Mogosoaia Palace, from glory to ruins

Mogosoaia Palace

Mogosoaia Palace is definitely one of the most beautiful historical monuments near Bucharest. With a history of over 300 years and part of the lives of respectable families, visiting the palace and its gardens at the end of the week is a great idea. The story of Mogosoaia Palace begins in 1680, when a wealthy aristocrat, Constantin Brâncoveanu, bought the grand estate to build a residence for his second son, Ștefan. The palace was built in 1702 when Constantin Brancoveanu was already Prince of Romania.

Extremely important for his role in the cultural development of the region, Constantin Brancoveanu’s reign ended tragically in 1714 when he was executed along with his four sons by order of the Ottoman Sultan. His legacy is astonishing even if only a few churches, monasteries, and palaces built during his time can be visited today.

Shortly after the prince’s beheading, the palace of Mogosoaia, with its lavish decorations and painted interior walls, was devastated and looted by Ottoman armies. Recovered many years later by the prince’s widow, the Mogosoaia Palace was only a ruin and continued to be attacked by the Ottoman Empire in the following years. Through a dramatic marriage alliance, the palace eventually came into the ownership of another noble family, Bibescu.

Mogosoaia Palace

Renovation and nationalisation of Mogosoaia Palace

It was not until Martha Bibescu, a wealthy aristocrat and talented writer, received the Mogosoaia Palace as a gift from her adventurous husband that the most extensive renovation work actually began. This long and complicated process started before the First World War. It was only completed in 1935, although Martha Bibescu had begun living in the palace a few years earlier, making it one of the most fashionable aristocratic residences in this part of Europe.

Strictly with her plans for the palace’s development, Martha Bibescu transformed a ruin into a veritable work of art in the Brancovenesque style, an architectural theme developed centuries before by the ruler Constantin Brancoveanu.

An original combination of local, Byzantine, Italian, and oriental elements, this architectural style is elegant and well-balanced, using rich decorations for the columns and porches carved into the rock. The renovation process led by the young architect Cantacuzino has perfectly highlighted the features of this architectural heritage, making the palace once again one of the most beautiful places to visit in Romania.

Like all other private properties in Romania, the palace was confiscated in 1948 by the communist authorities, and Martha Bibescu was forced to leave the country. The court has functioned as a museum ever since. Visiting it is a chance to admire the precious floors, hand-carved doors, and vaulted ceilings, the only pieces to have survived the communist occupation.


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