The Savings Bank Palace (1900)
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At the southern edge of Calea Victoriei the visitor encounters two monumental buildings erected around the same time, standing face to face, that define the Bucharest’s city-scape and the Belle Époque era at the turn of the 20th century, the former Postal Palace (1894-1900) and the Savings Bank Palace (1897-1900).
The Savings Bank Palace has been the headquarters of the oldest Romanian bank. The Deposit and Savings House is emblematic of the efforts of the political and economic elites to build the foundations of the public finances of the young Romanian state created after the Union of 1859. The Deposit House was set up in 1864, 16 years before the National Bank, being the first banking institution of the Romanian Principalities. The construction of a home worthy of its importance started in 1897, and King Carol I himself laid the cornerstone of the new building. The architect who designed the grandiose palace, Paul Gottereau, is one of the French architects active in the Kingdom of Romania in the late 19th century -he also designed the Carol I Royal Foundation’s building, today the University Library. (see an old image of the Savings Bank Palace)
With its characteristic appearance and the imposing glass and metal dome, the Savings Palace is an iconic building of Bucharest. Currently, the palace is being readied to become the Art Museum of the City of Bucharest.