This ecclectic style palace designed in a combination of French academism and late Baroque is located in the center of Craiova, the most important city of the historical region of Oltenia, an area situated on the geographical southern part of Romania. It resembles the Cheverny Palace that can be found on Loire Valley.
The construction of the Palace, which spanned throughout the years 1898-1907, was started by Constantin Mihail, a rich landowner of Craiova of Macedonian origin, and finished by his two sons, Jean and Mihail. The architect of the Palace was the French Paul Gottereau who also planned and designed iconic buildings in Bucharest such as the CEC Palace (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEC_Palace) and the seat of the University Library (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_University_Library,_Bucharest).
From the very beginning, the Palace was meant to rival the houses and the estates of the other prominent figures of southern Romania, including Bucharest, hence Mihail and his sons did not save any effort in equipping their palace with the best materials and the most modern facilities. The Palace has Carrara marble stairs, Murano glass crystals, Venetian mirrors, Lyon silk, etc. The furniture -of which few pieces can still be found in the art collection of the present museum- came mainly from the Viennese antiquities shop of the rich family of Macedonian merchants Dumba who were close relatives of Mihail family. The Palace was supplied with electrical power and the central heating system was working on the so-called Roman system (the pipes were located in the walls and in the floors) .
The Palace has 29 rooms, without the additions, of which the most impressive is the Mirror Room. In 1936, when Jean Mihail, one of Constantin`s two sons and the inheritor of the Palace, died, he donated it to the Romanian state. Since 1954 it has served as Art Museum but during the life of its builders, the Palace hosted several events and notable figures. During WWI when this part of Romania was occupied by the German Army, the Palace served as the headquarter of the German Administration for Oltenia; in the aftermath of the invasion of Poland by the Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the president of the then Polish Republic and the head of the Polish Army briefly lived in Mihail Palace. The Palace was renovated in the years 2009-2013 with the help of EU funds.