Jean Mihail Palace

Address: Romania, Craiova, Calea Unirii 15

GPS: GPS 44.31921, 23.795273

Contact: +4 0251 412 342

Email: info@muzeuldeartacraiova.ro

Website: https://muzeuldeartacraiova.ro/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Muzeul%20de%20Art%C4%83%20din%20Craiova/843590075703236/

Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00

Day off: Monday

Transport to the city from the previous point along the route: car or train

We leave the Marincu Palace to continue to the last point of our route in search of art and culture. We go to the administrative centre of Dolj County - Craiova and the most beautiful building in it – the Jean Mihail Palace. The building is an architectural monument of national interest. The palace was built between 1898 and 1907 to serve as the private residence of Constantin Dinu Mihael, a landowner and politician, the son of the great landowner Nicolachi Mihail.
In 1888, Constantin Mihail became president of the Dolj County Council and wanted to build a palace in the city centre worthy of his wealth and social status. The famous French architect Paul Gottereau designed the building. Constantin Mihail died in 1908 before he was able to open his residence.


The Palace of Jean Mihail belongs to French academicism, including elements belonging to the late Baroque. The palace has a rich interior and exterior decorative architecture and for its construction and decoration they used extremely high quality materials. The exclusive interior is achieved by a Carrara marble staircase and Ionian-style columns, Murano chandeliers, Venetian chandeliers, walls upholstered in Lyon silk, high-quality panelling and parquet, stylish furniture, Japanese dishes, sculptures and paintings.


Jean Mihail inherited much of his father's land and real estate, and after the death of his brother and aunts and uncles, he became one of the richest Romanians in the 1930s. Like his father, he was an art lover and amassed rich collections. At his death in 1936, Jean Mihail's fortune, which included land and property, 30 million lei in cash and another 950 million in cash and shares deposited in various banks, became the property of the state. Jean Mihail's will provides for the creation of a cultural foundation named after him, which will liquidate his wealth and sell the land to peasants, and the money received will be used to establish schools, cultural centres, rural libraries, a school with an agronomic profile in Craiova.

After the end of the Second World War, the Jean Mihail Palace housed the headquarters of some political institutions, such as the regional communist organization Oltenia and the Romanian Association for Strengthening Relations with the Soviet Union. of the Institute of Agronomy, predecessor of the University of Craiova.


Over the years, the palace has housed various prominent figures - King Carol I (1913), Tsar Ferdinand (1915), during the First World War in 1916 was the headquarters of the German command for Oltenia, the commander in chief of the Polish Armed Forces Marshal Edward Smigly-Rydz (1939), Polish President Ignacy Mościcki (1939), Josip Broz Tito (1944) and others.


Since 1954, the Jean Mihail Palace has housed the Art Museum of Craiova. Initially, the museum's collection consisted of the collections of the Alexandru şi Aristia Aman Art Gallery, which includes works from Dutch Flemish, Italian and French schools from the 17th century, Romanian paintings (Theodor Aman), Romanian and foreign graphic works of art, which have been added to Jean Mihail's collection of European paintings. Over the years, the museum's fund has been enriched through the acquisition of works of art by the municipality and donations to collections owned by personalities such as Nicolae Romanescu, Cornetti, Glogoveanu.


Today, the permanent exhibition presents works divided into three exhibitions: a collection of European art, a collection of Romanian art and Constantin Brâncuși. The collection of European art offers the visitors works from the Dutch, Flemish, Italian and French schools. The collection of Romanian art includes icons, paintings, paintings by artists Constantin Lecca, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ștefan Luchian , Nicolae Tonitza, Iosif Iser , Gheorghe Petrașcu , Theodor Pallady, Eustațiu Stoenescu, Ion Ţuculescu , Corneliu Baba.


The main attraction of the museum is the gallery dedicated to Constantin Brâncuși, showing six of his early sculptures (including versions of his most famous works):

  • Vitellius (1898),
  • Miss Pogany (copy of version I, 1913)
  • Pride (1905),
  • Child's head (1906),
  • The Kiss (1907) and
  • Torso (Thigh) (1909-1910).

The majestic Palace of Jean Mihail was our last stop on the Art and Culture route. We hope you have enjoyed the rich collections in our selected museums and galleries and theatrical performances at the Drama Theatre "Vida".


To return to our starting point - Veliko Tarnovo, we offer you to cross the Danube on a ferry at Turnu Magurele - Nikopol.