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As Prime Minister, it was his wish to have the most elegant residence in Bucharest.

Today, the palace houses the George Enescu Museum (more information). The square gained worldwide notoriety when TV stations around the globe broadcasted Nicolae Ceausescu's final moments in power on December 21, 1989.

Today, the former Royal palace houses the Romanian National Art Museum (more information). One of the preeminent public fundraising campaigns ever in Romania, the "Give a penny for the Athenaeum" campaign saved the project after the original patrons ran out of funds. See Bucharest is safe and hospitable ; violent crime is almost non-existent.

With its high dome and Doric columns, the Athenaeum resembles an ancient temple. As in any large city visitors are advised to take usual safety precautions.

Today, the massive auditorium plays host to various conferences and events, including some of the George Enescu International Festival concerts. Banquets and official events are still hosted in the ballrooms, while the upstairs area is reserved for the army's library, as well as offices and classrooms for officer instruction.

The main part of the building is off-limits to civilians, but the sumptuous restaurant and summer terrace is open to the public. Address: Calea Victoriei 11 - 13 Boasting one of the most impressive neoclassical facades in the city, this structure was built in the 19th century to the design of French architect Paul Gottereanu (who between 18 designed more than 50 buildings in the city, to house the first Romanian Savings Bank.

Between 19, the House of the Free Press housed almost all of Romania's capital printing presses and headquarters of print media companies.

Today, Casa Presei Libere carries out much the same function but the southern wing is now the home of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

Between the two world wars, Calea Victoriei developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city.