The conac is a symbol of Romania’s past and culture. You’ll see them in paintings, in history books, at the village museums or on vintage postal cards. They are a symbol of this country’s old times, when the prosper countryside brought together noble families and the peasantry.

The term generally designates a landowner’s countryside mansion, a type of residence built throughout the county from the Middle Age up to the XX century. Despite so many unfortunate events during the communist regime, Romania is still rich in countryside mansions. While, sadly, some are in an advanced state of decay, others have survived in a great condition, as museums or private properties.

About an hour away from Bucharest, Conacul Bellu in Urlati stands as a monument of old Romanian architecture, a reference even for the new owners of such mansions who come here for inspiration. Former property of baron Alexandru Bellu, it was donated by his family in the 1920’s to the Romanian Academy and later became a museum, escaping nationalization during communism.

Very well preserved, the XIX century conac has an interior as impressive as the exterior. The living room, the study, the salon, the Oriental and the Chinese salon impress with the perfectly-kept furniture from various periods and priceless paintings, icons, ceramics and rare objects. Exhibits include even valuable second or third century pieces. Alexandru Bellu was a great art collector and a passionate photographer. His photographs of Romanian peasants became well-known in Paris in the 1920s. Some of his photographs are exhibited in the museum’s pavilion.

In the mansion’s cellar you can visit a viticultural exhibition, as Conacul Bellu is located on the best-known Wine Road in Romania, the one crossing the Prahova and Buzau counties.

 

Visiting hours:

Tuesday – Sunday,  09:00 – 17:00

 

How to get there:

Conacul Bellu is located in Urlati, Prahova county. To get there from Bucuresti, take the Bucuresti- Ploiesti road to Ploiesti, the E577 road from Ploiesti to Albesti-Paleologu locality and turn left on 102C road to reach Urlati. You will find Conacul Bellu at one end of the locality’s main road.

 

What else to see nearby:

Jercalai Monastery

Varbila Monastery

Wine cellars and vineyards along the Wine Road

 

For accommodation nearby, check out our dedicated section in the listings directory.