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Palace of National Military Circle

Built 1911 in French neoclassical style by the Romanian architect Dimitrie Maimarolu The Palace of National Military Circle is also known as the Officers’ Circle Palace (Romanian: Cercul Militar Național). Mairmarolu collaborated with V. Ştefănescu and E. Doneaud.

Palace of National Military Circle, 1911.
Palace of National Military Circle, 1922.

The Military Club was built on the site of the former Sărindar monastery (the name witch is preserved in the name of the fountain directly in front of the building). The construction works were initiated in 1911, but the building was inaugurated no sooner than 1923, an event attended by plenty of important public and army figures of the time, King Ferdinand I, Queen Mary, the Minister of War, General Gheorghe Mărdărescu and the Commander of the 2nd Army Corps, General Ştefan Holban. The beneficiary was the Officers’ Circle of the Bucharest military garrison, which was founded in 1876. The construction works took only 2 years, but the opening was delayed by the 1919 German occupation of Bucharest in the First World War.

Palace of National Military Circle, 1944.
Palace of National Military Circle, 1947.
Palace of National Military Circle, 1963.

Its name was changed to “Central House of the Army” (Romanian: Casa Centrală a Armatei) during the communist period. In 1989, it was renamed the “National Military Circle” (Cercul Militar Național). 

The National Military Circle contains numerous reception halls and meeting rooms, a theater, a bookshop, and art galleries. The Marble Hall is known to be one of the most successful achievements of the Romanian architecture. Its decorative elements are of ancient style that bring you back to the bygone era. The stunning collection of swords, stilettos, shields, spears, helmets, and arrows creates a true military environment. Another impressive hall is the Byzantine Hall which takes its name from the Byzantine style it bears with specific elements of the Romanian traditional art. Its dominant component is the row of arches that support the ceiling. After the renovation of the hall, some mural paintings – representing images of the leaders of independent Romania – have been added. 

Today, the National Military Circle is considered a historic and architectural monument. It represents the central cultural institution of the Romanian army and it is also used for various cultural events and for representation and protocol purposes. The restaurant and the terrace are open to the public.