Nicknamed “Little Paris of the East,” Bucharest is Romania’s cultural capital. The first written appearance of the name Bucharest dates from 1459, when it was recorded as “Bucharesti” in a document of the ruler of Walachia, Vlad III the Impaler. The fortress of Bucharest, the first of many, was built to protect the Walachian state from the Turks. Bucharest developed rapidly as the main economic center of Walachia and became the capital in 1659. Noteworthy buildings include the Palace of Justice, Arch of Triumph and Antim Monastery.