The Hill of Cotroceni was once covered by the forest of Vlăsia, which covered most of today's Bucharest. Here, in 1679 a monastery was built by Şerban Cantacuzino, later to be transformed into a palace in 1888 by Carol I. Houses were built in the area near the palace by the royal servants and by high-ranking military personnel.  Carol I also build a royal train station named Gara Cotroceni near the palace. The train station was relocated by the communist regime and was later used for transporting materials for the construction of Casa Poporului.