Right in the middle of Romania’s capital lies a colossal building: the Parliament's Palace, also known as the People’s House. You just can’t miss it if you are visiting Bucharest.
The massive building, which was built at the order of late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, is a landmark for the Romanian capital.
Most people are impressed by its size, as it is the world’s largest administrative building (for civilian use) and the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon in the US. It is also the world’s heaviest building, as it was made from 700,000 tons of steel and bronze, plus 1 million cubic meters of marble, 3,500 tons of crystal glass, and 900,000 cubic meters of wood. It has some 1,000 rooms and is 12 stories tall.
About 100,000 people worked to build this huge building, with some 20,000 people working in three shifts 24/7 in the peak periods. A few thousand workers died on the construction site, according to unofficial reports. Moreover, between 1984 and 1990, some 12,000 soldiers have participated in the construction, according to data posted on cic.cdep.ro. The building was constructed almost entirely of materials made in Romania.
Although the initial project had 80,000 sqm, People’s House has a total area of 365,000 sqm. Some 20 churches and 10,000 houses were destroyed and more than 57,000 families were moved in the late 1970s so the authorities could make room for the giant building. At the time of the Romanian Revolution in 1989, 60% of the building was completed. The work continued between 1992 and 1996.
The total construction costs have been estimated at up to EUR 3 billion, according to a valuation made in 2006.
The People's House is now housing the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which is why it is now known as the parliament's Palace. It also contains a museum, several conference and exhibition halls and salons which are used for a wide variety of other purposes.
So, with this in mind, maybe you might consider visiting the giant building in downtown Bucharest. If so, here are some information on its location, visiting rules, and tariffs:
the Parliament’s Palace is located in the center of Bucharest, in District 5, near the Izvor park and Constitutiei Square. It is framed by Izvor Street, Natiunile Unite Boulevard, Libertatii Boulevard, and Calea 13 Septembrie Avenue.
It is open for visiting between 10:00 and 16:00 (the last tour at 15:30). You might want to call in advance to find out at what time the tours start and in what language they are available. For information and bookings use these numbers: + 40 21 311 36 11 and + 40 21 414 14 26.
The tariffs vary depending on what type of tour you want to take:
- the Standard tour: RON 25 per person (EUR 5.55)
- the City Panorama – Terrace (access by elevator): RON 15 per person (EUR 3.33)
- the Basement tour (2 levels down the stairs): RON 10 per person (EUR 2.22)
- the Standard tour + the City Panorama – Terrace (access by elevator): RON 35 per person (EUR 7.77)
- the Standard tour + the Basement tour (2 levels down the stairs): RON 30 per person (EUR 6.66)
- the Standard tour + the City Panorama (Terrace) + the Basement tour: RON 45 per person (EUR 10)
The students aged between 18 and 25 benefit from discounts, while the entry is free for children aged under 7, students aged under 18 (holding a student card), and people with disabilities (with documentary evidence) and their companions.
However, if you want to take pictures inside, you have to pay an additional fee of RON 30 (EUR 6.66).
The access in the building is allowed only based on a valid ID card or passport (you can’t enter with your driving license or other documents).
All the tours have guides and a group can have a maximum of 25 people. For people with disabilities, you have to ask for special conditions. The tours that require taking the stairs are not accessible to people with disabilities.
The visitors can’t spend more than 30 minutes on the terrace and the last elevator ride is at 16:00.
If you’ve made a booking in advance, you should be at the information desk 10 minutes before the tour starts. You should also know that, for security reasons, there is no luggage storage or wardrobe space.
In order to visit the Parliament’s Palace, you first have to pass through a security check point. Moreover, the identity document based on which you are allowed to enter in the Palace will remain at the access point. In return, you will receive a visitor’s badge which you have to wear during the visit.
Here are some other rules you should comply with during your visit:
- leaving the group during the visit is forbidden
- don’t leave personal belongings or luggage unattended or in the care of other people
- smoking is not allowed inside the People’s Palace
- drinking alcohol or any other drinks (tea, coffee, juice) that can damage the goods in the building is also forbidden. However, you can take with you water in plastic bottles
- touching/damaging the goods in the building (artwork, curtains, etc.) is also forbidden
- using the mobile phones during the tour is forbidden, as well as sitting or staying on the stairs
You can also plan your visit here.
Have you visited the People’s Palace in Bucharest? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment box below.
Irina Popescu, [email protected]
(Photo source: cic.cdep.ro)