Cultural Palace Info
|Attraction Name(s)||Location||Attraction Type||Visitation Info|
|Piața George Enescu 1, Arad, Romania||Historical Monument|
9am to 7pm
09.00 – 17.00
The Cultural Palace (Palatul Cultural in Romanian) is an early 20th century diverse architectural style palace located in the city of Arad, Romania. The architecture of the building contains classic, Italian Renaissance, Romanian Baroque, and French Gothic, elements and designs. Inspiration for some parts of the palace came from the 15th century Corvin Castle, of Hunedoara, Romania. The idea for the Cultural Palace came from the Kölcsey Cultural Society of Arad. The Kölcsey Cultural Society wanted the city to have a multi-purpose building which would house a library, museum, art gallery, and concert hall.
An international contest was held for selecting the architect of the building. 27 different submissions were received, including ones coming from architects in Paris, Berlin, and Budapest. The city officials however ended up turning down all 27 plans and instead appealed a request to Arad native, and lead architect of many of Arad’s most famous buildings, Ludovic Szántay (1872 – 1961), to design the building. Szántay accepted the proposal to create the blueprints and shortly thereafter got to work developing them. After sufficient funds for the project were finally allocated in 1911, construction for the building finally began. Development of the palace lasted two years, before it was finally completed in 1913.
The palace’s Neo-Classical, Greek temple inspired façade contains a grand pediment that’s supported by massive Corinthian columns. The pediment contains elegant, half-relief style, carvings of the three muses, carved by famed sculpture Geza Rubleczky, that represent science, music, and literature. Above the pediment lies the palace’s massive front tower. The left, and right, lateral wings of the building are comprised in an Italian Renaissance style. They both contain a polygonal based tower at their inception at the front of the building. The backside of the Cultural Palace replicates various gothic elements of the Corvin Castle.
The Secession style central hallway, and palace lobby, are constructed out of marble that was brought over from the nearby commune of Moneasa. The lobby leads into the building’s magnificent concert hall. The concert hall is elegantly decorated and contains spectacular nouveau-art style stained glass windows. The awe-inspiring frescos inside the palace are covered in dazzling gold lamellas. The vault inside the building’s chapel contains an exquisite and fascinating panting of the planet’s solar system and Haley comet. Contained throughout the inside of the palace are alluringly carved metopes, splendid geometric chandeliers, and superb appliqué style sewn works.
The Cultural Palace is located off of boulevard general dragline, on George Enescu Square, in close proximity to the city’s center, and directly in front of Copiilor Park. The building was officially inaugurated on October 25th 1913. During the inauguration ceremony the philharmonic orchestra of Arad played the beautiful pieces of Beethoven, Schubert, Bizet, and Goldmarck in the palace’s concert hall. Throughout the years many world renowned musicians, such as, Richard Strauss, George Enescu, Bela Bartok, and Traian Grozavescu have also done shows inside the palace’s concert hall. Today the palace is the headquarters of the Philharmonics of Arad, and also contains the Museum of History and Science.