Cotroceni Palace is a palace of Bucharest which is the residence of the President of Romania, located at Bulevardul Geniului, nr. 1.
On Cotroceni hill, in 1679 Şerban Cantacuzino built a monastery and this was the place where a palace was built by French architect Paul Gottereau for King Carol I of Romania in 1888.
In 1977, Nicolae Ceauşescu made the palace a guest house and the old church of Cantacuzino was demolished in 1985. Since 1991, it has been the residence of the Romanian President; also the National Cotroceni Museum is open to the public.
During the time when Ion Iliescu was president, the press reported that an owl had settled in the park which surrounds Cotroceni Palace. In Romanian folklore, an owl is said to be a funerary bird that announces the imminent death of somebody, as the hooting of the owl is likened to a mourning call. For this reason, it is alleged that a hunter was hired to shoot the owl.