27-31, Franceza str.
The large scale researches initiated
in 1953 have revealed vestiges of the ancient voivodal court of Bucharest.
The voivodal residence dates from the end of the XIVth century. The first construction (with brick foundation) was enlarged and improved by Vlad Tepes, "the Impaler" (1448; 1456-1462; 1476), so that the surface reached up to 700 sq. m. It was Vlad Tepes who issued the document which first attested the name of the city of Bucharest (on september the 20th, 1459). Draculea's building underwent essential changes, in time.
For instance, Mircea Ciobanul (1545-1554; 1558-1559) turned the old fortress into a palace with large caves and asked for a princely church to be built by the palace. In his time, the court had reached a surface of 25.000 sq. m. New changes were made during Matei Basarab (1632-1654), Grigore Ghica, Gheorghe Duca, Serban Cantacuzino, Constantin Brancoveanu (1688-1714) and Stefan Cantacuzino (1714-1716), who embelished it with stone columns, marble stairs, paintings and surrounded it with beautiful gardens admired by the foreigner travellers. The foreign travelers left written testimonies of their visitors' enchantement.
Yet, a series of fires, earthquakes, havocs have ruined the place, starting from the second half of the XVIIIth century, so that Alexandru Ipsilanti decided to have a new residence built on the Spirii Hill, not far from the Mihai Voda monastery. In 1798, Constantin Hangerli ordered the Court to be parcelled out and put to auction so that urbanistic works have covered the remains completely.
The vestiges were brought to light by the archeological diggings that were undertaken between 1967-1972, and are preserved as an out-door site that preserves the technical construction elements dating since the XIVth century up to the XIXth, fragments of the water supplying system, the turkish bath of the Palace, exterior architectural decorations, the interior initial geometry, mural paintings.
The cultural, historical, scientifical importance of the site make of the architectural complex of the Old Court a reference point of Bucharest.