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Cenad Palace – Visitor Information
The Cenad Palace is located in the city of Arad’s city center at the address: Bulevardul Revoluției 78. It sits at the intersection of Bulevardul Revoluției (Revolution Boulevard) and Strada Romul Veliciu (Romul Veliciu Street).
The palace is located in front of the Mihai Eminescu park, and adjacent to Arad’s City Hall Building (Primăria Arad) also known as The Administrative Palace of Arad.
The inside rooms and offices within the palace are not open for casual tourism. One can visit and admire the building from the outside. The palace is located near-by many other attractions and thus worth a visit if one is already in the area.
To gain access to the inside of the building, one must have a meeting or appointment with an organization or individual which functions from inside. The other option for visitation is if one is invited to a wedding that is done inside the palace.
Cenad Palace – Summary
The Cenad Palace (Palatul Cenad) is a three-story, 19th century, eclectic, neo-classical, architectural style palace located in the city of Arad, Romania. The palace was constructed with the sole purpose of functioning as the headquarters for Arad’s Railway Company.
Funding for the palace was provided by the very wealthy and aristocratic Count Želenski Robert. Count Želenski Robert was a member of Arad’s Parliament, the President of the Agricultural Association of Arad, and one of the main founders of the Arad & Csanad United Railways.
The Cenad Palace has an imposing presence in the Arad center. It is surrounded by many other eclectic and neo-classical style buildings which were Arad’s predominate architectural styles in the era of the late 19th century. The palace is considered and listed as one of Romania’s Historical Monuments.
Cenad Palace – Architecture
The chief designer of the Cenad Palace was architect Miklós Ybl. Ybl, a Hungarian native, was one of Europe’s most prominent architects of the 19th century. He developed the plans for the Cenad Palace from his workshop in Budapest, Hungary.
The original blueprints Ybl created for the palace were later passed on to another architect. The plans were given to Arad native Lajos Jiraszek. Jiraszek modified the original concept for the palace to make it fit in with the other surrounding buildings in Arad’s city center.
Construction of the Cenad Palace took two years, from 1892 to 1894, before it was finished. The building of the project was carried out by local contractors as well as some volunteer residents. The materials that were used on the building mainly came from Arad and other nearby cities and villages.
The building’s façade is extravagantly decorated with stylistic elements of the Italian Renaissance. The center top portion of the front side of the building (off Romul Veliciu Street) still contains the Arad-Cenad Railway’s iconic symbol.
The palace is shaped like an L and contains two spectacular towers on the front left and front right corners. There are four separate entrance gates which lead inside the building. The palace’s courtyard contains two dazzling 19th century gas chandeliers which have been well preserved for many decades.
Throughout many parts of the building there are railway themed carvings and decorative elements which showcase and emphasize the palace for being Railway company command center. The palace also contains a few beautifully crafted balconies which extend out into the open air and provide amazing views of downtown Arad.
On the frontispiece of the Palace there is a glorious representation of Mercury, the god of commerce. The Mercury representation was implemented as a means to highlight the building’s purpose of strengthening and expanding Arad’s economy.
Throughout the building and under the building’s gateways there still remain alluring murals that depict religious and allegorical portrayals. One of the murals inside the palace illustrates a scene of St. George next to a slain dragon which lays dead on a railway line.
Cenad Palace – Present Day
The Cenad Palace is no longer the center of operations for the Arad & Csanad United Railways (which was bought out by Romanian railway CFR). After the 1989 Romanian revolution the palace became a multi-purpose building.
The building contains elegant offices that are used by city officials, parliamentarians, and various other non-government organizations. Many key operating functions for the city of Arad are proposed and developed from within the offices of the Cenad Palace.
The palace also has an exquisite wedding hall where many weddings are hosted and take place throughout the year. On Wednesdays the wedding hall also serves as a meeting headquarters for local students who gather to coordinate and discuss strategies for Romania’s various student bodies.
Because the Cenad Palace is designated as a Historical Monument in Romania, any type of development, renovation, or extension of the outside edifice must first get approval from city officials.
The current state of the building’s exterior is adequate in most areas, but also shows signs of deterioration in others. The offices and rooms inside the building are well maintained and operate year round.