THE so-called crowning achievement of Romanian despot Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule, has to be his ambitious urban development plan – which includes the famed Parliament Palace.
He razed most of the historic lower city center of Bucharest to build it – even flattening a hill and changing the course of the Dambovita river – he also forcibly displacing 40,000 people from their homes.
The construction of the Palace began in 1984, but even now it is not finished. Only 400 rooms and two meeting rooms are finished and used, out of 1,100 rooms.
Ceausescu is long gone, but the building still dominates the Bucharest skyline – and the price tag is staggering.
Romania’s government has announced an inventory value of over 2.3 billion U.S. dollars for the Parliament Palace – value covers both the land’s and the building’s value.
The building boasts 220,000 square meters of carpet, 3,500 tons of crystal and one million cubic meters of marble – it is the second largest administrative building in the world.
In 1990, Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch wanted to buy the building for one- billion U.S. dollars, but his bid was rejected.
The palace, located in the central part of Bucharest, houses the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. The National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Communist Totalitarianism and the Museum of the Palace are hosted inside the Palace.