You know it before visiting the building only by seeing it from far: Romanias former socialist dictator and principal of this building, Nicolae Ceaușescu, was mad.
Worldwide the second biggest administrational building directly after the Pentagon. 65.000 m², 5.000 rooms, 480 chandeliers, 150.000 bulbs, 52.000 m² carpets, 2.000 km of electric lines, 1.000.000 m³ marble from Transsylvania and 6 Mio € operation costs per year only for light and heating.
But only when entering this incarnation of the phantasy of a pathologically narcissistic mind, and passing through some of its enormous, church-like, but most of the time completely empty rooms, you get an impression what this numbers mean and in the next moment you are able to feel ashamed for this unworthy, ugly building which is nothing but a superficial copy of a mix of European classic architecture, the castle of an evil phantasy emperor without any aesthetic education. I remember having seen as a child the movie Nero which described the reign of a crazy guy over Ancient Rome and everything inside the palace reminded me of the ignorant attitude shown there.
Ceaușescu was born in a small Romanian village as the son of a farmers family. He went to school only for a small amount of years and became a shoemaker afterwards. Due to a stay in prison he got to know some important people and became the President of Romania some years later. For a long time, he was an internationally acknowledged leader, the queen declared him Knight of the British Empire (this title was deprived in 1978) and he got the most important medal of the Federal Republic of Germany.
But everything changed then. Bucharest at the time was saddled by several crises and the people had nothing to feed their children with. But when the president came back from North Corea where he saw the adoration of the actual Kim, he wanted to have the same. He ordered a very big building who was able to represent his adorability.
In 1977 an earthquake hit Bucharest heavily and destroyed a big part of the town. But the area on the hill was spared. So it was the ideal location for the palace of the people. Ceaușescu threw 40.000 already starving people out of their houses and demolished them to build the palace at their place.
The crazy leader—who let himself call The Genie of Carpates, Titan of the Titans or simply The Chosen One—organized an architectural competition and 28-years-old Anca Petrescu won. Probably because her model of the palace—on which she and her friends worked for months—was the biggest one.
Ceaușescu never had the chance to use the palace. Our guide at the palace expressed his regrets for that.
The building today houses the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. 70% of the house is empty.
Socialist and Capitalist interior remains
We had a very interesting guided tour with Holger from Berlins Taiga through Soviet Berlin. Sometimes it’s really good to explore your own city.
Isabela is the biggest of the Galapagos Islands, build out of six major volcanos. Only 2.000 people live in Puerto Villamil and an other village uphill and you really get this isolated island feeling being there. Beyond the only road leading to the rim of the caldera of Sierra Negra Volcano, is 120 km pure […]
After a 10 hours flight from Madrid we started our journey smoothly by getting fetched on the airport by our dear friends Kathrin and Fernando. I worked with Kathrin some years ago and while not having much contact I always felt that we have a special connection. From my site it was always the admiration for her kind of decision making.
They brought us to their huge house in the barrio of Cumbaya where we stood for the next four days having a very, very, very good time with them.
Coming to friends somewhere in the world is so much better than just coming to somewhere in the world. Especially if they are as great as Kathrin and Fernando are.
On our first day we visited the historic city center of Quito.
By far the most impressing building in Quito from my point of view is the church Compañía de Jesús. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos inside. Interesting fact: The colonial Spanish imported the Mudéjar Style of the Moors from Andalusia and build something very special with it. But there are other churches wich have very different atmospheres.