The George Enescu National Museum is housed in Cantacuzino Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings on Calea Victoriei and in town. The magnificent entrance is made in the genuine Art Nouveau style, bringing together the luxury and refinement of a long gone time.
The building was constructed between 1901-1903 by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, known by the nickname Nababul. He used to be the Mayor of Bucharest, then Prime-minister and the head of the Conservative Party. Gheorghe Cantacuzino is also known for the estate he held near Ploiesti, in Floresti, Prahova county which holds several Horse Competitions.
The Museum’s building was erected according to the layouts of architect Ioan D. Berindei. The decorations of the interior walls were commissioned to famous painters of the time: George Demetrescu Mirea, Nicolae Vermont and Costin Petrescu. The sculptures and the ornaments were made by architect Emil Wilhelm Becker and the tapestries, lamps, chandeliers and stained glass windows were brought from Paris from Krieger house.
After the death of Gheorghe Cantacuzino in 1913, the place is inherited by his son, Mihail G. Cantacuzino and his wife, Maria (known as Maruca, born Rosetti-Tescanu). After she became a widow, she married musician George Enescu in 1937.
In 1940, the Palace was the seat of the Presidency of the Ministers’ Council and in 1947 became the Institute of Soviet Studies. When Enescu died in 1955, Maruca left the palace to the Romanian state by will and since 19th of June 1956, the Palace became The George Enescu National Museum, being part of the European patrimony.
Three of the palace’s rooms display a chronological exhibition of Enescu’s life, such as photos, manuscripts, diplomas, drawings, musical instruments, awards. There is also the tailcoat of the former conductor, his mortuary mask and the mould of his hands.
In the back of the main Palace lies a small villa where George Enescu used to live with his wife. The three rooms are placed on both sides of the lobby – on the left there are the bedrooms of Enescu & Maruca and on the right side, it is the music room. The walls are decorated with paintings and personal objects of the former landlord which place you to the feeling of those days, giving a sense of the atmosphere and identity of the place.
George Enescu Museum in Bucharest has free entry on the 26th of each month as most of the museums in Bucharest which can be visited free of charge at certain times, the entire list can be found here: When to visit Bucharest’s museums for free.
Ticket price: 6 lei/person.
Program: Tu-Su, 10-17.
Address: 141, Calea Victoriei, sector 1, Bucharest.