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It was built in 1724 during the ruling of Phanariot Prince Nicolae Mavrocordat by the Greek monk Ioanichie.The church is representative for the Brancovenesc style which blends Ottoman and Western elements together with traditional Romanian architectural forms.

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The building was remodeled in 1882-1885 after plans by the French architect Paul Gottereau only to be rebuilt in 1930-1938 after being damaged in a fire in 1926.

Starting with 1948 the palace houses the National Art Museum and it displays an extensive collection of Romanian and European art dating from the 15th to the 20th century.

The collection includes 18000 pieces of pottery and 20000 examples of national dress from all over the country, as well as carpets, icons, furniture, photographs and films documenting the customs of rural life.

But what makes it special is the way the collection is arranged; the museum looks more like an art gallery than a museum.

The beautiful facade is adorned with mosaics of five Romanian rulers.

On the inside there are scenes from Romanian history.

Many old beautiful buildings were demolished to make way for this monstrosity.

I remember a joke that was going around at the time: the boulevard that ends with the Parliament Palace (which used to be called The House of the People) was to be called "The Victory of Socialism" and the joke was that in fact its name is "The Victory of Socialism against Bucharest".

Sometimes the museum hosts crafts fairs and folk music and dance festivals. The imposing building which used to be the Royal Palace is located in the Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei), in the northwestern corner.

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