City (pop., 2007 est.: 1,931,838), capital of Romania. Excavations have revealed evidence of prehistoric settlement. The site gained importance when the rulers of Walachia moved there in the 14th century. Vlad III built a fortress there in the 15th century to ward off invading Turks; they eventually took it and made it their Ottoman Walachian capital in 1659. In the 19th century civic unrest helped force the union of Walachia and Moldavia, and Bucharest became the capital of the new Romanian state in 1862. Occupied by the Soviet army after World War II, it came under communist control. During the 1980s it was the scene of political demonstrations against the government of Nicolae Ceausescu that resulted in his overthrow and execution.