The Palace of Parliament

"People's House"

One of the most interesting to visit touristic objectives in Bucharest is the Palace of Parliament. No matter how many other palaces have you visited in your lifetime, this grand edifice will impress you with its size and its architectural style. Did we say „architectural style”? In fact, most of the architects blame this palace for not having one, but more architectural styles, all-in-one.
Also called the People's House, during Ceausescu’s regime, this building is, in fact, a symbol of the old communist times, an extravagance if you want to put it that way. Thanks to its solid wood furniture, crystal chandeliers, impressive dimensions, huge marble columns and other carefully chosen interior design elements for each room, this palace is one of the most visited touristic objectives in Bucharest.

The Beginnings

Shortly after the earthquake in 1977, the Romanian communist leader of the time, Nicolae Ceauşescu, initiated the plan to build a new political-administrative center in Bucharest, in the area of the Uranus hill, the higher part of the Dâmboviţa hill, area which was confirmed by specialists as being safe for the construction of monumental buildings. This plan started as a consequence of the urbanization campaign and it was influenced by the friendship with the North Korean leader at that time, Kim Ir Sen.

Starting in 1980, 5% of the Bucharest area was demolished. An area almost equivalent to the total surface of Venice. This was the end of Uranus neighborhood, the end of those small streets paved with cubic stone, with old and quaint Romanian houses with bohemian glamour, many of which brought to light by architects from that time. 20 churches were destroyed, 8 were moved, 10,000 homes were demolished, and over 57,000 families were evicted. Brâncovenesc Hospital which was the first forensic medicine institute in the world was demolished, also.

But this was only the beginning: People's House, the current Palace of Parliament, took almost 10 years of hard work that brought together over 100,000 workers, more than 20,000 persons working 24 hours three shifts per day. Between 1984 and 1990, 12,000 soldiers took part in the construction works, as well.

The building was erected with construction materials produced in Romania, amongst which: 1,000,000 cubic meters of marble, 550,000 tons of cement, 700,000 tons of steel, 2,000,000 tons of sand, 1,000 tons of basalt, 900,000 cubic meters of rich wood, 3,500 tons of crystal, 200,000 cubic meters of glass, 2,800 chandeliers, 220,000 sqm carpets, 3,500 sqm leather.

Interesting is the fact that, for the construction of the Palace of Parliament, all the foam models were made on a scale of 1/1000 presenting the entire Bucharest city, including the streets, plazas, buildings, houses and monuments, also with certain details. Some parts of the building, like stairs, for example, were made on a scale of 1/1! The Ceaușescu couple could not understand the architectural plans and this was the handiest plan for architects to show their plans. The couple was walking over the models on a rolling bridge, giving instructions. Every 7 days, the plans changed according to the new instructions given by the ruling couple.

In 1989, when the Revolution started, only 60% of the building was finalized. At that moment, giving the resentfulness of the population against the symbols of the past era, the demolition of the building was taking into account. Yet, following the economic considerations, it was decided to complete the construction as it was cheaper than demolishing it. Thus, between the years 1992 and 1996, the construction started again.

The Result

Now, when you are looking at this massive construction, you can see:

  • the largest administrative building (for civil use), as confirmed by the Guinness World Records Book
  • the 3rd place worldwide by its volume
  • the heaviest and the most expensive building in the world

Sounds great, right?

So, let's have a look inside...

Inside the Building

We recommend you to quickly make a reservation for a tour. Worth a visit because what you will see here you will not see anywhere in the world!

Palace of Parliament Map Plan

Before presenting you a short description of each area that you are going to visit, let's show you the plan of the building. You will find this symbol inlaid in marble on the floor almost everywhere. Most people think it's just design, but now you know it's not only that!

Palace of Parliament Official Entrance

With approximately 1000 rooms of which 440 are offices, more than 30 ballrooms, 4 restaurants, 3 libraries, 2 underground parking lots, 1 big concert room, 1 unfinished pool and thousands of square meters in which no one knows what is happening, the Palace of Parliament offers you contradictory feelings every time you step on its doorstep.

This is the official entrance. Often used as an official entrance when fairs, exhibitions or other events take place here, the entrance fascinates with the red carpet, the huge chandelier and, especially, with the stairs you will see: one on the left and one on the right. Built-in a mirror, the two stairs were created especially so that the Ceaușescu couple could use them when they were to receive their guests. One would descend on one side, the other on the other, and meet in the middle. The steps are 13 cm high, less than the usual dimensions and this was also done on purpose. Thus, you could descend naturally, without looking at your feet and without taking bigger steps to climb them. Remember what we have told you about foam models of stairs that were made on a scale of 1/1? These are the stairs we are talking about! In front of each staircase there is a window covered with curtains. These curtains hold the record for the tallest curtains in the world in an administrative building. Their weight exceeds 250 kg each!

Nicolae Titulescu Hall

This Hall is currently used by the President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of the Senate during the official meetings. The French style was chosen to decorate this room. The color used for this camera was not randomly chosen. Pink is a neutral color and is not used by any political party. So, apart from the fact that it inspires calm, no one can accuse anyone of being subtly influenced in decision making.

Human Rights Hall

This hall is one of the most impressive that you are going to see. It was projected in order to hold the meetings of the Executive Political Committee of the Communist Party. You will see here a huge round table, 60 identical chairs for the Executive Political Committee members (the armchair for Nicolae Ceaușescu was never finished) and the second largest chandelier in the Palace of Parliament.

Take Ionescu Hall

This Hall does not have the natural light, but the 12 chandeliers and the over 20 sconces manage to illuminate the room, highlighting the beauty of the columns that support it. Pay attention to the ornaments on the ceiling. They are covered with gold leaf. You will notice that the acoustics in this room are special and even the whispers are echoed. In this room Ceausescu was to be received on the occasion of various events. At his entrance, everyone had to applaud enthusiastically. The echo would have made the applause louder, the effect becoming one with great impact.

Union Hall

This is the largest hall in the building. It has 2200 sqm. The carpet you will see in this room (most of the time it is rolled because it is a room where many events take place) has 1100 sqm and weighs 3 tons. It was woven directly inside the room, being too big to be transported. On two of the walls of the room, on the left and on your right, you will see the place where the portrait of Nicolae Ceaușescu should have been on one side and a huge mirror in which it should be reflected on the other side.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza Hall

At the end of your visit you will see the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Hall. This hall is impressive due to its' highs (it is the highest in the Palace of Parliament), but also due to its balcony. From here you can see Unirii Boulevard. The only person who addressed the crowd speaking from this balcony was Michael Jackson in 1992. He addressed to his fans "Hello, Budapest!" instead of "Hello, Bucharest!", but he wasn't the first or the last personality to confuse the two capitals.

Opening hours & ticket price

  • March - October, daily 09:00 am - 5:00 pm (last round at 4:30 pm)
  • November - February, daily 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (last round at 3:30 pm)

Ticket prices:

Standard Tour

  • Adults: 40 lei / person
  • Students: 20 lei/person (19 - 26 years old, with student card approved)
  • Children: 10 lei / person (7-18 years)

Standard tour + basement (2 stairs descent)

  • Adults: 45 lei / person
  • Students: 23 lei/person (19 - 26 years old, with student card)
  • Children: 15 lei / person (7-18 years)

Tour Panorama of the city - Terrace (elevator access)

Maximum 6 people / group

  • Single rate: 600 lei / tour

Standard Tour Package 35

  • Single rate: 1400 lei / tour

Standard tour package + Basement 35

Single rate: 1575 lei / tour

Free admission for:

  • children aged 0-6 years, accompanied; persons with disabilities (with evidence) and their companion; accompanying guide (for organized groups, minimum 10 adults).
  • Other rates
    • Professional photo shooting: 300 EURO/hour
    • Professional film shooting: 5000 EURO/hour
    • For professional photography and shooting, please send your request to [email protected] or to the fax number: + 40 21 312 09 02.

    Note:

    The tickets for the visit of the Parliament Palace are purchased on the day of the visit, only from the ticket office inside the Exhibition Hall "Constantin Brâncuși", Izvor Street, no. 2-4. Payment can be made in cash or by bank card.

    For reservation:

    • Bookings for 1 to 9 people can be made only by phone, 24 hours prior to the visit, between 09:00 – 16:00, at the following telephone numbers: + 40 733 558 102 or +40 733 558 103
    • Bookings for groups of 10 people + can be made at the following email address: [email protected]
    • Requests for bookings made via email for 1 to 9 people will not be taken into consideration

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