If you go to Bucharest, Romania’s capital, and you are into museums and monuments, Mogoşoaia Palace is a place you should add on your list. The palace is located about 14 km from Bucharest, in the small city of Mogoşoaia, near the lake with the same name and surrounded by forest. It is well worth a visit, be it winter – when the lake freezes, creating a magical landscape – or summer – when the nearby forest and flower gardens around the palace are a true delight for photographers.
At the weekend, if you go by car from Bucharest, you will get there in about 20 to 30 minutes, while during the week it may take you more than one hour to get to the palace because of the busy traffic.
Once you arrive in the city you can easily find the palace, by following the signs, asking the locals for directions or, if it is weekend, simply following the line of cars heading toward the same destination.
Over 300 Years of History
Its large courtyard includes the old princely building, a guard tower, a church, a greenhouse (currently used for growing flowers, as well as for hosting art workshops for children), a guest house (now hosting a restaurant), and the Bibescu family tomb (the last owners of the palace, before it became state property). The Bibescu family has renovated the palace after the destruction caused by bombings during World War I.
The palace was built by Constantin Brâncoveanu, Prince of Wallachia, in the Brâncovenesc architectural style (Romanian Renaissance style) and completed in September 20, 1702 – this date can be found in an inscription on the eastern walls of the palace.
For 120 years the palace was owned by Brâncoveanu family, with a short interruption after the execution of Constantin Brâncoveanu and his family, when the palace was occupied by the Ottomans, but was soon redeemed by the Romanians, then transferred to the Brâncoveanu family heirs.
What is There to See
Today, the palace is hosting an art museum with wide halls and large, elegant rooms decorated with valuable paintings and art objects, furniture and old carpets (at the first floor) and a few modestly furnished rooms which were inhabited by service personnel (at the ground floor).
The halls were named based on the origin and purpose of the materials used for their decoration: the French Hall, the Turk-Persian Room, the Maps Room, the Transylvania Room, etc. One of the most beautiful rooms is the one decorated by Princess Martha Bibescu (Marthe Bibesco). The objects exhibited here (pictures, engravings, paintings), are a reminiscent of the bohemian era of Bucharest from the early 20th century.
Mogoşoaia Palace also hosts symphonic music concerts during summer, as well as exhibitions of art and ethnography.
Unfortunately for tourists, photography is prohibited inside the palace, but you can take pictures in the courtyard, where you will surely find a few nice places to take photos: the Romanian Renaissance style buildings fit beautifully in the countryside landscape between the forest and the lake, gardens of flowers arranged in the shape of labyrinth lead to the water’s edge, while the lake turns red at sunset, matching the color of buildings and flowers.
Browse more photos from Mogoşoaia Palace in our previous article.
The complex is open to the public all year round, except Mondays. Visiting the palace courtyard is free, but if you come by car, there is a parking fee of 4 RON (1 EUR). Also, the museum entrance fee is 5 RON (1.25 EUR). If you wish to hire an English of Romanian speaking guide you should know that this service is usually available only on Saturdays and Sundays and the fee is 8 RON (2 EUR).