Royal houses



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Calea Domnească 181, Târgoviște, România


The first royal house.
The first stone construction from the Royal Court and from the town is the one raised by Mircea cel Batran (Mircea the Old) at the end of the 15th century, close to the south of the church built afterwards by the same ruler. Only the sides of the cellar made of rolling stone, having the dimensions of 15 x 6 m, and a long proeminence on the short side have preserved under the house from the 15th century. The access to it is made from the north side. In the beginning, this construction was protected by a double fence of wooden pillars.

The royal house from the 15th century.
Raised in the third-fourth decade of the 15th century and following the model of the one in Arges, it was placed very close to one of the sides of the enclosure wall. Built on a rectangular surface, which measured 32 x 29 m on the outside, the house had a cellar on the entire surface, with four parallel aisles, on which rose the ground floor whith a large hall (about 6 x 12 m) - probably the ceremony hall and the hall of the royal council - placed on the eastern side - and rooms intended for the accomodation of the regnant and his family.

The royal house from the 16th century. Ruins of Petru Cercel's palace
In the year 1584, the waivode Petru Cercel imagined the construction of a building inspired from the composition principles of the palaces he saw during its peregrinations along Europe. The formation of the house and the decoration of the building's frontages are new elements, but we can sense the local tradition induced by the local manufacturers. The Royal Court built by Petru Cercel, "a small, but beautiful and grand palace", situated near the south side of the first royal house, but completely separated from it, was composed of cellars, the ground floor and one other floor. The cellars, preserved until now in its incipient form, were placed on the axis of the building, having a rectangular shape plane with a 12 m side, divided into four identical sections placed around a massive pillar.

Ruins of Petru Cercel's palace
Initially the access was made through an underground arched proeminence of 25 m long and it was placed on the west side. The ground floor sheltered the royal common room and it was constituted of 10 rooms, from which a large one was placed cross-cut at the southern extremity. The floor contained the living chambers of the waivode and his family and it was completely separated from the ground floor. The access to it was possible only from the outside through a staircase situated on the western frontage and there was a direct connection with the great Church through a passage. The houses were covered with enamelled tiles.

The palace from the 17th century
Matei Basarab finished in 1654 the reconstruction of the royal houses, raising a floor above the house from the 15th century and connecting it with the new one by a passage linkage, resulting a real palace, uniform from the architectonical point of view. Destroyed in 1659, the palace is restored by Constantin Brancoveanu. The vaults and the floors will be renewed and the rooms will be decorated with timber work and paintings. A loggia with access staircase from the garden was built on the east frontage of the Petru Cercel's house and also a second one towards west, on a porch made by Matei Basarab, changing also the orientation of the cellar's access on the side of the great royal church.

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