With 110 hectares Herăstrău Park is Bucharest’s largest. In the middle of the park is a 74 -hectare lake, part of the chain of lakes formed by the Colentina River in the north of the city. For the people of Bucharest, Herăstrău is a favorite spot for walks, water sports and outdoor recreation.
The park is delimited by Aviatorilor Boulevard, Kiseleff road , Beijing Boulevard, Nordului road, Str. Elena Văcărescu, the București-Ploiești highway, and Constantin Prezan Boulevard. It was laid out in 1936-39 to mark the Bucharest Month Exhibition and was designed by architects Emil Pinard and Friedrich Rebhun. Originally named the Carol II National Park, it was renamed Herastrau in 1948 (the word means ”sawmill”; there was once a sawmill on the shore of the lake). Later, in the communist period, it was renamed Stalin Park.
The main entrance to the park is in Charles de Gaulle Plaza, by the Aviatorilor metro station, and it is guarded by the bronze statue of the French general. There is another entrance on Kiseleff road, adversely with the Triumphal Arch.
The oldest section
In the oldest section of the park, are two theaters (one of which is for children), two exhibition pavilions, libraries, reading booths, and chess tables. Here too you will find Rose Island, designed by Austrian landscape gardener Friedrich Rebhun, and the Japanese Garden, which was planted in 1998 in partnership with the Japanese Embassy. At the jetty you can hire peddle boats and rowing boats or take a ride on the steamboat.
Caryatids Lane, which leads to the Modura Fountain at the entrance to the park on Charles de Gaulle Plaza, is flanked by twenty statues designed by Constantin Baraschi. The original sculptures were destroyed, but have been recreated using a copy now found in the Bellu Cemetery.
Around Herăstrău Park you will find numerous other monuments: The Sleeping Nymph (1906), Hercules’ Battle with the Centaur (1925), by Ion Jalea, Prometheus (1960), by Marie Thomas Lambeaux, and The Monument to the Fathers of the EU on Rose Island, which consists of twelve sculptures depicting the politicians who made significant contribution to the founding of the EU.
In summer weekends, there is an open-air cinema in the meadow near the entrance to the park on Charles de Gaulle Plaza, a CreArT project. The SummerGarden is the venue for summer performances by the Constantin Tănase Revue Theater.
The other half of the park is set aside for sports and recreation. Here you will find a base for kayaking canoeing and yachting; tennis, basketball and volleyball courts; a bowling alley; and roller-skate rinks. There are also restaurants and terraces on the shore of the lake in this area.
In the area by Nordului road you will find Children’s Island.
In 2011, in the area of the Seagull Meadow (Pajiștea Pescăruș), at the intersection of Aviatorilor and Beijing Boulevards, the Green Revolution Association created Cultural Wheelbarrow (Roaba de cultură). Which in summer serves as a venue for concerts, film showings, theatre performances, exhibitions, painting and pottery workshops, dance lessons, sports activities, and an open-air library. Entrance is free. You can find a program of events at www.roabadecultura.ro
The park is the ideal place for walks, rollerskating and cycling. There is a path surrounding Lake Herăstrău, stretching for 5.9 km.
At the Charles de Gaulle Plaza and Triumphal Arch entrances there are two I’Velo bicycle hire centre . At the entrance near the Aviatorilor metro station there is a free bicycle hire center – La Pedale, with 700 bicycles to share.