The palace was built in 1835 following the drawings of the French architect Michel Sanjouand. It belonged to Barbu Dimitrie Stirbei (1799-1869), back then just the chancellor of the Wallachian Assembly. During the reign of Prince Barbu D. Stirbei (1849-1853 and 1854-1856) the palace served as the princely residence.
In 1852 the palace is renovated under the surveillance of the Spanish-Romanian architect Xavier Villacrosse. In 1882 Alexandru Stirbei, the son of the former prince, hired the architect Friederic Hartmann and changed the main facade of the palace by adding the tower and the caryatids. It has a neo-Classical style with Greek influences given especially by the caryatids of the main facade. A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head.
The palace became known for its pompous balls like the one given in 1843 in the honor of the Prussian prince’s brother.
The palace had belonged to the Stirbei family till 1948 when it was nationalized by the communists. By the end of the 50s many important and fine architectural elements were destroyed and completely lost.
Between 1954 and 1977 it hosted the Traditional Art Museum and then the Glass and Ceramic Museum till 1994.
At the present the palace and the entire estate belong to a private person who unfortunately destroyed many parts of the estate. According to the plan a modern mall made of steel and glass should appear just behind the palace. Unfortunately, the buildings of the former barns, of great historical and architectural value, together with the wine cells had been demolished. One of the most beautiful buildings of Bucharest has an insecure future and this because of the corrupted authorities.
Barbu Dimitrie Stirbei is the son of Dimitrie Bibescu and Ecaterina Vacarescu, brother of Prince Gheorghe Bibescu. He was adopted by his rich uncle Barbu Stirbey. After his studies in Paris he occupied different important jobs, such as the one of great treasurer under the reign of Prince Alexandru Ghica. He reigned twice in Wallachia, proving himself a god and wise leader. He had to deal with the occupying Russian and Turkish armies. The National Theater was built under his reign; in the mean time it was bombed by the Germans and then demolished by the communists. In 1853 he had to retreat in Austria because of the new Russian occupation. He came back as Prince of Walachia in 1854 but under the Austrian control his actions were limited. He pledged for the Wallachian and Moldavian unification which eventually happened in 1859.
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