The institution of the so-called C.E.C. was founded before the construction of the C.E.C. Palace proper. Thus, the institution of this historical savings bank was set up in 1864 by order of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, but given its rapid development, it soon became obvious the specific activities carried out by the savings bank could not be any longer accommodated by its former headquarters. This is why the authorities decided the construction of a new headquarters able to comply with the amplitude of the institution’s operations.

The construction works started in 1897, an event attended by King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth themselves, and the building was inaugurated in 1900. Paul Gottereau was the architect in charge with the design, and he successfully lent a prominent French Renaissance style to the building, such that at present the C.E.C. Palace is, without overstating, one of the most graciously beautiful buildings in Bucharest. The work of Paul Gottereau was complemented by the contribution of Ion Socolescu, a Romanian architect in charge with the execution of the works. The palace is, beyond all doubts, a jewel which complements the architectural patrimony on Calea Victoriei.

A unique feature of this structure refers to the glass and metal dome (the main dome, and the largest of all the other cupolas which overtop the four corner sections of the building) set on top of the main hallway. The overall picture of the C.E.C. Palace exudes, first and foremost, elegance and balance. The interior of the palace is embellished with pictorial works by Mihail Simonide. However, its aesthetic qualities aside, the C.E.C. Palace is said to feature one of the most solid bearing structures of all the buildings in Bucharest, a reputation put to test, amongst others, during the 1977 earthquake, when the glass dome was the only element affected, with little and insignificant damage to the rest of the building.

C.E.C. Palace (Palatul C.E.C.)
13, Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, Romania

13, Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, Romania

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