PALACE OF JUSTICE
Called the Palace of Justice in the first part of its existence, the building was built at the beginning of the 20th century, more precisely in 1908. An aesthetic success, but also an impressive presence the “palace” was a great addition to the architectural landscape of the city, otherwise quite modest. At the time of construction, the area where the palace was located was called Széchényi Square (today Ion I.C. Bratianu Square) and the land was bought from the Roman Catholic Bishopric. The palace is hexagonal, with two inner courtyards.
The edifice’s plans were made in Budapest by architect Gester Kálmán. He proposed two variants, different mainly through the richness of façade decorations. Of these, the simpler and more balanced option was chosen. Architectural and stylistically, the building is framed by secessionism (or “secession”), the German version of Art Nouveau. Also, the secessionist stream had distinct peculiarities for the area under Viennese influence. Generally, in architecture, secession meant harmonious forms, partly inspired by classicism and emphasis on functionality. In the case of the palace of Alba Iulia, the most impressive part is the southern façade.
After the building was put into operation, the Court, the Mixed Court, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Penitentiary, the Bar, the Land Registry, and the Territory Commission for Expropriation and Ownership functioned. After the administrative reorganization in 1968 and the re-emergence of the Alba County, the building will be used by the county’s institutions, including the Alba County Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. The City Hall of Alba Iulia also functioned here. After 1990, the Prefecture of Alba County and the Alba County Council remained in this building.
Several important events for the history of Alba Iulia were organized here, given the generous spaces of the building: the election of the Transylvanian Conducting Council (ie the Government) on 2 December 1918 and the delegation to leave for Bucharest to hand over to the King Ferdinand’s decision to unite the Transylvanian; The conduct of the Congress of the Union of Former Romanian Volunteers from 1925; Finally, the history of the building is also linked to the 1989 Revolution, during which time the building is the most important objective in the city.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR expert
Built in 1908 on the current Ion I.C. Bratianu Square, the Palace of Justice was an aesthetic success and impressive presence in the city’s landscape at the time.
The architectural plans for the palace were originally drafted in Budapest, and included the construction of two inner courtyards housed within its hexagonal perimeters.
From an architectural and stylistic point-of-view, the building was influenced by secession art (the German version of Art Nouveau), which favours harmonious forms partly inspired by classicism to emphasize functionality. The building’s most impressive design aspect can be witnessed along its southern facade.
The palace has had different purposes over the years – mostly within the legal sphere. Among the institutions that worked here were: the Courthouse, the Mixed Court, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the Penitentiary.
After an administrative reorganisation in 1968 and the re-emergence of the Alba County, the building was used by the county’s government institutions. The City Hall of Alba Iulia functioned here along with the Court of Appeal, the Alba County Prefecture and Alba County Council from 1990.
Over the years, the palace has hosted a number of major events, the most important being the election of Transylvania’s provisional government on 2 December 1918. At this time, officials also established the delegation, which visited Bucharest and granted King Ferdinand with the decision to unify Transylvania and Romania.