Ceausescu Palace – The home of the former Romanian dictator
The Ceausescu Palace, also known as the Spring Palace, is a luxurious building where Romania’s former Communist leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his family, lived between 1965 and 1989. The Palace was built between 1964 and 1965, and it is surrounded by 14,830 square meters of land. The architecture designer of the palace was Aron Grimberg-Solari, and the landscaping was done by Robert Wolf, who also designed the furniture of the Ceausescu Palace.
Additional work was done to the Spring Palace between 1970 and 1971.
The high value of materials and techniques used and the depth of the ornamental materials created in a Neo-Classical/Neo-Late Renaissance style are meant to create a luxurious visual interior.
The Ceausescu Palace is located on Primaverii Street (Spring Street), where most of the houses in this area were built at the beginning of the 1930s. Initially, Primaverii was a neighborhood inhabited only by officials, because the gas and electricity factory was very close. Following the Russian model as a close example, the Communists searched for a single neighborhood to build houses for the state officials, and they choose this place. Thus, in 1950, the construction of the villas located in the neighborhood began.
Shortly after the fall of the Communist Regime in Romania, the Spring Palace was invaded by various homeless people and thieves, but they didn’t steal much. Instead, they mostly damaged the place. They staying was cut short though, as several days after that, armed forces intervened and evacuated the premises.
After being renovated, photos from inside the Palace were shown on TV, and almost everything was made of gold, even the bathroom water taps. Thus, in popular culture, it got the name of The Golden Palace. Afterward, the Ceausescu Palace was mainly used as a VIP residence for official delegations and foreign presidents and prime ministers who visited Romania.
Initially, the Government wanted to sell the palace because the maintenance was very expensive, but in 2016 it was decided that it would be more profitable to open it as a museum. Various conferences and symposia are also organized there.
Important things to know before visiting the Ceausescu Palace:
Wednesday – Sunday : 10:00 – 18:00
Monday – Tuesday: closed
Standard: 30 Lei
English guide: 45 Lei
Students, retirees: 15 Lei
Preschool children, veterans, heroes of the Revolution, museum specialists: Free of charge
The Ceausescu Palace can be visited by groups of minimum 5 and maximum 15 persons, only by making an appointment at least 24 hours before the visit.
Interesting facts about the former residence of Ceausescu family:
The value of the building is estimated at 6-8 million Euro, and the land to 12-14 million Euro, considering the values of real estate and land prices in the Primaverii neighborhood, which has always been, according to real estate experts, the most sought area for premium and the luxury residential segment of Bucharest.
From the outside, the Palace may not look like a big deal. But inside you will a swimming pool, a solarium, a sauna, a cinema, a greenhouse with exotic plants, an exotic garden with peacocks, a wine cellar, and 80 spacious and elegant rooms decorated with silk wallpaper, wood panels, paintings by famous Romanian painters, mosaics, marble, chandeliers, and mirrors made of Murano glass. The furniture style is very varied and includes Renaissance-style furniture, Art Deco style and British classic furniture items, Baroque furniture and Louis XIV and XV style.
Interesting facts about Ceausescu couple:
- Nicolae Ceausescu studied for only 4 years. When he was a teenager, he worked as a shoemaker, and at some point, he was arrested and imprisoned for spreading communist propaganda.
- He was really shy around women. One time when he was in Africa, two dancers wanted to perform a private show for him, but he couldn’t even look at them. His staff members said that he was one of the most serious person they have ever met, and that he only said one joke during his time as a dictator.
- He used to fake hunting. His staff used to tranquilize the bears before so that he could shoot as many as he pleased. Also, no one was allowed to kill more animals than him during a hunt.
- Nicolae Ceausescu had a very balanced diet. He hated chocolate, didn’t smoke, and slept at noon every day.
- During the Communist regime, Elena Ceausescu became a renowned scientist in Romania, although it was all a hoax. She barely knew how to write, and at international conferences, she used a translator to talk in her place.
- Elena was a very jealous woman, and she couldn’t stand any other woman around her husband.
- At one point, the Ceausescu couple wanted to move to Peles Castle in Sinaia. But the curators told them that Peles was infested by a fungus that attacks the wood and destroys furniture. In fact, this was a lie to determine them not to move in the Castle.
- Nicolae Ceausescu died singing the hymn of the communist countries. His last words were “Long live the Socialist Republic of Romania! History will avenge me!”.
- Ironically, his entire life, Nicolae Ceausescu was afraid of being shot.