Mogoșoaia Palace

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Mogoșoaia Palace
Palatul Mogoșoaia
RO IF Mogosoaia Palace Kitchen Watch Tower.jpg
General information
Architectural style Brâncovenesc style
Town or city Mogoșoaia
Country  Romania

Mogoșoaia Palace (in Romanian: Palatul Mogoșoaia, pronounced [paˈlatul moɡoˈʃo̯aja]) is situated about 10 kilometres from Bucharest, Romania. It was built between 1698-1702 by Constantin Brâncoveanu in what is called the Romanian Renaissance style or Brâncovenesc style, a combination of Venetian and Oriental elements. The palace bears the name of the widow of the Romanian boyar Mogoș, who owned the land it was built on. The Palace was to a large extent rebuilt in the 1920s by Marthe Bibesco.

Owned by the princes Bassaraba de Brancovan (Constantine III until 1762, Nicolas until 1804, Emmanuel until 1811, Grégoire until 1832), it became a part of the Brancovan heritage granted by prince Grégoire to his daughter, Zoe Mavrocordat Bassaraba de Brancovan who had married George D. Bibesco, sovereign Prince of Wallachia (1842-1848). Later, it passed to their son Nicolas Bibesco (1830-1890) and ultimately to Nicolas' eldest daughter, Marie-Nicole (issued from his marriage to Hélène Ney d'Elchingen, daughter of Michel Félix Ney, 2nd duke d'Elchingen).

Bought from Marie-Nicole by her cousin (and head of the Princely house), Prince George Bibesco, the Palace was given to his wife, Princess Marthe. He later deeded the land to her, too. Marthe spent her private fortune, mostly amassed from the many books she wrote, for the reconstruction. In the late 1920s and especially during the 1930s, the palace became the meeting place for politicians and for the international high society, a quiet retreat during the growing turmoil of the epoch. When Prince George died in 1941, he was buried in the small, white 1688 church on the grounds of the Palace.

During the second world war, Prince Antoine Bibesco (a cousin of George Bibesco) and his wife Elizabeth Bibesco, refused to flee the country despite their outspoken anti-fascist opinions. Elizabeth spent considerable time during these years visiting Marthe Bibesco at Mogoșoaia and when Elizabeth died of pneumonia on April 7, 1945 she was buried in the Bibesco family vault on the grounds of Mogoșoaia. It may surprise visitors to see her grave here with its poignant epitaph in English - "My soul has gained the freedom of the night." Neither Elizabeth Bibesco's husband, Antoine, nor George Bibesco's wife, Marthe, could be buried beside them, as they both died during the Communist regime.

The Palace is now a popular tourist destination, but although the grounds and gardens are beautiful, the interior of the palace itself is under reconstruction and presently houses a museum and art gallery. (Muzeul de Artă Brâncovenească)

In 2008 the Romanian gothic rock band Inopia produced a video of their song "Epitaph", filmed entirely at Mogosoaia. The long medievalist composition is based on Elizabeth Bibesco's epitaph. In 2010 the Balkan Go Championship took place at Mogoșoaia, being broadcast by EuroGoTV to hundreds of fans watching the stream and following the games on the KGS Go Server.

External links[edit]

  • Mogoșoaia Palace Artifacts: Gallery

References[edit]

Sutherland, Christine, Enchantress, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1996

Bibesco, Marthe, In Memoriam, Unpublished article circa 1945, University of Texas

Coordinates: 44°31′39.65″N 25°59′33.77″E / 44.5276806°N 25.9927139°E / 44.5276806; 25.9927139