Curtea Veche (the Old Princely Court) was built as a palace or residence during the rule of Vlad III Dracula in 1459. Archaeological excavations started in 1953, and now the site is operated by the Muzeul Municipiului București in the historic centre of Bucharest, Romania.
Vlad the Impaler's reign was dominated by conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, hence the necessity to permanently watch over and protect the southern border, the Danube, made him stay in the fortified town on the Dâmbovița banks. He issued a Latin document on 13 June 1458 from the area of current Bucharest. Then, on 20 September 1459, he issued a document in Slavonic, specifically referring to the "fortress" in Bucharest, his "princely residence". Other documents were issued in 1460 and 1461. Vlad would have been accompanied by his family, courtiers, and an army corps.:23
During his reign, Mircea Ciobanul repaired the palace, and defined the limits of the city.:25 His palace became the economic nucleus of Bucharest, surrounded by the houses of traders and craftsmen known as the Lipscani. Matei Basarab repaired the palace during his own reign, so that it was "completely rebuilt...amazingly elegant" with a "charming aspect, much finer and gayer".:30–31 Constantin Brâncoveanu rebuilt and extended the palace using stone, including a great marble staircase at the entrance.:36
Vlad Țepeș document establishing his court here on 20 September 1459
Annunciation Church of Saint Anthony
This princely church was built by Mircea Ciobanul in 1559, and is the location of his grave. The church is "the oldest religious building maintained in its original aspect in Bucharest".:25
In its current role as a museum, the palace and neighbourhood inspired Mateiu Caragiale to write his novel Craii de Curtea-Veche. It is also at the center of efforts to restore the historic center of Bucharest.
- John Moore (2007-07-28). "Lifting the Iron Curtain". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-03-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Giurescu, Constantin C. (1976). History of Bucharest. Bucharest: The Publishing House for Sports and Tourism. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Conserved at the National Museum of Romanian History
- Pocotila, Andreea (2006-07-21). "'A Beautiful Bucharest' - the Next Step in Restoring Historical Heart". Bucharest Daily News. Archived from the original on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2008-03-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Muzeul Curtea Veche". ICI.ro (in Romanian).