Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. The Palace was designed by architect Anca Petrescu when she was only 28 years old and nearly completed by the Ceaușescu regime as the seat of political and administrative power.
The structure of the building, and construction itself was planned at “Project Bucuresti” the main institution of Civil Engineering in Bucharest. The Palace of the Parliament measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m underground.
It has 1,100 rooms and is 12 stories tall, with four additional underground levels currently available and in use, with another four in different stages of completion. The building was originally known mainly as the House of the People (Casa Poporului), and sometimes as House of the Republic (Casa Republicii), and was intended to serve as headquarters for all the major state institutions, similar to what the Houses of Parliament operated like.
Since 1997, the building has housed Romania’s Chamber of Deputies, which had previously been housed in the Palace of the Patriarchy; the Romanian Senate joined them there in 2005, having previously been housed in the former Communist Party Central Committee building.
Today it also houses the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC); however most of the premises go unoccupied. Tours of the building are of course available and cost about 2.50; watch out, though – there’s a rather outrageous 30 lei tax for taking photographs (over 8).
Guided tours are available in several languages though you may have to wait over half an hour for an English language tour. And don’t expect your guide or anyone else who works there to be cheery; they’re about as self-loathing as they come.
Though no figures have been officially released, it is said that some 20,000 workers toiled in 24-hour shifts, seven days a week, to build the Palace at the pace at which it was being constructed. To finance the project, Ceausescu had to take on enormous foreign debts.
In order to repay these debts he systematically starved the Romanian people, exporting all of the country’s agricultural and industrial production as the standard of living in Romania sank to an all time low.
Food-rationing, gas electric and heating blackouts became everyday norms; people lived in squalor and poverty as the Ceausescu’s they exhibited outrageous extravagance. In May 1994, the International Conference Centre was set up according to a decision of the Chamber of Deputies; the meetings of the Crans Montana Forum were held within its halls.
Thanks to its modern equipment and its massive halls, the International Conference Centre can organize large conferences, symposia, seminars and other similar activities for Romanian state institutions or international organizations, as well as for Romanian or foreign individuals.
The Marble from Ruschita sends its reflections from the floors and columns to the walls and ceilings. The oak, mahogany and beck wood welcome the visitors with the warmth of their refined sculptures that may be equaled only by the plaster work or the crystals and the brass of the chandeliers.