Set atop one of the city's few hills, known as Mitropoliei, the Patriarchal Cathedral has been the centrepiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since the 17th-century. Built to a design based on the Curtea de Arges, near Pitesti, it has undergone a number of facelifts over the years, but the overwhelming majority of the cathedral's structure is the original, built between 1654 and 1658. The outstanding bell-tower at the entrance was built in 1698, and restored in 1958. Next to the church - and closed to the public - is the Patriarchal Palace, residence of Daniel Ciobotea, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It was built in 1708, and was - for a brief period in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 revolution - where the new, vaguely democratic Romanian parliament met.
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