Iassy (Iasi) is the old capital of Moldavia Kingdom, now part of Romania. The Palace of Culture, acknowledged as effigy of the city of Iasi, was built in the neogothic style and as such was one of the last expressions of Romanticism in the official architecture.
Although it was not raised on top of ancient foundations, as people thought at the beginning of the 20th century, the Palace was partly built on top of the ruins of the mediaeval princely courts, mentioned in a document of 1434, and partly on top of the foundations of the former (neoclassical) palace, dated to the time of Prince Alexandru Moruzi (1806-1812), rebuilt by Prince Mihail Sturza (1841-1843) and finally demolished in 1904. It was from this latter building that the Palace inherited the legend of the 365 rooms, as many as the days within one year.
The Bethlen castle is located in a beautiful park at the bottom of the citadel hill, across the street from the beautiful turn-of-the-century Administrative Palace (Prefecture). Since 1882, the castle houses the history department of the County Museum, with artifacts and displays from Antiquity, Middle Ages and up to the present. Currently the castle is undergoing restoration and the museum is being temporarily housed in the Administrative Palace.
The Old Court (Curtea Veche)
Near Dâmboviţa, the river that runs through Bucharest’s heart, there are the vestiges of the Princely Court, the oldest medieval monument in Bucharest. Built of brick in the second half of the 14th century, the city was expanded and surrounded by a defense wall during the reign (the 15th century) of Vlad “Dracula” Ţepeş, the Wallachia ruler.
Also known to the Romanians as The People’s House, The Palace of Parliament, completed between 1984 and 1989 due to the maniacal fervency of the communist president Nicolae Ceauşescu, has become the best-known and most-visited tourist site in Bucharest. Situated in the historic and geographic center of the city, on top of a hill, the Parliament Palace, having a 330,000 m² surface and a 2,550,000 m³ volume, represents the second public building in size, after Pentagon.
Its construction required demolishing a quarter of the historic center of the Capital and demanded a huge financial, as well as human, effort. More than 20.000 workers, and hundreds of architects, worked to raise the colossal edifice. At this moment, the Palace of Parliament houses Romania’s Parliament, numerous conference halls and exhibition spaces, and also The National Museum of Contemporary Art. To have an idea of the vastness of the construction, you must know that it has 12 floors and 4 underground levels, 1,100 rooms, an anti-atomic shelter, and each room has between 300 and 500 m².
Monumental sculptures, decorative floors, and laced ceilings all make up rooms, galleries and pompous halls in a mixture of traditional Romanian, Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance elements.
The huge investment in its construction and perpetual upkeep makes the Parliament Palace one of the most controversial buildings in the world.
www.cdep.ro/cic/ See also: Palatul Parlamentului (Foto), Casa Poporului (Foto)
Built in 1702 by Constantin Brâncoveanu, one of the most important rulers of Wallachia, known as a great protector of culture, Mogoşoaia Palace is the perfect representation of the style whose name is related to that of the ruler’s, the Brâncovenesc style.
Situated in a superb garden, the Cotroceni Palace presents the architectural design of a distinct unity. Built around a monastery constructed by Şerban Cantacuzino at the end of the 17th century, the whole construction reflects 3 centuries of Romanian history.