Considered one of the architectural jewelries of Romania, the Athenaeum in Bucharest is the product of the "Romanian
Athenaeum Cultural Group ", founded in 1865 by an enthusiastic group formed by Constantinescu Esarcu, V.A. Ureche,
C. Rosetti, N. Kretulescu, Al. Odobescu and others.
The place where the Athenaeum stands today belonged to the Văcărescu family. The neo-classical building plans were
designed by architect Albert Galleron and the edifice was erected in two years time, being inaugurated on February 14th 1888.
Seen from the outside, the edifice is formed of a six-ionic-column peristyle which creates the impression of a Greek temple,
below which one can discern the faces of five Romanian rulers: Neagoe Basarab, Alexandru cel Bun, Vasile Lupu, Matei Basarab
and King Carol the 1st.
The interior is maybe even more impressive than the exterior. In the entrance hall there are four staircases supported on four
columns made of Carrara marble and decorated with sculptures. The concert hall has special acoustics.
The most sensational element is the 70- meters-long and 3-meters-high fresco which surrounds the hall. The Athenaeum is a
sanctuary of the Romanian culture that has hosted the most remarkable concerts of some of the greatest music conductors and artists in the world.