Situated on Calea Victoriei, in the George Enescu Square, the Romanian Athenaeum has drawn many looks from locals and tourists alike, all longing to have a taste of the romanian culture. This concert hall was built between 1886 and 1888, following the plans of french architect Albert Galleron, combining neoclassical and eclectic styles.
The Bishopric Gardens’ land was chosen to be the place where the Athenaeum would be constructed. The Gardens were, at that time, in the property of the Văcărești family. The slogan „give a leu (romanian currency) for the Athenaeum” is very familiar to the citizens of Bucharest, because the funds for the building were obtained through public subscription. The edifice was constructed over the foundation of the riding hall started by „The Romanian Equestrian Society”, and the inauguration ceremony took place on February 14th 1888.
The concert organ was put in the background of the scene, and was also bought through fundraisers, organized by George Enescu, in 1935. The organ was inaugurated 4 years later, at a Franz Schütz concert, who was at that time the director of the University of Music in Viena.
Fortunately, the history of the Romanian Athenaeum is not a very rich one when it comes to disasters, as it happens to many other buildings from Bucharest, which suffered a lot because of earthquakes. The Athenaeum was consolidated and modernised for 10 years, between 1994 and 2004, being reopened in 2005, at the 17th edition of the George Enescu International Festival.