The National Museum of Art of Romania

1837 - Wallachian Prince Alexandru Ghica moves his official residence to the large mansion built between 1812 and 1820 by boyar Dinicu Golescu on the site of the present-day south wing of the Museum.

1859 - 1866 - Following the Union of the Romanian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza uses the house as a ceremonial palace and a residence.


1866 – German Prince Carol (Karl) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (as of 1881 King Carol I of Romania), ruling Prince of the Romanian Principalities, takes official residence here. Until 1881, the building sustains only minor alterations (mostly additions) designed to meet growing administrative needs.

1882-1906 - King Carol I employs French architect Paul Gottereau and Czech architect Karel Liman to enlarge and decorate the palace. By 1906 the palace becomes the winter residence of the Royal Court.

1926 - In December, a fire destroys the central part of the palace and the Throne Hall. King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie (granddaughter of Queen Victoria and of Tsar Alexander II of Russia) commission architects N.N. Nenciulescu and Karel Liman to carry out major reconstruction works. The government recommends that at least one floor be added above the Throne Hall.

1930-1937 - King Carol II embarks on rebuilding and extending the palace; architect Arthur Lorentz designs the plans. In 1935 the central wing is completed. The old city mansion erected by Dinicu Golescu is demolished to provide room for a new south wing with architect N.N. Nenciulescu once again in charge of the project.

1938-1940 - The royal palace is further extended toward the north, along Ştirbei Vodă Street.

1944 - During massive air raids in April and August, about 80 heavy bombs hit the palace; the Ştirbei wing is partly destroyed.

1948 - Following the forced abdication of King Michael I in December 1947 and the communist takeover, the royal palace is nationalised in June. The palace plays host to both the Council of Ministers and the national museum of art. The latter had been officially established as the ‘King Carol I’ National Museum of Art in 1946.

1950-1954 - On 20 May 1950, the National Gallery, displaying works by famous Romanian artists, is officially inaugurated. Over the following four years the Foreign Art Gallery, exhibiting both European and Oriental art, and the Department of Romanian Medieval Art will open to the public.

1961 ­ The Museum is relocated from the south to the north wing, completely rebuilt by that time. It stayed open to visitors until 1989.

1989 - The palace is caught in the crossfire of December events in December; both building and  collections are damaged (over 1,000 works of art, some of which completely destroyed).

1990 - The Museum is granted use of the entire palace.

1990-2000 - The Museum’s permanent display is closed to the public, as the building undergoes extensive restoration, including the overall refurbishment of exhibition areas.

2000 – 2013 – Gradual reopening of permanent galleries: European Art Gallery (2000), Romanian Modern Art Gallery (2001), Romanian Medieval Art Gallery (2002). In 2013 the restoration of the central wing, comprising the Throne Hall, also came to an end.