Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest is the headquarters and residence of the Romanian president, as well as home to the National Cotroceni Museum. The original palace served as the residence of Romanian rulers until the end of the 19th century, at which time a larger palace was commissioned by King Carol I. Most of the palace had to be rebuilt after an earthquake struck in 1977. Adjacent to the palace is the Cotroceni Garden, one of the major public gardens in the city which dates back to the 1850s.
The National Cotroceni Museum collection features more than 20,000 objects, divided into several different collections. Highlights include 18th and 19th century religious arts; a collection of Romanian paintings from the 19th century to the present; 18th and 19th century paintings from German, Austrian, French and Belgian artists; sculptures from both Romanian and European sculptors; drawings, watercolors and engravings from the 19th and 20th centuries; and decorative arts, including ceramics, glass, metals and textiles.
The Cotroceni Palace is accessible from the Politehnica or Eroilor Metro stations. Tours of the palace are available in English, French, Italian and Spanish. The 60 minute version costs 35 lei and includes the Cotroceni Church and the first and second floors of the palace. The 90 minute tour costs 40 lei and adds in the cellar. Tours must be booked in advance. Photo fees are charged both for cell phones (5 lei) and cameras (20 lei)