Palace of the Parliament, a project of Ceaușescu live cam
View of the imposing Palace of the Parliament in the background
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Its impressive size, a floorspace of 330,000 m² and a total height of 84 m., makes it the second-largest building in the world after Pentagon and the most expensive administrative palace ever built, the symbol of Bucharest (București) and Romania in the world. The Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului), also known as Palace of The People (Casa Poporului) as many Romanians still call it, is a reminder of the communist period, designed and nearly completed by the Nicolae Ceaușescu's regime.
Great sacrifices were done in order to build this giant in terms of human and economic costs, it was and still is a controversial building due to the fact that its construction started and raised while many Romanians experienced a difficult historical period, moreover a great part of the hill (Dealul Spirii), including entire sections of Bucharest’s historical old town, prestigious residences, churches, a noted stadium, a monastery, two hospitals, was sacrificed and razed to make way for this so ambitious project; the final result was, in effect, a monumental and majestic giant constructed with purely Romanian materials and the purpose of imprinting a classical socialist style; the building is visible from most parts of Bucharest but its real impact needs to be experienced up close, with no hurry, we have to take a full-day to visit it only as part of a guided tour: more than 3000 rooms embellished with wooden doors, marble walls and ceilings covered by thin gold, 12 stories and 4 underground levels, more than 60 corridors (2 of them 150 m. long), elegant marble staircases, 64 wide salons (the Unirii Hall is the largest hall in the building with a surface of about 3000 m²), 2 underground parking garages, 4 restaurants, 3 libraries and it doesn't end here...the palace hosts the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of Romania, the National Museum of Contemporary Art and much more in the most different fields, as multi-purpose building, it hosts a number of diplomatic meetings and conferences as well as performances, art expositions, concerts...the interiors are as grandiose and luxurious as the structure itself while a variety of magnificent fountains embellish the greenery all around; located in central Bucharest, it looks very attractive at night, especially during lightning storms when the palace has some of the aspects of a fairy tale.
The Palace of Parliament was constructed in record time, during the five years the project required the service of about 20,000 laborers, who are said to have toiled on the building working day and night to ensure streamline continuity, the works started in 1984 and their partial completion only neared in 1987, at the time of Nicolae Ceaușescu's deposition and execution in 1989 the building structure and design were complete; the Palace was designed to play two important roles, it was intended to house all major state institutions, the seat of political and administrative power and symbolize Ceaușescu's absolute rule and figure in the world.
Today the palace is a real “must see” in the heart of Bucharest, an important landmark and one of the most popular sightseeing attractions of the Little Paris or Paris of the East (Micul Paris) as people love to call the capital.