Palace of Administration & Palace of Culture at Marosvásárhely
This ensemble of the two buildings represents one of the top achievements of Hungarian Art Nouveau in architecture and ornamental art, located in Târgu Mureş, Romania.
Palace of Administration (on the left, with the 55 m high tower) was built in 1906-1907 as a town/city hall (and was used this way as far as the 1950s, when it has become the headquarters of the Romanian communist party for forty years; from 1990 it belongs to the county prefecture).
The right one, Palace of Culture was built a few years later, between 1911-1913. Both buildings were designed by the Budapest-based ardhitects, Marcell Komor and Dezső Jakab, the right one was planned to be a 2-story building, but according to the local legend, György Bernády, the legendary mayor of the town of his age, who had comissioned the building, spent a few weeks in the United States then, and following his personal impressions wanted to have a higher construction than the original plans. Thus the building with the extra level added could house a concert hall with a capacity of 800, a smaller hall with 300 seats, a 45 m long Mirror Hall (rather a wide corridor suitable for different social events), a gallery, a museum and a library. (Note, please, that this capacity must be compared to the total population of 25.517 according to the census of 1910 held in the town - the first cathedral was inaugurated in the 1930s.) A lot of cultural-educational activities are still going on in the building, and it was always used for cultural purposes, even in the darkest times.
The ornaments (roofs, stained glass windows, mosaics, sculptures, facades etc.) were made by the leading Hungarian artists of the age, e.g. Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, Miksa Róth, Ede Kallós and many more, and the most modern artistic tecnologies were utilized during construction.
Restoration works of the two rather decayed edifices were carried out in 1995-1998 and 2003-2007, respectively. While Palace of Culture was refurbished more or less according to the very original state (and is opened to the public), most of the outdoor and indoor ornaments of Palace of Administration has been removed (e.g. all plaques referring to the original construction, stained glass-windows introducing great scenes of Hungarian history, a portrait gallery of the Hungarian past etc.), or hasn't been replaced as carefully as in the case of Palace of Culture. Palace of Administration cannot be accessed by visitors.
See a closer view of Palace of Culture.