The city was first mentioned in 1459 and became the capital of Romania in 1862. Since then, it has gone through a variety of changes and has become the centre of the Romanian mass media, cultural and arts scene. Its eclectic architecture, which is a mix of historical, Communist-era and modern, also reflects the city's varied history. According to the 2002 census, Bucharest has a population of 1,921,751 inhabitants in the city proper, making it the largest city in Southeastern Europe. There are also approximately 2.3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Economically, the city is by far the most prosperous in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of the region. As the most important city in Romania, Bucharest has a broad range of educational facilities.
The Romanian Athenaeum (RomanianAteneu Român, definite article form Ateneul Român) in the center of Bucharest, Romania. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and the home of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and the home of an annual international music festival also named after George Enescu.
The Romanian Atheneum Society was founded in 1865 by Constantin Esarcu, V.A. Ureche, and Nicolae Creţulescu and raised the money for the building by public subscription. The building was designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, on property that had belonged to the Văcărescu family. The overall style is neoclassical, with some more romantic touches.