a sketch of the BNR palace
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The Museum of the National Bank of Romania (Bucharest)

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Today’s post explores one of the Bucharest’s exceptional attractions: The Museum of the National Bank of Romania. We look into reasons to visit, we talk about its collection of art pieces, and briefly touch on the history of this exceptional place.

A visit to the Museum of the National Bank of Romania is a unique and captivating journey through spaces filled with monetary, banking and cultural history. 

The National Bank of Romania (Ro: “Banca Națională a României” , short version BNR) is the central bank of the country and was established in April 1880. Its headquarters are located in the capital city of Bucharest. A visit to the Museum of the National Bank of Romania will give you the opportunity to enter a treasury of knowledge…

The Museum of the National Bank of Romania is basically a niched history museum located inside the National Bank of Romania building also known as the BNR Palace, and it’s collection includes coins, monetary items, banking and cultural history items from Romanian history. The country’s currency has a interesting history and the Museum of the National Bank of Romania is one of the most valuable sources of information about it.

Smardan Street near the National Bank of Romania and Museum of the National Bank of Romania
Smardan Street near the National Bank of Romania

The National Bank of Romania building is an excellent example of neoclassical architecture. The building is symmetrical and the columns are evenly spaced. The columns are Corinthian in style and they are very ornate. The entablature is also very ornate and it has a frieze that depicts scenes from Roman mythology. The pediment is triangular in shape and it is adorned with a sculpture of a Roman god. The roof is made of tile and it is pitched in a way that is typical of neoclassical architecture. The windows are tall and they are spaced evenly. The overall effect of the architecture is one of grandeur and sophistication.

Inside the Museum of the National Bank of Romania

By visiting the Museum of the National Bank of Romania in the most beautiful building in Bucharest, as architect Ion Mincu used to say, you will discover:

  • one of the most valuable numismatic collections in Romania, spanning two and a half millennia;
  • an exhibition of the oldest coin minted on the territory of present-day Romania;
  • the smallest paper money printed in Romania;
  • a magnificent display of gold coins and medals- you’ll have chance to see the gold room ;
  • the history of the national currency from its beginnings to present times;
  • interesting stories about two amazing buildings part of the national heritage;
  • lesser known facts about the people that had run the National Bank;
  • meaningful moments that had linked the activities of the National Bank to the history of Romania;
  • unusual information about the characteristics and uses of gold.

Visitor information Museum of the National Bank of Romania

The BNR museum is located in the city center, at 8 Doamnei Street (Lipscani area, near Unirii Square and the Old Princely Court).

The museum is open only for those that have a prior reservation(48h in advance), for one of the daily visits. So if you want to see it, make an appointment at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00.from Monday to Friday. Admission to the museum is free.

PROGRAM

The Museum of the National Bank of Romania is closed on Bank Holydays and between 15th of December till around 7th of January each year.

Monday to Friday, from 10.00 to 18.00, by confirmed registration.
Tours start daily at 10.00, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00.

REGISTRATION

At muzeul@bnro.ro, stating:

  1. preferred date and time for your visit;
  2. your name and ID number;
  3. a phone number.

Registration takes two working days to process.

ACCESS

Free guided tours for all visitors.
Entrance is in 8 Doamnei Street, based on presenting the ID used for registration.
Visitors are asked to arrive 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled time to follow our central bank security clearance procedures.

Reasons to visit The Museum of the National Bank of Romania

The National Bank of Romania was established in 1888, and its current headquarters was built in the 1920s.

Visitors will be pleased to discover that The Museum is much more than just a storehouse for antique objects. The Museum’s objectives are broad and include a dedication to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting works of art, culture, and more.

Some of the Museum’s most popular exhibits include a Roman coin collection, a collection of currencies from various countries (including Romania, Serbia, and Turkey), and 18th-century oriental rugs. This latter exhibit is particularly impressive, and it includes pieces from organizations such as the Sultan of Oman, the Ba’ath Party, and the Shah’s of Iran.

Other highlights within the museum include coins, banknotes, as well as pieces from the royal family.

Using educational programs, the museum seeks to increase interest in Romanian history, culture, and traditions among the population at large.

A Brief History of the National Bank of Romania

The National Bank of Romania was founded on 9 April 1856, in Bucharest by King Ferdinand I of Romania. It was originally called the National Bank of the Principality of Wallachia and, after its unification with Transylvania in 1859, the National Bank of Romania.

Its function as a central bank was to manage the Romanian leu, the national currency, and act as the country’s banker. The leu was issued by the National Bank, which also published laws regarding the use, storage, circulation, and legal tender . The currency played an important role in the economic and diplomatic life of the country.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Romanian currency, you may find it helpful to visit the Museum’s website. At the museum, you can also get plenty of information from your guide. It’s definitely worth checking out – no matter what your interests are!

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