The aptly named Romanian Palace of Parliament or Palatul Parlamentului is not only the seat of the Parliament of Romania, but also the second largest building in the world, right behind the US Pentagon. The sheer size of it would impress anyone and it is a standout iconic attraction in Bucharest, the hub of all things political. The Palace of Parliament is visible from most parts of Bucharest but its real impact needs to be experienced up close at Strada Izvor.
Although shrouded in historical controversy, the building has grown to be on the top of the list for many visiting Romania. Today, the palace is open for public viewings but for security purposes, make sure you bring your passport or national ID to gain entry. The Palace of Parliament has a total of twelve stories, over a thousand rooms and four underground labyrinths, including a nuclear bunker. Take a guided tour of the nation's political hub and international conference center, also housed in the palace, and see extravagant rooms in traditional Romanian styles. Every detail has been carefully planned from the ceilings and chandeliers (one of which has over 7,000 light bulbs) to the marble and gold leaf details. The tour also includes an insight into the senate's rooms, where you can learn the inner workings of the nation's government.
A controversial building
Construction of the Parliament Palace began in 1983, when Romania's Communist Dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, was finally able to put his long cherished plans of a 'People's Palace' into action. The unbelievable scale of the palace combined with its ornate and overwrought architectural styles ensured that the undertaking was enormous. Some 20,000 people are said to have been involved in the building process with 700 architects overseeing the plans. Its eventual completion only neared in 1989, when the Romanian Revolution was breaking out. Ceausescu was forced to flee and his palace became the workspace of the new government. Learn of the rich history of the Parliament Palace, located a short distance from our hotel, and of other important architectural icons such as CEC Palace and the National Bank of Romania. By the time you leave the city, you will have a really good understanding for its heritage.