The former Royal Palace (1937)
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This majestic edifice, rebuilt in 1937 following a devastating fire, was for decades the power center of the Romanian monarchy.
At his arrival in the country, Prince Carol of Hohenzollern, the future Romanian King, established his residence in the same palace used by his predecessor Alexandru Ioan Cuza, a former boyar house. But the house had not been deemed appropriate for a princely residence, especially after Romania was proclaimed a Kingdom in 1881. The French architect Paul Gottereau was placed in charge of building a new wing, with a Throne Hall and reception rooms. In 1885 the palace was further extended with a north wing, the Guard House. There are a number of old postcards showing the Royal Palace as it was at the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately, in 1926 a fire heavily damaged the central body of the Palace, and King Carol II rebuilt it entirely in the late 1930s, in a more simplified and sober Neo-Classical style.
The Royal Palace witnessed important historical moments of modern Romania. It was here that, on August 23rd 1944, the then young King Mihai I (Michael I) publicly announced the fundamental change of the orientation of the country in the WWII, leaving the military alliance of the Axis and joining the Allies. In front of the Palace took place in November 1945 the first anti-communist rally in Romania. On December 30th 1947, the monarchy was abolished in Romania and King Michael left, for a long time, his country and the Palace.
Today, the former Royal Palace houses the valuable National Art Museum, with a particularly interesting section of Medieval Art.