Bucuresti: Palatul Bancii Nationale a Romaniei (The National Bank of Romania Palace)

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București: Palatul Băncii Naționale a României (The National Bank of Romania Palace)
 
Address: Strada Doamnei, nr. 8, Bucureşti, România.
Contact: Email: vizitare@bnro.ro
Website: www.bnro.ro
 
Opening Hours:
Admission to the Museum is possible only based on prior appointment scheduled via e-mail. Guided tours are free for all visitors.
 

 

 

The National Bank of Romania Palace – the old building
 
The old Palace of the National Bank of Romania, whose façades line up Lipscani Street, was raised atop the foundations of one of Bucharest’s largest inns – the Inn of Şerban Vodă. When Şerban Vodă set off to open an inn, he was still a seneschal of ruler Grigore I Ghica. Fully aware of the commercial benefits of this ground located in the very middle of the Greek quarter in the Upper Borough, where all the important merchants settled, he started buying pieces of this land, year by year, thus, around 1680, he was ready to start the construction. However, he had also started construction works on the Cotroceni Monastery four months after becoming ruler (the spring of 1679), and had to wait until the monastery compound was completed. “What the voivode built in 1683 surpassed anything comparable when it came to inns in Walachia until then … He wanted to give the city something unseen before”, namely a “trading citadel”, as reputed historian of Bucharest’s inns G. Potra accounts. The inn was ready to accommodate its first merchants in 1685, but was not thoroughly completed, as “the north side had not been walled in”. Şerban Cantacuzino died unexpectedly in October 1688 and the inn’s administration passed directly into the hands of the hegumens (Father Superiors) of Cotroceni Monastery. Lack of determination and involvement on their behalf left the inn unfinished until 1803 when a wiser and more calculated hegumen finally decided to complete the still unfinished parts. In the 18th century the inn housed the first drug store, and, towards the middle of the next century, a daguerreotype shop was established here alongside many other shops and haberdasheries. After 1850 the inn was abandoned, but lasted until 1883 when it was demolished for the construction of the National Bank of Romania, between 1884 and 1885. It is an imposing Academic building, designed in French Neoclassical eclectic style, richly decorated on the outside with columns and has in the niches on the facade statues symbolising Agriculture, Industry, Commerce and Justice, as well as on the inside (paintings by Nicolae Grigorescu and others). This building also harbors the Museum of National Bank (located at 25 Lipscani Street). Recent archaeological excavations unearthed the well-preserved foundations of Şerban Cantacuzino’s Inn.
 
The National Bank of Romania Palace – the new building
 
The building overlooking the entire middle front of Doamnei Street, currently headquarter of the National Bank of Romania, was built between 1939 and 1942 in neoclassical style. The façade, plated with Vraţa stone, stands out through its classical aspect, its symmetry, its massive Corinth columns and strongly profiled cornice. The new premises completed the old building of the National Bank of Romania (built between 1884 and 1885) to support the enhancement of the bank’s attributions, especially in the field of organizing and supervising foreign currency trade (1935) and the circulation of gold (1938).

Palatul Bancii Nationale a Romaniei – cladirea veche
 
Vechiul Palat al Bancii Nationale a Romaniei, ale carui fatade incadreaza strada Lipscani, a fost ridicat peste fundatiile unuia din cele mai mari hanuri ale Bucurestiului – Hanul lui Şerban Vodă. Cand Şerban Vodă s-a hotarat sa deschida un han, el era inca postelnic al domnitorului Grigore I Ghica. Constient pe deplin de potentialul comercial al acestei locatii aflata in centrul cartierului grecesc in Cartierul Superior, unde locuiau toti negustorii importanti ai vremii, el a inceput sa cumpere parcele de teren in aceste locuri, an dupa an, si astfel, in jurul anului 1680, el a fost gata sa inceapa constructia hanului. In acelasi timp, el a inceput si lucrarile de constructie la Manastirea Cotroceni la patru luni dupa ce a devenit domnitor (in primavara anului 1679), si a trebuit sa astepte pana cand asezamintele manastirii au fost gata. “Ceea ce voievodul a construit in 1683 a depasit orice constructie comparabila in materie de hanuri in Valahia realizata pana in acel moment … El a vrut sa lase orasului ceva nemaivazut pana atunci”, si anume o “citadela comerciala”, dupa cum nota un reputat istoric al hanurilor Bucurestene, G. Potra. Hanul a fost gata sa isi primeasca primii negustori in 1685, insa nu a fost complet finalizat deoarece “partea de nord nu a fost inca zidita”. Şerban Cantacuzino a murit pe neasteptate in Octombrie 1688 si administrarea hanului a trecut in sarcina directa a egumenilor (Parinti Superiori) ai Manastirii Cotroceni. Lipsa de determinare si implicare din partea acestora a lasat insa hanul neterminat pana in anul 1803 cand un egumen mai intelept si mai calculat a decis in final sa completeze partile neterminate inca. In secolul 18 hanul a gazduit si prima farmacie, iar, spre jumatatea secolului urmator, aceasta farmacie s-a dezvoltat mult impreuna cu multe alte magazine de mercerie. Dupa 1850 hanul a fost abandonat, insa deabia in 1883 a fost demolat pentru a se construi sediul Bancii Nationale a Romaniei, intre 1884 si 1885. Acest sediu este o cladire impozanta, academica, proiectata in stil neoclasic eclectic francez, bogat decorata la exterior, cu coloane, si are in nisele de la fatada statui simbolizand Agricultura, Industria, Comertul si Justitia, precum si la interior (picturi de Nicolae Grigorescu si altii). Aceasta cladire de asemenea gazduieste si Muzeul Bancii Nationale (localizat pe strada Lipscani la numarul 25). Sapaturile arheologice realizate recent au dezvelit fundatiile bine conservate ale hanului lui Şerban Cantacuzino.
 
Palatul Bancii Nationale a Romaniei – cladirea noua
 
Cladirea impozanta care flancheaza intreaga zona de mijloc a strazii Doamnei, in prezent sediu al Bancii Nationale a Romaniei, a fost construita intre 1939 si 1942 in stil neoclasic. Fatada, placata cu piatra de Vraţa, iese in evidenta prin aspectul sau clasic, simetria sa, coloanele corintice masive si cornisa puternic profilata. Noua locatie completeaza cladirea veche a Bancii Nationale a Romaniei (construita intre 1884 si 1885) pentru a sustine imbunatatirea indeplinirii atributiilor bancii, in special in domeniul organizarii si supervizarii cursului valutar (din 1935) si in domeniul circulatiei aurului (din 1938).

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