Touristic sites

Also known as the "Green District", District 1of Bucharest City, an area of maximum concentration of our culture and civilization, is the place where man, nature and history have led to a the emergence of a settlement that combines natural beauty with the relics of past and present.

Undoubtedly, of the administrative areas of Bucharest, District 1 is the depositary of the most important items of cultural and tourist heritage in Bucharest. Here we can find the most important antique buildings, monuments, statues, museums, parks and public gardens in the capital, valuable heritage items which have turned District 1 in the cultural and urban development pearl of the capital. These important elements of heritage in District 1, are not only historical, artistic and tourist attractions, but at the same time fundamental parts of the national identity that make Bucharest an attraction and cultural spreading centre in Europe and worldwide.

In today's frantic pace of life, the moments when someone stops to admire the city are rare. People running daily between office and home, without being able to notice that around them the city offers more than the eye may cover at first sight. They are rarely wondering what is hidden behind the walls of the buildings that survived the passing of time. People who have left their mark of their life, work and personality on the city in which they lived, and which are true landmarks in the complex geography of the city. Exploring the virtual map, we can see beautiful vintage houses such as – the Lenş-Vernescu House, the House of Cleopatra Trubeţkoi, the Dissescu House, Princess Elizabeth House, or the House of Dinu Lipatti and the Barbu Ştirbei Palace. Each with its official history with its story passed down from generation to generation, await hurried passers-by to stop for a moment and listen to their story whispered by the apparently quietly walls. Efforts to date have made the refurbished streets to be "hunted" by the cameras of tourists and filmmakers and producers of commercials. The existing potential is evident, and therefore District 1 City Hall has proposed a detailed analysis and attracting financial resources to valorise this potential, the arguments being mainly economic, in the sustainable development of the entire area and the development of the cultural identity especially among young people.

For the good cultural of District 1, of Bucharest, for the good of the Romanian nation in general, these elements of cultural and tourist heritage must be valued. It has already become an axiom that the issue of protection and capitalization of the cultural heritage is particularly important with deep meanings for asserting the national identity. And if District has on its territory heritage sites of inestimable value, then they must be values, firstly, taking into account their cultural and tourist importance.

Through the REGIO – the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013, Priority Axis "Sustainable development and tourism promotion", Area of intervention 5.3. - "Promoting the tourist potential and creating the necessary infrastructure to increase Romania's attractiveness as a tourist destination," District 1City Hall received European funding worth £ 1 million for the implementation of the tourism promotion project "People and Places".

The main objective of the "People and Places" Project lies in raising the visibility of 6 (six) cultural sites with high tourist potential in District 1 of Bucharest City: the Lenş-Vernescu House, the House of Cleopatra Trubeţkoi, the Dissescu House, the Princess Elizabeth House, the Dinu Lipatti House and the Barbu Ştirbei Palace. These cultural sites were selected on the basis of an action plan of the Local Council of District 1 Bucharest so that tourists can visit these objectives in a relaxed way, enjoying an easy access, easy to follow, using promotional information and / or the tourist route that will result from this project.

The Cleopatra Trubeţkoi House

On the right side of Victory Avenue, near the end from Victoria Square, we can find a house that barely stands out either by size or by appearance. Built somewhere in 1886, the French neoclassical style "Trubeţkoi Cleopatra" house is a rather modest building, if we compare it with other more impressive buildings surrounding it.

The house is known as the "Nenciu House ". Above, on the gable one can discern, enclosed in a locket, the letter - N - monogram of the last owner the rich merchant Zaharia Nenciu. The same letter - N - can also be seen on the ironware of the gate that opens the way to the inner courtyard, the end of which, on an inch of soil marigolds, gladiolus and slippers are laughing in the sun.

Franz Liszt once held a concert in this house and Cleopatra Trubeţkoi also lived here, one of the most refined and elegant women in the Bucharest social elite of the nineteenth century. Cleopatra was the daughter of Brigadier General Costache Ghica, called "the Brigadier" because he had served in the Russian army. Sister of two men, Grigore Ghica IV and Alexandru Dim. Ghica, she became a princess by marriage to Serghei Trubeţkoi, a rich Russian prince.


The Dinu Lipatti House

The "Dinu Lipatti" House, built in 1902, can be admired on the Lascar Catargiu Boulevard, one of the first projects of architect Petre Antonescu. The construction approaches a style with "Art Nouveau" elements in an eclectic style with visible baroque influences, thus becoming a representative house of Little Paris. "Art Nouveau", term originated from French meaning "new art" is an artistic style fully manifested in the visual arts, design and architecture of the early twentieth century. Art Nouveau is also known as an artistic movement at the end of the 19th century - beginning of 20th century spread throughout Europe and later in the Americas. As "Style Modern" Art Nouveau also had an influence in Romanian architecture because buildings integrated in an original way elements of the old Romanian Baroque style. In Romanian tradition the phrase "Art of 1900" is used.

"Dinu Lipatti" House is different from Antonescu’s creations, since his favourite style is the neo-Romanian style, an interesting mix of Eastern Byzantine elements and architectural and ethnographic local peasant elements as well as by some Ottoman art models and even late Italian renaissance themes. The neo-Romanian style began to be in vogue among wealthy Romanians in the early years of the twentieth century in Romania before World War One - in the area called "the Old Kingdom", spreading later in Transylvania, after the war, after this province became part of Romania.


The Dissescu House

The Dissescu house is located at the junction of Victoria Avenue with Gheorghe Manu Street opposite the George Enescu Museum and is an A class historic monument, being catalogued as building of national importance. Currently, the Institute of Art History carried its activity here. The house, in Romanian style, was built in the late nineteenth century by the Lahovary family and in 1910 it came in the possession of the brilliant lawyer Constantin G. Dissescu (1854 - 1932), professor, author of the first Romanian course of constitutional law and, briefly, Minister of Justice.


The Lenş-Vernescu House

"Lenş-Vernescu" House is located on Victoria Avenue, being built around the year 1820, in the eclectic style, one of the architectural styles used in the nineteenth century, characterized by the combination in a single work of elements from different historical styles. The property was built by the magistrate, the grand treasurer and chancellor of Justice Filip Lenş (1779-1885), ‘a genealogical imposture', as described by Emanoil Hagi Mosco in his book," Memories of a City".

The natural son of a Frenchman, Jean Baptiste Linchou, private secretary of Mr. Alexandru Ipsilanti, resulting from an affair with a Gipsy servant of nobleman Dumitrache Hriscoscoleu Buzoianu, Lenş took in marriage the daughter of a nobleman, wise to acquire a fabulous fortune by "play, intrigue, and then some fortunate speculations".


The House of Princess Elisabeth

Also on Victoria Avenue there is a house built or refurbished by architect George Matei Cantacuzino in 1925 for Marie Angèle Massart. She sold it in 1927 to Princess Elizabeth, sister of Charles II and ephemeral Queen of Greece, after she came back to the country.

After the Communists came to power, the former Elizabeth Palace from Victoria Avenue became the House of Journalists, and then in the '80s, the "Golden Apple" (“Mărul de Aur”) restaurant. The Elizabeth Palace is the official residence of King Michael of Romania in Bucharest. The palace is also the home of the European royal family members who come to visit Bucharest, at the invitation of Princess Margarita and Prince Radu. Hundreds of public engagements, properties and development projects of the Royal Family are managed from here.


The Barbu Ştirbei Palace

A blueprint for social life in mid-nineteenth century Bucharest, in his work ‘Bucharest of the old kingdom’ - George Costescu speaks of "the time of the boyars from the ruling earthly families, such as noblemen Bibeşti (1843), Ştirbey (1850) and Cuzeşti (1859).

The palace, located on Victoria Avenue, no. 107, was built between 1833-1835 by order of Prince Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei that resorted for this purpose to the services of the French architect Michel Sanjouand. For this building the architect used the neoclassical style, resulting in a slim and elegant building with Greek elements, which also belonged to the Ştirbei princely family for a while.

The neoclassical style, specific to the exterior architecture of the nineteenth century, shows us houses with facades with a somewhat shabby assembly and lacking the overall proportions of successful and rich decor of yesteryear. The frequent rule changes and the Russian occupation have only increased the confusion for what was Romanian and old. Only by the mid-century, despite the turbulent times, amounts of new bases for several important buildings were erected. This is because, in the second half of the nineteenth century, attention was directed to a different architectural style, the neoclassical.

That is why the acquisition of the Western culture through contacts with Rome and Paris, where our first architects were formed, led to the replacement of disgraced "neo-Gothic" style with the architecture of the "neo-classical" style. At its peak, the Ştirbei Palace was known as the place where the most spectacular dances were held. The "Romanian Herald", and an engraving by Dossault (from the album "Moldo-Valaque", 1848) describe the "glittering ball" held on June 22, 1843 in honour of Prince Albert of Prussia, brother of King Friedrich-Wilhelm.

Undoubtedly, after we get to know such stories we can no longer ignorantly pass by the "old" places and houses in District 1.