Athenaeum (Bucharest)

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Concert hall
Designed by Albert Galleron

The Bucharest Athenaeum ( Roman . Ateneul Român ) is located in the Romanian capital Bucharest . The building was built between 1885 and 1888 according to the plans of the French architect Albert Galleron. Several architects subsequently gave the listed Athenaeum its current appearance.


The building site was originally intended for a circus with an arena. After that, the building was to become the seat of the literary society "Ateneul Român" founded in 1863. Due to a lack of financial means, the building was redesigned into a concert hall after an appeal for donations. From 1919 to 1920 the Athenaeum was the seat of the House of Representatives. In 1924 a cinema and two round rooms were built in the basement during a renovation. The concert hall is now home to the George Enescu State Philharmonic .


The structure is 41 meters high. The exterior of the Athenaeum is characterized by several architectural styles. The classical style of the portico with its Ionic columns is striking . There is a corner risalit on both sides . Between the pillars of the portico there are portraits of important princes of Romanian history on subsequently added round gold mosaics. The round vault of the entrance hall on the ground floor is supported by twelve Doric columns. A bronze Mihai Eminescu (Romania's prince poet) looks down in front of the portal . The building was last renovated between 2000 and 2004.

inner space

The large concert hall with 794 seats today has a diameter of 28.50 meters and is 16 meters high. International concerts or concerts by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra take place in this hall. Musicians and conductors such as George Enescu , Dinu Lipatti , Maurice Ravel , David Oistrach and Yehudi Menuhin performed there.

A fresco by Costin Petrescu on the drum of the dome (wall between pendentif and dome) is 3 meters wide and 75 meters long. In 25 scenes, she describes the highlights of Romanian history from Roman times (conquest of Dacia by the Romans, invasion of the barbarians, participation of the Romanian princes in the crusades, revolution of 1848 in the Romanian principalities, unification in 1859, war of independence, King Ferdinand I and others).


  • Sebastian Bonifaciu, Emanuel Valeriu: Bucharest from A to Z, Pontica Handbooks, Publishing House for Tourism, Bucharest (1974)
  • Birgitta Gabriela Hannover, Discover Bucharest - The Romanian capital and its surroundings, Trescher Verlag (2008), ISBN 978-3-89794-120-5

Web links

Commons : Athenaeum (Bucharest)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 44 ° 26 '29 "  N , 26 ° 5' 50"  E