Bucharest Palace of the Parliament

Palace Of The Parliament in Bucharest: A Mad Mans Castle

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 remainsDSC_0674DSC_0668DSC_0651









Quito: White City With Some Clouds


Historic City Center of Quito



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.


Presidential Palace in Quito


Churches in 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. 



Contemporary architecture in Quito







Eiche Oak Tree Stories of old trees grunewald

If Old Trees Could Tell Their Story


Yesterday I crossed a more than 400 year old oak tree in Berlins biggest city forest , the Grunewald. She stands near to Großes Fenster a small beach with a great view approximately 1 km north of the land bridge to Schwanenwerder.

Passing older trees, did you ever think of what this creatures have already seen in their lives?


What is this trees history?

  • At first – like every existing tree today – she was lucky because she was the one who survived the competition with thousands of other oak tree seedlings and the appetite of animals.
  • In the beginning of the 17th century she was born right into the Thirty Year’s War where half of the early Berliners where killed and the city has been nearly destroyed.
  • This was a time where the tuberculosis killed millions of people, where the inquisition and the persecution of witches took place, where Shakespeare wrote Macbeth and where Copernicus’ claim, that earth revolves around the sun, was reinforced by Galileo, a discovery that pretty much rocked world’s history.
  • The oak saw Napoleons entrance to Berlin and the beginning of the industrialization.
  • A lot of trees where cut down in this time but the Berliners started to realize the value and the beauty oft he forest. They protestet and the Grunewald became a protectet area from there on. Today it is the biggest city forest in Germany.
  • During the second world war the oak stood in the middle of a battlefield between russian and german soldiers.
  • After WW2 she was a part of West Berlin, while her colleagues on the other shore of the Havel and only some kilometers more, where suddenly part of another country. In 1989 the wall came down and they where fellows again.


Today the oak still stands there. Peaceful and dignified in the garden of the German Water Lifesavers Society (DLRG).

Go and listen to the stories she has to tell.