Places of interestTuesday 31 July 2018

Fairytale palaces and boyar houses in Bucharest: the National Bank Palace, one of the most beautiful monuments of the city which rises with grandeur on the Lipscani Street in the Old City Center

On July 12, 1884, in the presence of King Carol I and the Prime-Minister I. C. Bratianu, work started for the construction of a monumental building that will host the National Bank of Romania

National Bank Palace in Bucharest

The construction project, awarded at the National Exhibition of Beaux Arts of Paris, was designed by the famous French architects, Cassien Bernard and Charles Garnier. The works are completed in 1890 and all the services of the National Bank are moved in the new building.

From an architectural point of view, the square construction combines an eclectic style (with Renaissance and French classical influences) with an academic style determined by the purpose of the building that had to host the offices of a bank.

The main façade towards Lipscani with beautiful decorations was built from stone by Rusciuc. The other three facades that are not identical are simpler but each of them is noted for a unique element. Regarding the roof, 5 cupolas covered with slate sheet are highlighted. The model used was the cupola of the Clock Tower of Louvre Palace.

In contrast with the sober architecture of the outside, the inside is rich in decorations together with an adequate organization of the functional areas.

The hallway of the counters, the most important space dedicated to the public, maintains the same decorative registry. In the vestibule, two sculptures are located representing two women holding over the head with both hands a lighting fixture.

The two monumental stairwells, with beautifully decorated handrails, go to the first floor (“the noble level of the building”) where the Honor Hallway is located as well as the Room of the Board of Directors, the Office of the Governor and the reception rooms. I

n the Room of the Board, the most pretentious decorations are found, built in an eclectic style with Baroque touches.

The walls of the Honor Hallway are refined with our large paintings signed by important painters of that era: Nicolae Grigorescu, G.D. Mirea and Eugen Voinescu.

Inside the palace, the Museum of the National Bank is also located where we can admire the monetary and banking history of Romania.

The entire palace is a visual delight with functional areas full of history, art and beauty.

Sources/photos:

 

www.bnro.ro/Vechiul-palat-BNR--1064.aspx

100delocuri.ro/muzeul-bnr/

 

Elena Radu

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