Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament originally called “the People’s House” or “the House of the Republic”, is the most spectacular Romanian project carried out under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. Built during communist times, the Palace of the Parliament dominates the city landscape due to its monumental dimensions. It is the largest civilian building in the world at 270 meters in length and 245 meters in width. At the same time, it is the second largest after the Pentagon in terms of built area. Today it houses the Romanian Parliament with its 12 stories above ground and its 92-metre underground structure.
At the time it was built, the Palace was meant to symbolize the triumph of communism in Romania. Also to be the emblematic home of the Ceausescu family – this is why all the rooms are oversized and hyper-ornate. In fact, its opulence and ostentatious décor make it the most expensive administrative building in the world, with an estimated value of over three billion euro. The events of December 1989, culminating with the overthrow of the communist regime, changed the destination of the People’s House, from a palace fit for a dictator-president into the seat of democratic government.
Interesting facts about Palace of the Parliament:
At first, the Palace of the Parliament was in fact named the “House of the Republic”. It was changed after the Romanian Revolution in 1989 into the “People’s House” and eventually into the Palace of the Parliament.
Only original Romanian materials were used in the construction and decoration of the Palace of the Parliament, except the doors of the Nicolae Balcescu Hall. The two doors are made from mahogany. They represent a valuable gift sent to Ceausescu by his friend, the African dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, at that time President of the Republic of Zaire.
The TV Show Top Gear’s Episode 1 of Series 14 features the Palace of the Parliament at the end of a sat-nav race through Bucharest between Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. After the end of the race, the three presenters are shown driving their cars through the tunnels beneath the Palace of the Parliament.
As the home of the Parliament, the Palace is run like a small city, with comparable costs.
Open every day from 10.00 a.m. until 16.00 p.m.
I. Standard Tour – 25 LEI/person.
II. Overview of the city – Terrace Tour (Access by Elevator) – 15 LEI/person.
III. Underground Tour (access only on stairs) – 10 LEI/person.
IV. Standard Tour + Overview of the city – Terrace (Upper Floor Access by Elevator) – 35 LEI/person.
V. Standard Tour + Underground (access only on stairs) – 30 LEI/person.
VI. Standard Tour + Overview of the city (Terrace) + Underground – 45 LEI/person.
(age 18-26 years, with valid student ID card).
I. Standard Tour – 13 LEI/person.
II. Overview of the city – Terrace Tour (Access by Elevator) – 8 LEI/person.
III. Underground Tour (access only on stairs) – 5 LEI/person.
IV. Standard Tour + Overview of the city – Terrace (Upper Floor Access by Elevator) – 18 LEI/person.
V. Standard Tour + Underground (access only on stairs) – 15 LEI/person.
VI. Standard Tour + Overview of the city (Terrace) + Underground – 23 LEI/person.
– children under 7, pupils under 18 (who have their pupil card on them).
– persons with disabilities (with documentary evidence) and accompanying person.
Wheelchair access: recommended – by prior arrangement.
– Photo camera: 30 LEI
– Video camera: 30 LEI
Professional photo shooting: 100 EURO/hour.
Professional film shooting: 5000 EURO/hour.
Access: only with an identification document (identity card, passport).