Romania is a country with an immense cultural legacy, this nation foundation being a melting pot of civilizations and customs.
One of the best well known symbols of Romanian culture is the Romanian Athenaeum.
Iconic landmark of Bucharest, this is the city’s main concert hall.
It is also home of George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.
It really worth to pay a visit inside and let your hand caress the Carrara marble.
Not to mention the fascinating story of the remarkable 70 m long fresco hidden for 20 years !
Plus its exceptional acoustic and perfect visibility from any seat will amaze you while attending a concert here.
If an odd year come in September to enjoy the worlds’ greatest orchestras and soloists.
The famous slogan of a peculiar architectural jewel
In 1888, when Bucharest had only about 200,000 inhabitants, this land donated by City Hall was at the outskirts.
French architect Albert Galleron, at the recommendation of Charles Garnier, architect of the Opera in Paris created this architectonic jewel.
He made the plans to fit the already existing foundation of a riding school, where from the round shape form.
They raised a part of the money needed for this art temple through public donations.
Now the slogan they used is already famous: “Give 1 leu for the Athenaeum.”
The shinning white edifice with peculiar architecture harmoniously blends Greek, Baroque and Neoclassical characteristics.
Eight Ionic columns – with same proportions as Acropolis Temple – support a monumental peristyle with a triangular fronton.
The fronton reminds of ancient Greek monument of Lysicrat in Athens (picturing Conquerors’ Urn).
Two Neoclassical corner pavilions side the peristyle.
Behind peristyle and fronton, the rich decorated Baroque cupola has 20 windows with lyres.
The 5 mosaic medallions represent famous country’s rulers.
Before wars, in this appealing garden you could walk on an alley watched over by sculptures of important local personalities…
But, communists came and put them down !
The fascinating story of the hidden giant remarkable fresco
During Second World War, the bombings seriously affected the Romanian Athenaeum.
Behind the closed doors of glass and wood the magnificent concert hall has an equally impressive marble interior.
Let your hand caress the Carrara marble while climbing up on one of the 4 Baroque spiral stairs.
Stop in the stair’s balcony-landing – an element of novelty.
Admire again the sumptuous lobby with 12 Doric columns covered in stucco marble supporting the central vault.
Once you’re on the upper level a pleasant feeling of warmth surrounds you.
The giant remarkable fresco above lodges depicts 25 scenes of Romanian history from Roman conquest until King Ferdinand.
Painted by Costin Petrescu 50 years after inauguration, this is 3 m wide and 70 m long.
Wishing to erase from people’s memory everything related to monarchy, communists covered it with red velvet for almost 20 years.
George Enescu’s connection with Romanian Athenaeum concert hall
George Enescu – the greatest Romanian composer – financially supported the installation of the concert pipe organ you can admire now.
Disposed in the style of ancient Greco-Roman amphitheaters, each of the almost 1,000 seats offers perfect visibility.
And their number remained unchanged since inauguration.
The huge richly adorned cupola with Chinese Dragons sending their tails towards its center essentially contributes to hall’s exceptional acoustic.
From this point of view it is one of the most successful constructions of genre from all over the world.
Over time, Romanian Athenaeum hosted historical magnitude events.
These included conferences of Romanian scientists and first auditions of autochthon musical masterpieces.
The emblem of Romanian culture also hosted first ample exhibitions of paintings and sculptures of national masters…
Since 1958 this is home to George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra hosting the biennial George Enescu Classical Music International Festival.
See you all back here soon for more tips, picked expressly for you.
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Happy tours !