Built between 1698 and 1702 by the Prince of Wallachia, Constantin Brâncoveanu, Mogoșoaia Palace is located approximately 15 km from Bucharest, in Mogoșoaia.
It is a place full of history of over 300 years, of a special charm, due to a vast domain, with gardens that go down to the lake and of the Romanian Renaissance architectural style that can be named after the ruler, the Brâncoveanu style. This architectural style is a combination of Venetian elements with Ottoman elements, which are also found in another palace of the ruler previously built, in Potlogi, Dâmbovița County.
The name Mogoșoaia comes from the name of the widow of the boyar Mogoș, in whose possession was the land that Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu buys and where he then builds this Palace.
The buildings of the Brâncoveanu complex are: the Palace, the Brâncoveanu cuhnia (kitchen), the gate tower, the guest house (Vila Elchingen), the greenhouses, the glacier, the Bibescu family chapel, as well as the church dedicated to Saint George located outside, next to the courtyard walls.
Following the execution of Constantin Brâncoveanu and his four sons, in Constantinople in 1714, his entire fortune was confiscated by the Ottomans, and the Mogoșoaia Palace was transformed into an inn. Redeemed from the Ottomans by Ștefan Cantacuzino, the new ruler of Wallachia, Mogoșoaia Palace then reverts to the Grand Ban (governor) Constantin Brâncoveanu, the nephew of the ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu.
During the 5th Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774), the Mogoșoaia Palace was devastated by the Ottomans, because the Grand Ban Nicolae Brâncoveanu had sided with the Russians in the conflict.
Rebuilt, the Mogoșoaia Palace is part of a new destruction during the Revolution of 1821, when the last descendant of the Brâncoveanu family, Grigore, fled to Brașov, and the Palace was occupied by the revolutionary pandurs. In 1832, after Grigore’s death, the property of Mogoșoaia Palace remained the inheritance of his adopted daughter Zoe Mavrocordat, who, being married to Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, in 1826, thus became the property of his family.
The palace was renovated again between 1860 and 1880 by Nicolae Bibescu, who also built the family chapel in the Palace Park, as well as the nearby Elchingen Villa. The palace was still managed by the Bibescu family who will move to the new villa, and the old building remained uninhabited. In 1911, the Palace was sold to George-Valentin Bibescu, who gave it as a wedding gift to his wife Martha.
Martha Bibescu has been renovating and decorating the Palace since 1912. During the First World War, the renovation work stagnated and the building suffered further damage as a result of German bombing. The works were resumed in 1920, Martha Bibescu spending a large part of the fortune gathered from the books she wrote. The palace was reopened in 1927, with some work continuing until 1935.
While owned by Martha Bibescu, the Palace was visited by personalities such as King Carol I of Romania, King Ferdinand of Romania and his wife Queen Maria of Romania, King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Nicolae Iorga, Marcel Proust or August Von Mackensen.
When the communist government was established on March 6, 1945, the domain was nationalized, but Martha Bibescu obtained from the authorities the declaration of the Palace as a historical monument, which remained in her possession. Martha Bibescu left Romania for good in September 1945, leaving her daughter’s Palace. In 1949, Mogoșoaia Palace was also nationalized, and her daughter and husband were arrested.
In 1967, Mogoșoaia Palace became the headquarters of the feudal section of the National Museum of Art. Today, here is the Brâncoveenu Art Museum.