Draghici Cantacuzino’s Palace

"The Wonder of Magureni"

This is how architect Calin Hoinarescu, described Draghici Cantacuzino's Palace from Magureni in his article, - a real wonder of the architectural and construction techniques of those times: "A new step towards defining the type of boyar residence is made by craftsmen who raised at Magureni in Prahova for Draghici Cantacuzino, the great son of the postelnic, the mansion that rightly should be called "the miracle of Magureni".

  Unfortunately, today, even if there are plans for the reconstruction of this palace, it is very difficult to realize, due to the fact that in the immediate vicinity of the palace  different constructions of the locals have appeared.

Described thoroughly by Virgil Draghiceanu from the archaeological excavations carried out by him, we will only emphasize the resemblance to the residence of the postelnic from Filipestii de Targ and especially the volumetric, planimetric and structural innovations made in this monument.

The palace had an unusual structure for a construction of those times. The rooms were grouped around a tower on the northern side (where there was a loggia), with many hiding places. The building was built above a cellar and rose on two levels, linked together by an interior staircase. Both on the ground floor and upstairs, the rooms were arranged around a central room. This palace was the first building on the territory of Romania with ground floor and habitable upstairs floor.

From the descriptions made by Paul de Alep (author of several travel journals and historical compilations, who visited the palace in 1654), it appears that the palace had an imposing facade with monumental stairs. Above the entrance there was a writing that contained words of praise to the family. Inside there was a large central room surrounded on all sides by other rooms. The vaulted ceilings leaned against the columns, and the walls were painted in pastel colors. The floor was of enameled ceramics or stone slabs. Upstairs there was a gazebo (loggia), a favorite place for guests, due to the view to the north, where Satul Banului is today. The entire residence had an impressive architecture and rich interior ornaments, oriental frescoes, arabesques, poles and columns carved in stone.

During the earthquake of 1839, the walls and columns of the turrets collapsed. Following the fall of the walls, the chambers were buried under layers of a few meters of rubble that over time got embedded in the ground . It was not until 1910 that excavations were made and revealed the truly impressive building and the very interesting architecture of this house. During excavations, pieces of furniture, chandelier, Murano glass, porcelain of Sevres and oriental ceramics were found among the dilapidations, which reveals the taste for expensive beautiful interior decorations of the Cantacuzino family.

Unfortunately, the ruins were left desolate after 1910 and degraded over time. From the impressive palace of old, today only some ruins remain, around which the inhabitants of the area have built their own houses.

The historical life of the Cantacuzino family took place in different localities in Prahova, and in our area there are several ruins of Cantacuzino’s houses. This palace was erected by Draghici Cantacuzino-Magureanu, the son of the famous postelnic Constantin Cantacuzino. The construction was started in 1667 by Draghici Cantacuzino, and was completed in 1671 by his wife, Pauna, and by his son Parvu Magureanu. Constantin Brancoveanu was very close to his uncle Draghici Cantacuzino-Magureanu, and his son, Parvu Magureanu.


  • Magureni, Jud. Prahova, Strada Ograda
  • 45.044144, 25.748751
  • 3 km
  • 5.5 min