First of all, what you’ll find at Mogosoaia is not exactly a palace, but rather a manor house built on a former manorial land, included on the list of Historical Monuments of Romania.
Secondly, we are talking about an entire compound: the palace, the courtyard, the italian-inspired garden, the watch-tower, the extensions (the former kitchen building – currently used for temporary exhibitions; the guest house – currently used as a café-restaurant on the ground floor; the former ice house), the flower greenhouses built in Parisian style, the Bibescu family vault and the St. George orthodox church.
How to get there
The town of Mogosoaia is in Ilfov county, approx. 15 km/30 minutes away from Bucharest. You can go there either by car (there is a parking space on the premises), or by public transportation (bus no. 460 or minibus – less than 1€/one way) near Bazilescu Park (you can get here by subway – M4).
The entrance in the compound is free. If you want to visit the interior of the palace (currently an Art Gallery and Museum), the fee is 6 Lei ( ̴ 1.5 €). Some extra fees must be paid if you want to take photos or videos.
Mogosoaia Palace was built by Constantin Brâncoveanu, Prince of Wallachia, in what is called the Romanian Renaissance style or Brâncovenesc style, on the land of the Romanian boyar Mogoș (his wife was called Mogosoaia). The palace was built for Stefan, one of Brancoveanu’s 4 sons. The construction was finished in 1702. As fate would have it, in 1742, C. Brancoveanu and his entire family are executed by the Ottomans in Constantinopole and the palace becomes a turkish inn.
After a period of decline, the palace ends up in the hands of the Bibescu noble family. Martha Bibescu receives the land as a gift from his adventurer husband, George Bibescu. She restores the palace’s former charm by 1930. Among distinguished guests at the palace are Antoine de Saint Exupery and Marcel Proust. Some years later, the palace falls into communist hands.
Nowadays, Mogosoaia Palace is a nice place for a walk, relaxation and getting to know the mysteries of the old times.
Facts: One of the constant complaints of the guests was that the food was served cold, due to the positioning of the kitchen outside the palace.
What to do | to see
- Go up the entrance tower (The Gate Tower) for a great panoramic view of the palace, the courtyard and the surrounding area
- Go inside the palace, which is now organized as an art museum. Watch it, it’s closed on Mondays! We recommend a guided visit, so that you understand the history of the place
The interior does not keep the original elements of the Brancovenesc style, but it is very beautiful and interesting, full of visual attractions (Venetian mosaics, original fireplaces and other pieces of furniture commissioned by Martha Bibescu in the 20th century, paintings and historical illustrations etc.).
The exterior architecture is characterized by the unique Brancovenesc style with Byzantine, Italian and Baroque influences. You get to admire loggias, porticoes, columns and cordons.
- Visit the St. George church to observe the interior paintings – frescoes; the votive painting of Constantin Brancoveanu and his 4 sons
- You must take a walk through the beautiful labyrinth-garden (Italian style), bordered by the Mogosoaia lake, in the back of the palace
- Visit the basement of the palace, also; here you’ll find an exhibit dedicated to the Vacaresti Monastery (link), one of the most beautiful religious dwellings in Bucharest (knocked down in the communist period).
- You can enjoy a picnic on the grass and relax under the blue sky (don’t forget to put a blanket in your backpack)
Curiosity: Lenin’s statue is no longer at the Mogosoaia domain (link)
Best time to visit?
Save one full day for a visit at the Mogosoaia domain. It would be best if you’d come here during the week, to avoid the weekend crowds.
We would say that the best season to visit is late spring (in May you can enjoy the perfume of the irises) or summer (when you can enjoy the contrast of the blue sky, the green garden and the bricky color of the palace’s wall).
According to the official website, the use of drones is strictly forbidden!