The house belonged to the Lens family who had French origins. Filip Lens (1777?-1853), born in Buchrest, was the son of Jean-Baptiste of Lienche, a French who had come in Wallachia in the 18th century as the secretary of Prince Alexandru Ipsilanti. His son was an important nobleman of its time having many responsibilities at the Wallachian court.
Filip Lens built the house in 1821 as a wedding gift for his bride Lisaveta Balotescu-Carpinisanu. Only one year later the building is seriously damaged by a great fire but the owner rebuilt it and transformed it into the most beautiful house of the time.
Filip Lens died in 1853 during the Crimean War and the house will be used by the Military College, the Defense Minister or by the Russian Army. During this time Lev Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, visited the house.
The house was destroyed by another fire in 1882 and it is sold in 1886 to Gheorghe Dimitrie Vernescu, lawyer and politician, one of the founders of the Romanian Liberal Party. From that moment the house will be forever named Casa Vernescu. He is the one who gave the edifice an eclectic aspect by hiring in 1906 the famous Romanian architect Ioan Mincu who transformed it into the most luxurious palace on the boulevard. The house is characterized by marble staircases, by ceilings richly decorated, by intricate stain-glasses or heavy crystal mirrors.
In 1890 the frescos of George Demetrescu Mirea added an even more elegant touch to the palace. From that moment it became the center of the luxurious balls. Despite all these, Vernescu had to sell the house because of financial problems.
Before the WWII the building became the office of different ministries or even of the Romanian government.
In 1944 the Vernescu house was taken by the Red Army which destroyed many of the beautiful frescos. After the war it was taken by the Groza government in 1945 then till 1990 it was used as a protocol house.
After the anticommunist revolution it had became the headquarter of the writers and in 1993 it was renovated being transformed into a famous casino and a restaurant.
Address: 133 Victoriei Avenue
Link: The Vernescu House