The National Museum of Art of Romania showcases the most important and the most comprehensive collection of fine artworks in the country. The proximity to the Romanian Athenaeum enhances the tourist visibility of the museum. Through all it represents, the museum is definitely a must-see touristic objectives while in Bucharest.
With a collection of impressive works of art, divided into three major categories: Old Romanian Art Gallery, Modern Romanian Art Gallery and European Art Gallery, the National Art Museum of Romania represents one of the most pleasant and recreational ways to spend an afternoon in the Romanian Capital city. Among the most important artists who exhibited their works in this museum one can find Constantin Brancusi, Rembrandt, Monet, Rubens and Tintoretto.
Established in 1948 under the name of the Art Museum of the Romanian People's Republic, the museum has changed its official title several times and has moved from one wing to another, but still retaining its vocation as an important representative of the Romanian culture. Even though the permanent exhibition was closed for a decade (1990-2000) after the events of December 1989, the museum offered many temporary exhibitions to the public. Three permanent galleries were added, in 2013, to the historical spaces of the former Royal Palace (Throne Room, Stairs of Voievozilor, Royal Dining Room).
The permanent exhibition of the museum is a solid landmark for all those interested in Romanian culture. Usually, cultural circuits in Bucharest start with a visit to the Old Romanian Art Gallery and the Modern Romanian Art Gallery, both of which offer the broadest overview of the Romanian culture.
The European Art Gallery, the Romanian Medieval Art Gallery and the Romanian Modern Art Gallery bring together artworks exhibited in an attractive, modern manner, thus turning a visit to the National Museum of Art into an enjoyable and instructive way of spending time.experience.
For history enthusiasts, the Throne Room and the other spaces of historical relevance give the visitor a glimpse of the past, while the temporary exhibitions offer incursions in the newly released artworks of the Romanian or of the foreign artists.
Sculptures by the famous Constantin Brancusi, one of the pioneers of modernism, represent the highlight of the Romanian modern exhibition.
The three galleries hosting the permanent exhibitions represent a source of identity of the Romanian culture, being sought and appreciated by foreign and Romanian tourists.
The museum is increasingly trying to attract visitors to the amazing palace itself, opening up the former royal living quarters and the throne room to guided tours on occasional weekends. You do not need to reserve a place on a tour in advance, but you should buy tickets at least 15 minutes before each tour starts. There are three on each day, at 11.30, 14.00 and 16.30.
For those who are story lovers, we have to say that the Royal Palace story starts at the beginning of the 19th century when Dinicu Golescu, a Wallachian Romanian man of letters, mostly noted for his travel writings and journalism, decided to build a house in this area. The house that he built is the right wing of the Palace that you can see today. After his death, the house was bought by the State and transformed into Royal Chancellery. During that time, those who came to the throne of the country used to have their own palaces. This was not the case of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Prince of Moldavia, Prince of Wallachia, and later Ruler of the Romanian Principalities. He had no other property, so he used the former house of Dinicu Golescu as a living home and office, too.
On the 10th of May, King Carol entered the country on Calea Victoriei and stopped in front of the Palace. Here, a lot of people were waiting for him with flowers. They cheered "Welcome home, Principe!". After Carol gets out of the carriage, a close friend of his approached him and whispers in his ear: "Principe, welcome home! This is your Palace!". Carol looked to the right, looked to the left, took the Palace from where it is not! In his journal, he says: "I am living in a house which is a little smaller than the train station in my hometown". He realized that, sooner or later, his relatives will come to visit him. So, he started to build the Royal Palace. Before 1930 there were 3 parts of the Palace: the left one - built due to King Carol I, the middle part - built due to King Ferdinand, and the right part - rebuilt due to King Carol II. After the fire from 1930, the Royal Palace was renovated. That's why we see today this unitary form of the structure.
The history of the Royal Palace is closely related to the royal family and Romanian people have boundless gratitude for King Carol I. This is why we want to tell you some interesting stories that you may like.
Carol I was an art lover. He read a lot, he did not like to be in public debates, meetings or balls. More than this, he was German and he had a problem with punctuality. If you had a meeting with the King and you were late more than one minute, at the first opportunity you received a watch as a gift.
Also, when you went to the King with a not very important problem, you were always standing and talking at the door. If the problem was still important, you had the privilege of sitting on a three legged stool. The King had a comfortable seat, but your chair without backrest and uncomfortable made you say quickly what you had to say and leave.
An event of rare beauty takes place during Prince Ferdinad's marriage to Princess Maria (later Maria will become the most beloved queen of the Romanian people). King Carol and his wife, Elisabeta, decided to organize a multiple wedding. With this occasion, couples from each county of the country were selected and brought to Bucharest. Everyone was dressed in folk costumes. The marriage ceremony took place at the same time as that of the royal couple and the party took place at the Royal Palace.
These are just a few stories that show us a part of the history of the Romanian people, the history of the people who influenced the development of an entire nation. You can find out more spicy stories and not only during the guided tour in the Historical spaces of the Palace.
Enjoy your visit!