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Built in eclectic style, CEC Palace is topped by a glass and metal dome.

The entrance features an arch supported by two pairs of columns in composite style. The four corners are decorated with gables and coats of arms and ending in Renaissance domes.

Before the construction of the palace, the location was occupied by the ruins of a monastery (Saint John the Great) and an adjoining inn. The 16th-century church was renovated by Constantin Brâncoveanu during 1702 – 1703, but later deteriorated and was demolished in 1875.

The palace was built as a new headquarters for Romania’s oldest bank, the public savings institution Casa de Depuneri, Consemnațiuni și Economie, later known as C.E.C. (Romanian: Casa de Economii și Consemnațiuni), and nowadays CEC Bank.

The land was bought and the building constructed with the institution’s own funds. Work started on June 8, 1897 and was completed in 1900.

The project was designed by the architect Paul Gottereau, a graduate of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris; construction was supervised by the Romanian architect Ion Socolescu.

After the impressive facade, the huge dome attracts your attention immediately. The CEC Palace has 5 domes, one in each corner, and one in the middle, the biggest one. The domes help acoustics of the building, especially the acoustics from the main hall where the counter clerk was established. Due to the big dome, the sound spread vertically. In this way, what you were talking with the counter clerk remained between you. This was a very important aspect given the fact that the main hall could hold 400 people at a time. The counters were in function from May 1900 till November 1999, almost 100 years!

In 2009, it was the venue for the 60th birthday celebrations of Crown Princess Margareta of Romania, and in 2015 it was also the venue for the 25th anniversary of the celebration of Crown Princess Margareta’s charity.

Do you like CEC Palace? Read an article about The People’s House, the second largest administrative edifice in the world, after the Pentagon.

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