The Cotroceni Palace enjoys, when compared with all the other palaces in Bucharest, the most consistent historical background. The nowadays palace was erected in 1888, by order of Prince Carol I, who commissioned Paul Gottereau to build a royal residence, which he successfully did, lending the structure a graceful Classical Venetian style. However, a significant part of the history of the Cotroceni Palace goes back earlier than the construction of the palace proper.

Thus, Prince Şerban Cantacuzino ordered the construction of a religious complex consisting of a monastery, a church and adjoining structures in 1679 (a work completed two years later), the site of his choice being the former Cotroceni Hill. Constantin Brâncoveanu continued his work, mostly due to his preference to sojourn at the monastery. Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the first Prince of the united Moldavia and Wallachia, was also drawn to spending the summer season at the Cotroceni monastery. Until the reign of Prince Carol I, the religious complex had already made way to the erection of a princely residence. Carol I used the residence, but he decided a newer and brighter venue should replace the former structure, which is precisely why he ordered the beginning of the works in 1888. The north wing of the palace and sundry other adjacent structures were added only later, being build by following the designs of Grigore Cerchez. In the late 19th century, the Cotroceni Palace became the residence of Prince Ferdinand and Princess Maria.

The earthquake which shook Bucharest in 1977 affected the Cotroceni Palace too. However, one of the greatest losses the original architectural complex ever suffered refers to the demolition of the historical monastery built by Şerban Cantacuzino. The monastery was pulled down by order of Nicolae Ceauşescu, in 1984, the year when the construction works at the Parliament Palace started in Bucharest.

At present, the Cotroceni Palace is the seat of the Romanian presidency, and it has been performing this function since immediately after the 1989 Revolution. It is also home to the Cotroceni Museum. Unlike the museum, which can be visited only on request and by making reservations, the palace as such is opened to visits only when the president decides (usually, once a year).

Cotroceni Palace (Palatul Cotroceni)
1, Blvd. Geniului, Bucharest, Romania
0040 021 317310

1, Blvd. Geniului, Bucharest, Romania

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