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May 22, 2024
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Romanian Athenaeum Receives European Heritage Label

Romanian Athenaeum, the emblematic building of Bucharest, receives the European Heritage label. According to Visit Bucharest, this is the most prestigious distinction in the EU, awarded to sites that contributed to the European culture or held prominent cultural significance.

The Romanian Athenaeum is a major Bucharest landmark. It was built by the Romanian Athenaeum Society at the end of the 19th century to host a public library, conferences, classical music concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural-artistic activities as part of its mission to spread culture by any means.

The Romanian Athenaeum, nicknamed the Romanian Temple of Arts, is an architectural jewel whose uniqueness and merits were recognized because it was classified as a historical monument in 2004. Located on Calea Victoriei, the Romanian Athenaeum is an important cultural center and a must-see architectural gem. Still, it is also defined by the fact that it is one of the oldest and most important cultural institutions in Bucharest.
This edifice hosts remarkable events, such as George Enescu’s classic music festival, an international event for classical music lovers.

The chief architect was Albert Galleron, who designed the building by following the valuable guidelines a team of Romanian architects provided. It must be mentioned that the famous Romanian composer George Enescu (1881-1955) conducted on March 1st, 1898, on the scene of the Athenaeum, the premiere of his enthusiastically acclaimed “Romanian Poem” and in 1914, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was played for the first time in the Romanian Principalities.

The 800 seats ensure perfect stage visibility from every point and impeccable acoustics. Its exceptional acoustics place the Romanian Athenaeum Hall among the most successful constructions of its kind worldwide.

Romanian Athenaeum

Since 1889, the Athenaeum has been home to the Romanian Philharmonic Society (now the “George Enescu” Philharmonic), founded nearly two decades previously to disseminate musical culture and popularize the masterpieces of classical composers. These cultural societies and their emblematic building are part of the modernization process in the United Principalities of Romania. They declared a Kingdom in 1881 after gaining state independence from the Ottoman Empire at the end of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Hosting concerts by great European composers and orchestras, the Romanian Athenaeum has been instrumental in disseminating European classical music since its creation. Since 1958, the Romanian Athenaeum has been hosting one of the world’s most important classical music events, the „George Enescu” International Festival and Competition, named in honour of the great Romanian composer. The Athenaeum also hosts public lectures by Nobel Prize laureates, renowned writers, and professionals from Europe, highlighting democracy and European values and promoting culture and science.

EC communication on awarding Romanian Athenaeum the European Heritage Label

More than a decade after the European Heritage Label started in 2011, independent European experts recommended these sites from a pool of sixteen sites that participating EU countries pre-selected.

Other European sites have received the same distinction and will be awarded in a ceremony on 17 April 2024 in Antwerp, Belgium.

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