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Cotroceni Palace – Cotroceni National Museum


  • today it is the residence of Romania’s Presidency
  • It is in Bucharest, on Geniului Boulevard no. 1.
  • in 1679 prince Stefan Cantacuzino raised a monastery in Cotroceni hill
  • in 1888 king Carol I of Romania built a palace in the monastery precincts to serve him as residence in Bucharest
  • The building was raised at the end of the 19th c., in the precincts of Cotroceni Monastery, in a privileged, quiet and green area of Bucharest.The plans of the building were made by architect Paul Gottereau in Venetian Classical style

  • later, the Romanian architect Grigore Cerchez rebuilt the northern wing in national Romantic style, adding a big hall, with a terrace on top and two look-out towers with columns, of which one was the replica of the famous watch tower of Hurez Monastery

  • the palace, the church and the monastery reflect three centuries of history along which a long line of remarkable personalities made decisions and led Romania from here, starting with the founder of the palace, the rich prince Serban Cantacuzino. Among them are worth mentioning Constantin Brancoveanu, Nicolae and Constantin Mavrocordat, Alexandru Ipsilanti, Constantin Gheorghe Hangerli, Alexandru Moruzi, Barbu Stirbei, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Carol I of Hohenzollern – Simaringen, Ferdinand I.
  • Between 1949-1976, Cotroceni Palace changed its former destination, becoming The Pioneers’ Palace
  • After the earthquake of 1977 because of the damages, it was restored, and president Nicolae Ceausescu changed it in guest house; the restauration work, led by architect Nicolae Vladescu, lasted about 10 years. Important surface of the palace was restored according to the witnesses of the epoch, while other parts of it were restored in the spirit of the European princely residences of the 19th c.
  • the great number of transformations resulted in a stylistic diversity of the interior decoration
  • In 1984 the church raised by Serban Cantncuzino was demolished in one night. Now, the foundation of the church is surrounded by marble plates.
  • Since 12th of July, 1991,through a government decision, the National Cotroceni Museum was organized in the old wing of the palace, being subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. It was opened to public on the 27th of December 1991
  • In 1994, Cotroceni National Museum was rewarded with European Museum of the Year Award – Special Commendation 1994.


First Floor


The Hall of Honour

  • In spite of the changes brought to the palace, the Hall of Honour was preserved almost intact, its decorative composition reminding of the Opera House in Paris, made by Charles Garnier, in French Neoclassical style.
  • The monumental stairs make the connection with the first level of the palace, that lodges (houses) the official drawing-rooms. A long corridor leads us to the first room of the palace: the German dining-room .
  • Decorated in the Renaissance German style, the dining-room was restored according to the decorative conception of architect Gottereau. It reflects the taste imposed by king Carol I during the first period of building the palace (1893-1895)




Cotroceni Palace Library

  • King Ferdinand’s study is the only room that did not need any rebuilding, it was preserved almost intact. In the epoch, the library contained the rich fund of king Ferdinand’s botanic books; at present books that belonged to the Royal family of Romania are displayed.

The big reception room

  • It was queen Mary’s ambition to record the new statute of monarchy through new works of construction at Cotroceni. So, two rooms from Gottereau’s period were changed - the ball roomand the famous dining-room, in which on the 14th of August 1914, was signed the entering of Romania in the First World War.
  • Today it is called “Spatiul Cerchez”, restored between 1925-1926 by the Romanian architect Grigore Cerchez in Neo-Romanian style but which in the epoch was known as “the white drawing room” and it really was a success. It is close to and continues stylistically with Cotroceni dining-room , the latter being built, probably, before World War I

The Hunting Room

  • The working arrangements in the present form of the hunting room were made along the years 1926-1927.To decorate this room, king Ferdinand sent architect Karel Limann to the traditional suppliers of the Royal House.

The Flower Room

  • One of the first room arranged by queen Maria, a room full of light filtered through the stained-glass windows, a room with exhibits whose floral decorative leit-motif suggested its name.

Cotroceni Palace Dining-room

  • In the royal dining-room there are the unmistakable pieces of furniture that are said to be 'designed' by queen Maria herself. This ensemble, consisting of "king Arthur’s big table" and 24 chairs is, stylistically, an example of original art-deco, peculiar to the queen’s conception.


The Second Floor


If stress was laid upon the restauration of the interiors at Cotroceni National Museum that remained intact or almost intact, special problems were raised by those rooms radically modified in time, trying as much as possible, that through proper architectural solutions to preserve the initial composition idea.

To this category of rooms, the witnesses of the epoch were less or were completely absent, the solution to rebuild the decorative atmosphere specific to the end of the 19th c. and the beginning of the 20th c. was chosen.

  • The massive orders made by the Royal House to foreign firms starting with 1895, having as main suppliers those from Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Munchen), explains the remarkable volume of sober, NeoRenaissance furniture that is to be found in the museum patrimony.

Biedermayer Appartment

The Royal Dinning-room

  • Its distribution and location in apartments – different from the initial arrangements – took into account the solutions chosen at the restauration, the furniture, all along its display, making permanent recall of the interior in which it was placed.

The Oriental Room

  • It was by turn: a pyrography workshop, a studio or classroom for princesses, then in the end again a drawing- room.
  • The furniture is of Oriental origin while the bronze and china pieces complete this atmosphere.

The Royal Apartment

  • It consists of a small, intimate study, having few pieces of furniture and a large bedroom, with a marble fireplace, a table and some armchairs that one can hardly notice, a monumental bed that dominates the room.- The Royal Apartament tries to rebuild the atmosphere wished by the first sleeping partner of the palace, king Carol I, who appreciated the old German styles in decorating interiors.

Henry II Room

  • The room is connected with a series of apartaments found along a corridor in L,
  • Starting with this area, the furniture offers the possibility of a tour in the history of decorative art ( accent being laid on France)

  • It is placed on the north-eastern side, with a magnificent view towards the gardens of the Palace
  • Ludovic XV room has a bedroom on each side
  • Ludovic XVI bedroom, … being used as such by king Ferdinand, too, is placed on the eastern side of the Palace, a dressing connecting it with queen Maria’s apartment

Queen Maria’s Bedroom

  • Queen Maria’s bedroom was restored according to the variant of 1929. Queen Maria chose the Tudor style for the new decoration of the interior.









The Norwegian Room

  • "Being separated from many things I had been used to, I created, slowly, my own atmosphere, approved or disapproved, according to the critics’nature", queen Maria confessed in her Memories. So, the unusual brown room or the small Norwegian room came into being.



Adam and Empire Style Apartament

  • Another apartment, opening towards the western wing of the Palace, mingles in the two rooms styles of the end of the 18th c. and the beginning of the 19th c., inspired by sobre forms of the antiquity which were put up-to date due to the discoveries at Pompei and Herculanum.

Copyright ©2009

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