According to legend, Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur (happy) and established as a nameless settlement along the Dâbovita in 1368. Eventually the settlement was named Bucharest due to an ordinance given by Vlad Tepesi (Dracula) and in 1659 Bucharest became the capital of Romania.
After continuous growth and many attacks by Turks, Austrians, Russians, as well as natural disasters, in 1890 Bucharest was renovated and remodeled in the style of Haussman's Paris. Many of the major buildings in the city were also built or designed by French architects before World War I. These architectural choices give Bucharest the nickname: Paris of the East or as Romanians call it, Little Paris. An earthquake in 1977 prompted the construction of major city projects - subway system and airport - and also allowed communist leader Ceausescu to make his vision of the city a reality. In December 1989 Bucharest had the most violent revolution in Eastern Europe and in 2007 Romania became part of the European Union.