Bucharest is the capital city of Romania. Once a residence of Vlad the Impaler, it was destroyed by the Ottomans and suffered various natural disasters before being restored in the 18th Century. This continued despite futher setbacks such as a fire in 1847 which burned down around a third of the city. Its status improved when Wallachia and Moldovia united in 1861 to form the single country of Romania; at this point, Bucharest was made the capital city. The admiration of French culture greatly influenced the architectural development earning it the nickname 'Little Paris'; there is even an 'Arcul de Triumf', a very close version of the French original. Over time, the style of building in the city became very eclectic, and these days has many remnants of the 20th Century Communist era, as well as contemporary design. The city is built on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, and boasts a number of lakes and large parks. Culturally, there are a good number of museums and art galleries, as well as an Opera House, several orchestras and theatres.