The Romanian Athenaeum (the heart of the Romanian culture) was erected in the Episcopal Garden, land that belonged to the Vacarescu Family. The construction of the present building started in 1886; a part of the funds was gathered by public subscription, with the civic call “Give a leu for the Athenaeum”.
At Charles Garnier’s recommendation, the author of the Paris Opera, French architect Albert Galleron was entrusted with drawing up the building schematics. The façade has a 48 meter wide peristyle. The 6 columns of the peristyle are 12 meters high and are identical, dimension wise, to those of the Erechteum in Athens. Under the peristyle there are 5 mosaic insets that represent the 5 great rulers of the country: Neagoe Basarab, Alexandru cel Bun, King Carol I of Romania, Vasile Lupu and Matei Basarab. The building is 41 meters high. Inside, the concerts hall, 28,50 meters in diameter and 16 meters high, has a capacity of 600 seats on the floor and 52 loges (approximately 794 seats in total).