Bucharest gained its importance and developed a lot because it was located halfway between the Danube River and Targoviste, the former capital of Wallachia. Thus, at the end of the 14th century, Mircea the Elder, Wallachian ruling prince, built a fortress with a dungeon and a defense moat.
Vlad the Impaler (1448; 1456-1462; 1476), who mentioned Bucharest for the first time in a written document in 1459, extended the princely residence to about 700m² by adding large cellars.
After a century, Prince Mircea the Shepherd (1545-1554; 1558-1559) turned the old fortress into a real princely residence by changing its original structure and by adding to it a chancellery, a guard house, stables, a recreation pavilion and a church that can be seen even today, being the oldest church from Bucharest.
By the end of the 17th century, the Princely Court was the largest medieval ensemble in Wallachia, being inhabited and modified by other Romanian rulers like Matei Basarab, Serban Cantacuzino and Constantin Brancoveanu (1688-1714). This last ruler turned the Princely Court into a piece of art by adding wall paintings, marble stairs, a stone pavilion standing on stone pillars, a watch tower with a clock, a Turkish marble bath and an Italian garden with an arbor.
Stefan Cantacuzino made the last modification and after that, the court felt into ruins. Alexandru Ipsilanti started to build a new court, first court being renamed the Old Court. In 1798 Constantin Hangerli sold the Old Princely Court to different merchants. In 1953 it was rediscovered and today it serves as a museum.
Address: 31 Franceza Street[Gallery not found]