Table of Contents
Administrative Palace of Arad – Visitor Information
It is right in front of the Mihai Eminescu park, and is situated close to two other nearby palaces, the Justiției Palace (to its SW) and the Cenad Palace (to its NW).
The Palace is currently in use as Arad’s City Hall. Visitation is allowed during normal business hours.
The palace hours are:
Mon-Thur: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Administrative Palace of Arad – Summary
The Administrative Palace of Arad is a 19th century architectural marvel located in the city of Arad Romania. Construction on the palace started in 1872 and was completed four years later in 1876. The palace was inaugurated in 1877.
The palace was built in order to provide a new administrative building in a more focal point of the city. The previous town hall, which had been in located in the Avram Iancu Square since the 17th century, had become less accessible after Arad’s expansion, so a new one was needed.
The location chosen for the administrative palace was a 4,320 square meter plot of land, which at the time housed the city’s salt mine office. Arad’s bourgeoisie and property owners of the day accepted the proposition to replace the old salt mine headquarters with what would become the new city hall.
After construction of the palace was finished, many restorations and transformations were done in and around the city center. The creation of the administrative building marked a turn in the urbanization of the city.
The new upgrades were done in order to keep up with the other European cities which were rapidly modernizing. One of the most significant modernizations that took place in Arad after the palace was finished was the reconstruction of the city tram. It was completely redesigned and overhauled to be able to accommodate the city’s rapid urbanization.
The Administrative Palace of Arad is known by a few other names, those names include: in English, The City Hall of Arad, in Romanian, Palatul Administrativ din Arad, or, Primăria Arad.
Administrative Palace of Arad – Architecture
The architecture of the Administrative Palace of Arad is one of Romania’s finest eclectic style creations. It mixes and combines a medieval-city-hall style with a Flemish neo-Renaissance design. The façade of the building bears rich neo-Renaissance references and is rhythmically decorated with classical elements.
The initial design of the building was made by Budapestan architect Ödön Lechner after he beat out 17 other architects, and won first place, in a contest for the palace’s design. The city wasn’t able to accumulate the funds necessary to complete Lechner’s ambitious version of the palace so the initial plans were postponed.
The project was later taken over and finished by Arad native Ferenc Pekar. Pekar modified Lechner’s blueprints and removed certain elements that he deemed unnecessary. The new modifications significantly brought down the total cost of the development and the project was subsequently green lighted.
The palace was constructed in the shape of a U, with a full left, right, and central wing. The outside of the building boasts a 177ft high Flemish Renaissance style tower.
In 1878 a clock, which was purchased from Switzerland, was added to the top of the tour. The clock’s bell chimed precisely every half hour for almost a full century. In 2007, after Romania joined the European Union, the clock was altered to play the EU’s anthem on the hour every hour.
Administrative Palace of Arad – Attractions
To gain access inside the palace you must first enter through one of the four original palace’s sculpted wooden front doors. Once inside you will behold unique, amazing, and fascinating marvels of construction and design.
The palace contains many fascinating elements and wonders. There are two exquisite and dazzling staircases which were made using red marble brought from the nearby Moneasa commune. Also found adorned throughout the various rooms within the building are beautiful sparkling chandeliers that provide stunning appearances.
Some of the rooms inside the palace contain a museum style ambiance due to the cases of beautiful and rare jewelry, as well as original paintings and portraits, displayed within them. Some rooms also have angel, and eagle statues ornamented around the ceilings.
Many of the doors which lead to various chambers within the palace are highly decorated. A few of the door frames are gold-plated and contain vegetal style patterns and zoomorphic elements.
The first floor of the palace comprises a great hall that used to accommodate and host up to 200 municipal deputies during meetings at a time. The hall has within it a beautiful replica of the first emblem of the city of Arad. The hall also has an astonishingly crafted balcony that provides an amazing outside view of the city of Arad.
The windows inside the hall are Murano glass and were designed by Arad native and architect Sever Frențiu in the 1960’s. They were developed and constructed by craftsman Szappanos. The windows were implemented into the hall in 1977. The windows are superbly stained to allegorically depict a theme of time. The theme portrays the months and four seasons of the year.
Administrative Palace of Arad – Present Day
For decades the Administrative Palace of Arad, has been, and to this day still is, the city’s functioning town hall. The building’s 90 offices are staffed with busy administrative clerks who show up for work 5 days a week. Arad’s mayor, and prefect offices are also contained in and operate out of the palace.
Aside from serving its operational duty as the city hall, the administrative building is also open to and receives tourists. Local tour groups are often seen wandering in and around the palace photographing all its unique and beautiful designs and architectures.
The square facing the administrative building was named The Revolution Square, in memory of Romania’s 1989 revolution. In the midst of the square there is a triptych and a monument which were erected to commemorate the lives lost during the bloody revolution.