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In 1781, Austrian historian Franz Sulzer claimed that it was related to bucurie (joy), bucuros (joyful), or a se bucura (to become joyful), while an early 19th-century book published in Vienna assumed its name has been derived from "Bukovie", a beech forest.The Ottomans appointed Greek administrators (Phanariotes) to run the town from the 18th century.
The Romanian name București has an uncertain origin.
On 23 March 1847, a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings, destroying a third of the city.
In 1862, after Wallachia and Moldavia were united to form the Principality of Romania, Bucharest became the new nation's capital city.
During this period, gas lighting, horse-drawn trams, and limited electrification were introduced. The extravagant architecture and cosmopolitan high culture of this period won Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris) of the east, with Calea Victoriei as its Champs-Élysées.
Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest, with the official capital temporarily moved to Iași, in the Moldavia region.
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".
Also, some of the city's main landmarks were built in this period, including Arcul de Triumf and Palatul Telefoanelor.
In January 1941, the city was the scene of the Legionnaires' rebellion and Bucharest pogrom.
In 1881, it became the political centre of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Romania under King Carol I.
During the second half of the 19th century, the city's population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began.
Under subsequent rulers, Bucharest was established as the summer residence of the royal court.