Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest

Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest (must see)

The Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall in the center of Bucharest and an architectural landmark of the Romanian capital city. Opened in 1888, this ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and the home of the George Enescu Philharmonic and the George Enescu annual international music festival.

Dedicated to serve the needs of art and science, the Romanian Atheneum Cultural Society was founded in 1865 by a group of cultural and scientific personalities, such as Constantin Esarcu, V. A. Urechia and Nicolae Creţulescu. The building was designed by French architect Albert Galleron, and was built on the property that once belonged to the Văcărescu family. Although the building itself was inaugurated in 1888, the actual work on it continued until 1897. A portion of the construction funds was raised by public subscription in the course of a 28-year long campaign, the slogan of which is still remembered today as "Donate one leu for the Ateneu!"

On December 29, 1919, the Atheneum hosted the conference of prominent Romanians who voted to ratify the unification of Bessarabia, Transylvania, and Bukovina with the Romanian Old Kingdom in a bid to resurrect Greater Romania.

Extensive reconstruction and restoration work was conducted in 1992 by a Romanian construction company and restoration painter Silviu Petrescu in order to save the building from collapse.

The overall style is neoclassical, with some more romantic touches. In front of the building there is a small park and a statue of Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu. Inside, the ground floor hosts an ornate conference hall as large as the auditorium above; the auditorium seats 600 in the stalls and another 52 in loge seating. A 75-metre long and 3-metre wide fresco decorates the inside of the circular wall of the concert hall. Painted in the al fresco technique, the piece depicts the most important moments of the Romanian history, starting with the conquest of Dacia by Roman emperor Trajan and ending with the realization of Greater Romania in 1918.

Recognized as the symbol of Romanian culture, the building was added in 2007 to the Label of European Heritage Sites.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bucharest. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Romanian Athenaeum on Map

Sight Name: Romanian Athenaeum
Sight Location: Bucharest, Romania (See walking tours in Bucharest)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bucharest, Romania

Create Your Own Walk in Bucharest

Create Your Own Walk in Bucharest

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bucharest is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bucharest Introduction Walking Tour

Bucharest Introduction Walking Tour

Bucharest, the capital and cultural center of Romania, is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.

The name București has an unverified origin. Tradition links it to the guy named Bucur, who (according to various legends) was either a prince, outlaw, fisherman, shepherd or a hunter. The Romanian word “bucurie” means joy (happiness), which in turn explains one of Bucharest's...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Historical Center of Bucharest, or the Old Town, as the locals habitually refer to it, is one of the most beloved and attractive areas in the Romanian capital. The neighborhood is really beautiful a place to visit, and you can walk into it pretty much from anywhere in central Bucharest. Ion Constantin Brătianu Boulevard crosses the historic heart of the city from Piata Universitate...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Uniquely Romanian Things To Buy in Bucharest

16 Uniquely Romanian Things To Buy in Bucharest

Nicknamed "Little Paris", today's Bucharest is the capital of a vibrant European nation, known as Romania, with lots of history and great cultural heritage - spanning from centuries-old rural traditions to New Wave cinema. Keen on rustic stuff, Romanians carefully preserve their...