In summer, on weekend evenings, the meadow in the Charles de Gaulle entrance area is transformed into an open-air cinema, at the initiative of CreArT. During warm season, the summer garden hosts the shows of the Constantin Tanase Theater.
The second half of the park is for sports and entertainment, here being a base for various boats (iole, kayak – canoe, yachts), tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, bowling alley, roller coaster.
In the part from the North Road there is the Children’s Island.
Since 2011, in the area of Pajistea Pescarus, between Aviatorilor and Beijing boulevards, at the initiative of the Green Revolution Association, the Maid of Culture was arranged. An area with colorful pillows and hammocks that hosts concerts, film screenings, theater performances, exhibitions, painting workshops or dance classes in the summer.
The Diplomatic Club, located in the northern area of the park, on the lake shore, is an urban oasis with multiple recreation possibilities, from practicing sports such as golf, tennis or swimming, to spending time in the lounge area of the pool or near the pool.
Beraria H is the largest brewery-restaurant in Southeast Europe, with a beautiful terrace located on the shores of Lake Herastrau and bar, restaurant and pub inside.
Also here are the best rated kindergartens and international schools, as well as medical clinics and hospitals. The Herastrau neighborhood is a quiet and safe one, preferred by diplomats.
Today, Herastrau Park is a green area of special beauty. In addition to the well-kept green spaces, it also hosts many exclusive restaurants, cafés and terraces. Here are some of the best restaurants in the city, with a refined cuisine, spectacular set-up and impeccable service: Pescăruș, Cherhanaua Ancora, Hard Rock Café.
Herastrau – French Village area is one of the most exclusive areas and continuously attracts new real estate developments, lately due to the proximity of the business pole in the Aviation, but also to the green area, clubs and restaurants. The apartments in the Nobileo Real Estate portfolio are elegant, they have generous areas and premium class finishes. They are comfortable, located in new buildings, with modern architecture and facilities such as permanent security, video surveillance, fitness room, courtyard and private garden.