Mita Biciclista, the woman who puts Bucharest on fire
Maria Mihaescu, born in 1885 in a village of Prahova County, was one of the legendary figures of Bucharest. Why? Because the eccentric woman who lived her glory years in the interbelic period has made for least one good thing: she put the Bucharest on fire. Not literally. Her nickname was Mița Biciclista, which can be translated by Mitza The Bicycler.
Mița was a beautiful woman, with deep blue eyes, every man’s dream. She got her nickname from the journalist George Ranetti who saw her first riding a bicycle through the Bucharest’s city center. She was the first Bucharest lady to do this activity. In fact, she was more than that. She was one of the first luxury lady escorts of the city.
A beautiful woman with many lovers
She went on the streets, picking her clients by herself, aiming good looking wealthy men. Even if she was born in a poor family (her mother was a laundrywoman) she had the chance for having an elevated education, in a foreign pension. And, another chance, her first lover was Prince Leopold of Belgium. Other important men stood after Leopold on Maria’s lovers list. Among them – painter Nicolae Grigorescu and poet Octavian Goga. Rumours said that she was asked by King Manuel of Portugal and also King Ferdinand of Romania had a short affair with her. According to some stories, Ferdinand offered her an expensive building in Bucharest, which at that time had a huge value of over 4 million lei. The house still exists today and you can see it below.
Maria was very beautiful, her hair was short cut (very rarely for women in that era) and her charm was irresistible. She lived a life of luxury, she use to dine at Athenee Palace (an expensive restaurant in the center of Bucharest), she had a coupe car and servants, she was a fashion lover, always in good style and shed used to ride the bicycle just to stay in shape. Above all, she took public baths extremely summary dressed, contrary to the feminine behaviour of the era.
She felt in love with Nicolae Minovici, a very well known coroner, having in mind a marriage, but finally she got married to army general Alexandru Dumitrescu. When time goes by and money was gone, the legend says that she was dressing her husband in beggar clothes and sending him on the streets. Her only possesion remained the house, but after 1945, when the communist took the power in Romania, they nationalised it. Maria died poor, at the age of 83.