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 Parliament Palace

The Palace of the Parliament, also known as the House of the People, is the most controversial building in Romania. It was built during the bleakest times of Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorial regime, between 1984-1989 and is visible from any point of Bucharest.

With a surface of 330.000 m², structured on 6 levels and having an 84m height, the building is registered in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s second building after the Pentagon. Moreover, the Palace of the Parliament exceeds by 2% the volume of Khufu’s pyramid in Egypt.
Initially meant to shelter all the structures of the communist state, the building is currently the location of the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), a modern conference centre (which sheltered the Crans Montana Forum, the OSCE Ministerial Council of 2001, the Francophony Summit of 2006 and other major events), the Contemporary Art Museum, as well as 12 other institutions.
Right after the fall of Ceausescu’s regime in December 1989 an initiative was put in place to blow it up with dynamite in order to erase a symbol of the communist dictatorship. However, those who supported the preservation of the building by virtue of the fact that it has been designed and built with many sacrifices won the battle.

The numerous rooms and imposing halls in the Palace of the Parliament can be visited by organised groups of tourists. It is possible to get lost inside without a guide, as the building is a true labyrinth, with its more than 1.000 rooms.
All the materials used to raise and arrange the building originate in Romania. The stone, marble and wood were brought from the Romanian mountains and forests, while the brocades, tapestries and heavy carpets were created expressely for the imposing rooms and halls of the building.

The largest hall in the Palace of the Parliament is the Union Hall, with a height of 16m and a surface of 2.200 m2, which shelters the biggest chandelier of the Palace, weighing three tons and adorned with 7.000 light balls.

The 150m long and 18m wide Hall of Fame, with oak gliding doors and crystal windows, became famous when the director Costa Gavras shot scenes of the film “Amen” in here.

Another famous room is the “Nicolae Balcescu” Room, covered in pink Ruschita marble, decorated with chandeliers created by plastic artists in Medias and silk curtains sown in.

"Temptation of grandeur" - by Adrian Cioroianu, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“For me, the House of the People, shortly renamed – also in Ceausescu’s time – the House of the Republic, is a “memory place” in the purest sense of the word and will probably continue to be for a while the emblem of a regime that overstepped the bounds. The House of the Republic or the House of the People is not the only exponential construction of Ceausescu’s regime, nor the first one: it was preceded by another huge construction finished in the leader’s lifetime – namely the Danube – Black Sea Channel, inaugurated by the Ceausescus in May 1984. Despite this channel, whose economic and symbolic value was undeniable, the House of the People or the House of the Republic is, in my opinion, closer to the “memory place” concept, by the very fact that the effort to build this house was imposed during the same years when Romania was undergoing a terrible economic crisis”.