Athne Palace

Now home to the deliriously posh Hilton (see Sleeping p69), the Athénée Palace (Map p60; Str Episcopiel 1-3) is the grand dame of Bucharest, holding a particular place in the city's history. It was the first concrete building in Bucharest when designed and built in 1914 by French architect Téophile Bradeau. Sitting on the northern side of Piata Revolutiei, it hosted political intrigue, scandals and high living when German officers used it as their base during WWII. It suffered heavy bombing during the war and was consequently rebuilt in 1945. A new wing was added in 1966. The hotel became notorious for being a den of iniquity with high-class prostitution in the interwar years, then suffered yet more damage from fire and bullets during the revolution.

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