Everything about Grand Hotel du Boulevard of Bucharest
History of Grand Hotel du Boulevard of Bucharest
According with the official site, Grand Hotel du Boulevard is one of the oldest hotels in Bucharest, designed by the same architect as the Bucharest University, Alexandru Orascu. The monumental building of the Grand Hotel du Boulevard is located across Military Circle, and was built on the land of grand noble Vintila Corbeanu, and was acquired later by Jacques Herdan, the owner of a successful bread factory. Construction started in 1867 required six years until the first facade was finished on the boulevard of the University. The Hotel officially opened in 1873 as Hotel Herdan, changing its name in 1877 as Grand Hotel du Boulevard.
In 1873, the large salons with good lighting and sumptuous decorations of the newly opened hotel hosted a prestigious painting exhibition displaying masterpieces from private collections of King Carol I, Mihail Kogalniceanu, Grigore Cantacuzino, Alexandru Odobescu, Cezar Bolliac, Theodor Aman. Between the marble columns and golden chandeliers were exposed paintings of Lucas Cranach, Titian, Tintoretto, Watteau and Fragonnard. Diplomatic and gala dinners, and sumptuous balls enriched the bohemian atmosphere of the building. Marble room was the most chic location before the World War 1, and before WW2 was the dancing destination of the Bucharest highlife.
The Hotel gloomed by opulence of the decorations and technical modernity: first hotel in Bucharest with water in each room, in 1904 with electrical lights and elevator. In those times the hotels did not received star classification as today, yet Grand Hotel du Boulevard received gold medals at 1906 Milan and 1911 Turin Exhibitions. International influence was very strong until 1937 through foreign hotel managers as John Muller, H. Horn, Fr. Screiber, M. Bertola, S. Rosenthal.
Since the opening, the building located at the crossroads of the main boulevards of Bucharest, Podul Mogoșoaiei and Bulevardul Academiei (renamed in 1871 Bulevardul Elisabeta) had multiple destinations: hotel, restaurants and shops. In time the destination was changed, between 1941 and 1944 became the Headquarter of the German troops in Romania, and between 1950 and 1974 was a government building.