Palaces of Bucharest (Part I)

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[mk_social_networks][mk_image src=”” image_height=”0″ title=”The Palace of Parliament ” desc=”Photo source:” caption_location=”outside-image”][mk_image src=”” image_height=”0″ title=”The Royal Palace ” desc=”Photo source:” caption_location=”outside-image”]

Bucharest is home to some magnificent, impressive looking palaces. These imposing architectural gems are now home to the finest and most interesting museums, public or private institutions. Stay with us and have a taste of what the most important historical highlights and valuable features are.

Cotroceni Palace has for sure a rich historical background. It was at first a church, monastery and a princely court build by Serban Cantacuzino in 1679. Carol I turned it into a bigger living place, and in the late 19th century, the Cotroceni Palace became the residence of King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie. Between 1968 and 1984 the church became a religious art museum. The palace was restored between 1977 and 1988 by Ceausescu as a luxurious hotel for diplomats. Now, the Cotroceni Palace is the official residence of the President of Romania and home to National Cotroceni Museum. It is less probably to sip a coffee together with the President, but you can visit the museum and church with a prior reservation.

The Palace of Parliament is the seat of the Parliament of Romania and a truly colossal (not by far overstating) symbol of Bucharest. This gigantic structure is the second largest administrative building in the world, only after the Pentagon. The construction of the Palace began in 1984 almost entirely with materials of Romanian origin and initially should have been completed in two years. Even as we write about this, it is not finalized yet. It houses the two Senate and Deputies Chambers, an international conference centre, and The National Museum of Contemporary Art. Luckily, the most expensive administrative building in the world is opened to visits, so prepare yourself to see how extreme luxury looks like.

The Royal Palace hosts the Romanian National Art Museum since 1950. Its history starts back in 1820 when Dinicu Golescu first planned its construction. In 1837 it became home to Prince Alexandru Ghica, and, then to Alexandru Ioan Cuza and Prince Carol I. Most of the present structure is the same at it was in 1937, when King Carol II decided to have the palace rebuilt. This outstanding Neo-Classical building was literally on fire twice. Parts of it burned in 1926 and again during the ‘89 Revolution. Don’t you worry – there is no sign of these incidents now, as it was gloriously restored and can be visited as well.


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