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Cotroceni Palace

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Bucharest is not only a modern city, but it is also filled with history. On every street and in every neighborhood you can find a building that tells stories, and one of them is the Cotroceni Palace. While you are in Bucharest, make sure you take a day to visit it; you will not regret.

The Cotroceni Palace is the home of the President of Romania, but even so a part of it is open for visitation since 27 of December 1991 when the National Museum of Cotroceni was opened. The building goes back to 1679, when one of the rules of Romania built a monastery. A church and other small buildings were added in the next two years, but not all of them are still standing today. In 1862, the first ruler or Romanian Principalities, Alexandru Ioan Cuza decided to make the monastery his home during the summer months.

Years later, in 1984, the church that was built near the monastery was demolished following the orders of the former communist ruler of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu. 5 more years and a revolution passed until the monastery became officially the residence of the President of Romania. Today, only the Museum of Cotroceni is open for visitation, but during certain times of the year visitors are allowed to take the tour of the Palace and see the building where the President lives. Yes, sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of the President while he is going in or out of the Palace.

cotroceni-palace-garden

In the Museum of Cotroceni the visitors have the chance to see not only an impressive example of old architecture, but also important art objects from the history of Romania. Dozens of famous paintings made by Romanian artists and not only can be seen there, as well as many objects that used to belong to the Royal Family of Romania. In a wing of the Museum the visitors can see parts of what was left of the old church Cotroceni, as well as religious paintings that were hidden during communism.

In the Museum you can find tour guides that speak many different languages, so you will have the chance to find out the story of the artifacts that are presented here even if you don’t speak the Romanian language.

If you are lucky, you might find one of the many international exhibitions that can be visited here in different times of the year, and you can attend various events like concerts, debates and conferences and book launches.

After you finish visiting the Museum, do not forget to go to the souvenir boutique that is waiting inside the building and get something that will remind you of the beautiful experience you had in Romania.

Romanian Military Museum King Ferdinand I

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The National Military Museum King Ferdinand I is one of the largest historical institution from Romania. The museum has a surface of 22,150 square meters, being one of the most important and visited cultural attractions in the country. The exhibition area is composed of buildings with a total number of nine floors and an exterior park dedicated to military technique where there are displayed artillery items, armors and vehicles.

The National Military Museum includes 7 pavilions organized into: Pavilion A for ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary military history and Lapidarium; Pavilion B for the collections of uniforms, armaments and the exhibition hall; Pavilion C for the library, the restoration laboratory, deposits and workshops; Pavilion D for the administration of the National Military Museum; Pavilion C1 for the aviation section; Pavilion F for the collection of carts and carriages; and the Pavilion for artillery, tanks and vehicles.

The Romanian Military Museum’s Campus includes 1.280.000 items, organized into: 27 collections with fire arms, Romanian uniforms, uniforms of foreign orders, medals, plaques, badges, coins, archeology, flags, religious objects, artillery and gunners endowment; 22 documentary collections with heritage clichés, current books, periodicals, original photographs, letters and manuscripts, prints, drawings, old books, fund “The Heroes Cult “. Out of these collections, a small part is exhibited along with the permanent exhibitions, the other part being displayed to the public within the temporary expositions organized inside the museum or in collaboration with other museums in the country or abroad.

Some of the most extraordinary and rarest objects included in the National Military Museum’s patrimony are: the orders’ necklaces of Carol I, the Religious Service, the Ruling House and Romania’s Star. The orders of Mihai Viteazu, Philip the Noble (Hessa-Darmstadt), Pius IX (Vatican), Cristos (Portugalia), Leopold (Belgia), The Lion and the Sun( Persia), Spade (Sweden / Norway), Baii (England), the Legion of Honor (France), Crown of Italy, Maurice and Lazarus (Italy), Phoenix (Greece), Knight of the Iron Cross (Germany) and many others.

The collection of flags includes numerous valuable pieces, some of which we should mention the royal flag of Constantin Ipsilanti, flags and banners of military units from 1830 to date, royal pavilions and foreign flags.

The Romanian Military Museum King Ferdinand I plays a very important role in knowing the historical traditions of the Romanian army. Founded in 1923 by a decree signed by King Ferdinand, this institution enjoyed over the years both the attention of the Royal House, which made numerous donations, as well as the support of some very important personalities like Radu Rosetti, Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcas, Vasile Parvan and Nicolae Iorga.

The valuable patrimony of the Museum is mostly represented by objects related to the military field, but it offers such a diverse and important cultural experience.  A visit to the National Military Museum equals a voyage in time and space, a chance to discover and admire the way in which there are recreated different historical eras.

The Old Princely Court

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The Old Princely Court was the first Royal Court built in Bucharest. Initially, it included a Palace, a church, spaces meant for servants and the royal gardens. We know only a few details about the Court’s founder, but according to historical researchers who have studied the history of Bucharest, it was built by Mircea cel Batran. Today, the Old Princely Court is an outdoor museum which hosts quite often cultural events, festivals and medieval art fairs.

The first Royal building in Bucharest, the Old Princely Court was constructed by Mircea cel Batran between the end of the XIV century and the beginning of the XV century. It is one of the most important historical sites from the Capital’s Old Town. In 1972 it was turned into a museum that has the same name and which is an original representation of the vestiges of the royal residences from the XVI-XIX centuries. Even now you can still see the foundations of the XIV century city and the stone walls of Bucurestilor city.

The Old Princely Court was the place where for a couple hundred years the nobles used to gather, where the history of a country that was mostly under the Ottoman’s threat was written. The Old Court was also the place where the first Romanian literature was born, where the national spirit regained its originality through art and culture.

According to historians, the Old Princely Court was located on a very tall hill and it was surrounded to the South by the very high bank of the Dambovita River and to the other cardinal points by very strong walls. The access into the Old Court was possible through two opposite gates.

The first gate which was located at the intersection of Smardan and Halelor Street had several names like the Upper Gate, The German Tower, the Royal Bell, and much later after the stone tower was ruined, the Red Tower. The second gate, the Lower Gate, was located in the place where Mosilor Street begins.

In the XV century, Vlad Tepes, the ruller of the Romanian Country, consolidated the city and turned it into his royal residence, an alternative to the one he already had in Targoviste.

The old Princely Court suffered over the years numerous restorations works, starting with second half of the XIV century, from Basarab cel Tanar and until Mircea Ciobanul, Matei Basarab and Constantin Brancoveanu.

After the fire from 1718 which destroyed almost the entire Bucharest and after the earthquake in 1738, the Old Princely Court was closed.

Nowadays, the Old Court is just a cluster of ruins – a few ancient Turkish baths and old walls that mark the limits of the former royal palace. The ruins of the Old Princely Court become a protected archaeological site, turned into a museum named “Old Princely Court Museum”. It is a very interesting and fascinating tourist attraction in Bucharest that offers a rich and unique cultural experience.

House Melik

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The Museum Theodor Pallady, hosted by House Melik, is one of the oldest buildings in Bucharest, which hides behind its walls a rich and troubled history. Even though it was abandoned in 1857 and damaged by a fire in 1913, it still impresses its visitors with an amazing architecture and unique charm.

Among the narrow streets and the rich architectural stories next to the Armeneasca, on Spatarului Street no.22, in a lush garden with yellow, white and red flowers there is hidden a discrete and graceful old house that is recognized by many specialists as one of the oldest constructions in Romania’s Capital.

As opposed to many other historical monuments in Bucharest, House Melik has been renovated, once in 1970 and most recently in 2009. Still, the building preserves the distinctive style of the traditional Romanian architecture through details such as the upstairs porch closed with window glass, the wooden interior staircase and the wide eaves roof.

Built in the second half of the XVIII century, the house probably belonged to an important personality from the Romanian Country, and after his death the property was bought by Kevork Nazaretoglu, a rich Armenian merchant. He decided to renovate the house in 1822, by making small changes at its interior, but keeping the main walls untouched. His granddaughter married Jacob Melik who has studied architecture in Paris. When they decided to move into the house, this was in ruins. He decided to fix it and restore its original style.

Currently, the Museum Theodor Pallady includes the collection of the couple Serafina and Gheorghe Raut, which features a few canvases signed by Theodor Pallady, as well as an important selection of over 800 drawings and engravings of the famous Romanian painters, works that are representative for his Parisian period. These are exhibited periodically in thematic series.

Along Pallady’s works, the collection of the Raut couple includes European painting from the XVI-XIX centuries( French works signed by Lubin Baugin, Edmond Aman Jean, Carolus Duran; Dutch by Jan van de Cappelle; English, Spanish and Romanian), ancient Greco-Roman sculptures, Egyptian, Indian, but also French and Italian Renaissance sculptures, textiles, furniture pieces, oriental ceramics and other decorative art objects. Through its diversity, the collection completes the perspective on the Romanian and European art history from the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century.

Many people walk daily in front of it. Most do not even notice its beauty, preoccupied only by their city routine. Others just take a quick look at its majestic outside. House Melik is one of the oldest buildings in Bucharest and it still keeps its original architecture. The house with such an exotic name- Melik- is the location of the Theodor Pallady Museum, a place really valuable that few have the chance of exploring. Right from the entrance, the house invites anyone to admire its wonderful and unique exhibits. The house’s architecture, its richly artful interior, the valuable paintings, the refined furnishing and the decorative objects manage to impress. There is no need for a guide if you know how to savor art peacefully, listen to the house’s interior pulse and absorb its historical significance.

Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum

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On the shore of Herastrau lake, right in the heart of Romanian’s Capital, visitors have the joy of discovering a real village, one with monuments and artifacts from the XVII century, unique constructions originating from the most important ethnographic areas that had the chance to reborn within the Dimitrie Gusti National Museum.

Creating the Village Museum wasn’t a sudden decision. It was the result of an intensive and sustained research work, both theoretic and practical, to numerous museum experiments that were coordinated for more than a decade by the professor Dimitrie Gusti, the founder of Bucharest’s Sociological School. Basing the project on this extensive work and on the financial support of the Royal Foundation “Prince Carol”, in only two months the Village Museum was built. In this very short period, the specialist and student teams organized and coordinated by Dimitrie Gusti and H.H. Stahl, bought from the researched villages peasants’ constructions such as houses, churches, technical installations, and interior objects like furniture, ceramics, textiles and tools, considered as being representatives for their places of origins.

 The official opening of the National Village Museum took place on the 20th of May 1936 in the presence of King Carol II, and it was opened to the public a week later, on the 17th of May 1936. Back then, the museum included about 4.5 hectares. On this land one could visit 33 authentic households, one church, fountains and a swing. The design was completed by the playwrighter and stage designer V.I. Popa.

If you want to experience the unique village life, the authentic reality of the Romanian peasant then the National Village Museum is a place that you simply cannot miss. The charm of the scenery, the extraordinary architecture, the craftsmanship of the objects exhibited and the cultural richness are just a few of the things that intrigue us when we are visiting this institution.

The research campaigns and the acquisitions made within the last years have contributed to the growth of the patrimony that is exhibited outside and of the current collections. At the moment, the permanent exhibition includes 123 different households, over 363 monuments, and the mobile patrimony counts about 50,000 objects. One of the greatest advantages of the National Village Museum is its diversity. Among the monuments recently transferred in the museum, at the beginning of 2003, there is the Timiseni Church from Gorj, a monument that has a special value for the old religious rural architecture and for the execution of the paintings. Besides the patrimony displayed outside, the museum also holds a rich documentary database with an invaluable historical and ethnographic importance. This database is compiled from collections of manuscripts, studies, sketches, drawings, surveys, drawings, glass clichés, films, color and black and white negatives and photographs.

All visitors have access to all these traditional Romanian treasures and at the same time enjoy the unique chance of experiencing a part of the fascinating life of the peasant and the authentic village that represents the core origins of Romanian people, their wonderful culture and charming history.

MNAC

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MNAC is actually an acronym for the Contemporary Art Museum in Bucharest, a place that offers a lot of interesting cultural events as well as various exhibits from numerous interesting Romanian artists. You can easily access it as it is part of the Palace of the Parliament on Calea 13 Septembrie, by getting off at the Izvor metro station. If you want to take a break from your stroll through Bucharest this is a great alternative to the busy historical center. You will find it to be a lot less crowded and definitely friendlier.

The building itself is pretty awesome and should be part of your itinerary if you come to Bucharest. If you love art, especially unique art, you will really like this place because you can also visit the museum while you’re there. The museum features an interesting bar where a lot of local artists meet. The best part of it is its wonderful terrace and since it’s on the 4th floor, it offers a great view to those who want to enjoy a drink there. The bar has a very artistic vibe to it as well as a little library where people can purchase art books. It is usually filled with art students and creative people and it’s a great place if you are a foreigner looking to meet interesting Romanians. The whole atmosphere is very relaxed and the terrace is a great way to spend a hot afternoon or to watch the city lights during the night. The bar itself has a classic setting with a few tables and chairs where you can enjoy a drink with friends while listening to a wide variety of music.

If you’re hungry there are a few food choices like snacks and salads but that’s about it. The drinks are typical for a bar and they may vary depending on the type of event that takes place there. Speaking of events, if you are lucky you might encounter one while visiting MNAC bar. They are usually art events, film screenings or music shows that usually end with a cool party on the top floor so make sure that you check their website before going and you will definitely have a lot of fun. This is a great location to go with your friends and have a good time or to have a nice and very interesting date with someone as the location is pretty romantic in the evening.

Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History

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Among the numerous cultural institutions and tourist attractions that are available in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History stands out as one of the most interesting, modern and eye-catching museums in the city and perhaps in the entire South Eastern European region.

Located in the northern part of Bucharest, a stone’s throw from the culturally diverse city center and a host of other interesting tourist attractions, the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History boasts one of the richest collections of historic artifacts in the country.

The museum has a rich history being founded in the early decades of the 19th century, in 1834 to be more precise. The museum started with a substantial donation of exhibits from Alexandru Ghica, the brother of Mihalache Ghica, one of the rulers of Walachia during the 19th century.

The collection included old byzantine and roman coins, an extensive mineral rock collection, numerous fossils as well as mollusks, fish, birds and mammals all beautifully preserved for posterity. The collection also included a number of sculptures and paintings which can still be seen today.

After having its headquarters moved several times throughout Bucharest, the museum settled in its current location on Kiseleff Boulevard. The beautiful historic building which houses the museum is well preserved, boasting several 19th century neo-Classical and Beaux Arts details.

The permanent exhibition has been modernly arranged after a thorough renovation of the entire museum and now showcases some of the most beautiful dioramas of natural life in this part of Europe.

Amongst the ones that truly stand out are: the Black Sea Diorama which showcases the entire fauna of Romania’s only bordering sea; a Carpathian Deer being attacked by wolves in a stunning portrayal of day-to-day life in the Carpathian ecosystem; the monah seal diorama, the only seal known to have existed on the Romanian shores of the Black Sea; an Alpine region diorama boasting all the particularities of the fauna and flora found there; a diorama of the Arctic Waters which includes several species of birds as well as fish, sea lions, seals and polar bears; an Atlantic diorama which boasts the rich wildlife found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are several more dioramas as well as a host of other artifacts which include fossils as well as complete skeletal remains of whales and dinosaurs. The museum is a great way to spend an afternoon in one of Bucharest most beautiful areas while also learning a lot about the natural history of Romania.

Bucharest’s National Peasant Museum

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Bucharest, the capital of Romania boasts some of the most impressive and diverse tourist attractions the country has to offer. From historical churches to beautiful parks or scars from the country’s dictatorial past you will find it all in Bucharest.

The capital city also offers some stunning museum that tourists can visit while spending time there. One of the most interesting and authentic is the Romanian Peasant Museum, which boasts a huge collection of traditional Romanian art, unique sculptural elements and even architecture.

The Romanian Peasant Museum is under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and is part of the Museums of Popular Art family that spans across numerous museums and cultural institutions within Europe.

The Museum is located in one of the best areas in Northern Bucharest, being surrounded by numerous other attractions while also being in close proximity to the historic district of the city. The area provides a lot of parking space and is well supplied with public transport stations, including bus and metro stops.

The museum is composed of an indoor series of exhibits as well as an outdoor part which stretches over one of Bucharest’s most interesting green spaces. The building which hosts a lot of the artifacts of the museum is built in the traditional Neo-Romanian style, being in itself a unique part of Romanian traditional culture and architecture.

The interesting exhibits and presentation as well as the rich historical background was rewarded in 1996 with the European Museum of the Year Award. The museum isn’t restricted only to what it can offer on its premises as it also publishes a number of interesting magazines while also organizing unique events such as the Missionary Museum or a series of Village School concerts as well as other conferences and special exhibitions.

Besides numerous unique historical objects and tools, the museum also boasts a rich collection of classic peasant building from all areas of Romania. Among building styles included in the exterior collection visitors will find influences from regions like Transylvania, Moldova, Dobrogea or the old kingdom of Walachia.

Among the exhibits in the interior wing of the museum tourists can find a series of utilitarian and artistic objects that peasants used throughout the last five centuries in the Romanian principalities. These objects include kitchenware, clothing as well as tools used to work the land or with animals. All objects come with a well-researched and historically accurate description.

Lvmen est omen at Romanian Peasant’s Museum

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Throughout the months of July and August, you can visit at the Romanian Peasant’s Museum in Bucharest an interesting exhibition intriguingly called “Lvmen est omen”. The opening event took place on July 3rd and the exhibition is organized in close collaboration by a number of cultural Romanian and international institutions like Transylvania’s Ethnographic Museum from Cluj, Romanian Peasant’s Museum in Bucharest, Brukenthal National Museum from Sibiu,  Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization from Deva, Research Institute of Eco-museum  from Tulcea, Astra Museum from Sibiu and the Museum of Art and History from Geneva. Before this exhibition will close its doors on August 31st, you can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 AM and 6 PM in Foaier Hall of Romanian Peasant’s Museum.

Muzeului Naţional al Ţăranului Român

This exhibition is an interesting idea if you are looking for an educational yet fun activity for your kids’ summer vacation. Nevertheless, the exhibition is also appealing to adults willing to know more about the field of electricity and its evolution on the Romanian territory.

Organized in four sections, the exhibition allows visitors to discover the role that light holds in our everyday life, on its different aspects (religious, professional, and even festive). It’s a cultural event inviting to a deeper reflection on the symbolic value of this physical phenomenon, and on the social impact of artificial lighting.

The whole idea behind this exhibition is to illustrate the evolution of lighting on five continents through a selection of photographs and documents, dating from ancient times until the advent of electricity. You can admire there more than three hundred exhibits, including lamps, lanterns and chandeliers, all with an educative purpose, but keeping an eye on the aesthetic side as well as on the playful one.

Address: Soseaua Kiseleff 3

Tel: +40 213179660

Fashion History Exhibition at Romania’s National Museum of History

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A Romanian proverb says that the garment does not make the man. A cultural event, the fashion history exhibition taking place at Romania’s National Museum of History throughout the summer comes to say contradict the saying by talking about the evolution of garments along the last six centuries. The opening vernissage was held on May 15th, at 5 PM, but the exhibition will be open to the public until August 24th.

history museum bucharest

If you are in the mood for an educational experience as well as a very stylish couple of hours, you can visit the museum in Calea Victoriei no. 12, Bucharest. Organized by a series of top cultural institutions in the country, the exhibition allows you to understand how the field of clothing and garments evolved since the beginning of the 15th century until present days. You can admire here the clothes that were typical for different layers of the population during this period of time. From the uniforms kids were wearing in school, to the dresses and garments worn by the nobility, from military and police uniforms to the bohemian style of clothing, all this is on display at Romania’s National Museum of History this summer.

While some of the exhibits are of unknown origin, many come from important personalities within the Romanian history – the Romanian rulers Alexandru cel Bun and Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Transylvania’s princes – Gabriel Bathory and Gabriel Bethlen, Romania’s kings Carol I, Ferdinand I, queens Elizabeth and Maria, literary figures like Mihail Kogălniceanu, Vasile Alecsandri, Ion Heliade Rădulescu, Nicolae Iorga, etc. Whether you are interested in history or in fashion, this exhibition offers you a different way of learning interesting details about how the garments became what they are today. Open between 10 AM and 6 PM, Wednesday to Sunday, this exhibition is a nice way of spending a summer afternoon.

Address: Calea Victoriei nr.12,

Tel: +40 213158207

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