The Bucharest Parliament
In 1977, after the catastrophic earthquake in Bucharest, the notorious communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu started the reconstruction of the city. He needed something big and important to prove the people that he is the best leader in the Eastern bloc. The Bucharest Parliament.
On the 25th June 1984, the construction of one of the most pointless buildings in history, the Bucharest Parliament, started. The building was finished in 1997.
The Parliament is a massive building, so before the construction started, many buildings, such as the hospital, a few monasteries and factories, had to be demolished, and around 40.000 people were dislocated to other parts of the city. More than 20.000 people worked on the site in three shifts and more than 700 architects were employed for the project. A large part of the workforce consisted of soldiers on forced labour. It is estimated that more than 3.000 people died during the construction. Urban legend has it that the building is haunted, and according to night guards, ghosts often open the doors and turn the alarms on.
Below the building there are more than 20 kms of secret passages and fallout shelters. The shelters were designed so that the government would be able to quickly escape the radiation.
Facts and figures:
The building measures 240 x 270 m, has 365.000 m2, 12 floors, 1100 rooms, 400 of which are finished and used. The style is neoclassical. The building sinks 6mm a year and is the heaviest building in the world.
The investment is worth 3 billion dollars. Around 5000 people are employed and the maintenance costs more than 6 million dollars a year.
The volume is bigger than the great pyramid in Giza for 2%.
Guided tours of the palace are available. Tours are offered in several languages, as can be read on the Parliament website. The ticket for an hour-long tour is 35 Lei per person. Recording and photo taking is charged extra. Students have a 50% discount.
Some parts of the Palace, halls and offices are available for rent, so many events, exhibits and concerts are held there. It is a massive building and definitely a site worth visiting.