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After World War I, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania.In the interwar years, Bucharest's urban development continued, with the city gaining an average of 30,000 new residents each year.New districts were constructed, most of them dominated by tower blocks.During Nicolae Ceaușescu's leadership (1965–89), much of the historic part of the city was demolished and replaced by "Socialist realism" style development: (1) the Centrul Civic (the Civic Centre) and (2) the Palace of the Parliament, for which an entire historic quarter was razed to make way for Ceaușescu's megalomaniac plans.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.Bucharest finally became the permanent location of the Wallachian court after 1698 (starting with the reign of Constantin Brâncoveanu).Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea's plague in 1813–14, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia (three times between 17).
On 23 August 1944, Bucharest was the site of the royal coup which brought Romania into the Allied camp.
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.
In Romanian, the word stem bucurie means "joy" ("happiness"), Other etymologies are given by early scholars, including the one of an Ottoman traveler, Evliya Çelebi, who said that Bucharest was named after a certain "Abu-Kariș", from the tribe of "Bani-Kureiș".
Under subsequent rulers, Bucharest was established as the summer residence of the royal court.
During the years to come, it competed with Târgoviște on the status of capital city after an increase in the importance of southern Muntenia brought about by the demands of the suzerain power – the Ottoman Empire.Also, some of the city's main landmarks were built in this period, including Arcul de Triumf and Palatul Telefoanelor.