Palace of the Parliament

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Palace of the Parliament
Palatul Parlamentului
General information
Architectural style Late interpretation of neoclassical architecture
Town or city Bucharest
Country Romania
Construction started 25 June 1984
Completed 1997[1]
Cost €3-billion
Technical details
Size 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high
92 m underground
1,100 rooms
12 stories tall
with four additional underground levels currently available and in use (another four in different stages of completion)
Floor count 12
Floor area 340,000 m2 (3,700,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Anca Petrescu (chief architect) led a group of 700 architects[2]

The Palace of the Parliament (Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului) is the seat of the Parliament of Romania. Located on Spirii Hill in central Bucharest, the Palace is the world's largest civilian building with an administrative function. It is also the most expensive administrative building and heaviest building.[3]

It measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground. It has 1,100 rooms and is 12 stories tall, with additional 8 underground levels.[3] A colossal parliament building known for its ornate interior, it houses the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. The National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Totalitarianism and Socialist Realism, and the Museum of the Palace are hosted inside the palace.[4] Though named the House of the Republic[5][6] (Casa Republicii) after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 it became widely known as the People's House (Casa Poporului), also known in English as the People's Palace.[7] There are public tours organized in a number of languages.[8]


The Palace was designed by a team of 700 architects led by architect Anca Petrescu. Construction began during Communism, in 1980, with the demolition of Republica Stadium and part of the old city. Among the important historic buildings lost then, some of them were National Monuments, were the Văcăreşti Monastery, the Brâncovenesc Hospital and the National Archives. In 1989, it was nearly completed by the Ceaușescu regime as the seat of political and administrative power.[9]

Since the Romanian Revolution[edit]

At the time of Romanian Revolution which overthrew communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, in December 1989, the Palace of the Parliament was completely finished on the outside and inside had most of its rooms finished.[citation needed]

Palace of the Parliament – one of the entrances

Since 1994, the building has been the seat of parliament's lower house the Romania's Chamber of Deputies,[10] which had previously been housed in the Palace of the Patriarchy; the Romanian Legislative Council and the Romanian Competition Council and the Romanian Senate joining in 2004, having previously been housed in the former building of the Communist Party's Central Committee. The Palace also contains a massive array of miscellaneous conference halls, salons, etc. used for a wide variety of other purposes. Even so, around 70% of the building is not in use.[11]

In 2003–2004 a glass annex was built[12] alongside external elevators. This was done to facilitate access to the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) opened in 2004 inside the west wing of the Palace of Parliament, and to the Museum and Park of Totalitarianism and Socialist Realism, also opened in 2004.[citation needed]

The cafeteria for use of the legislators has been refurbished. Also in the building is the headquarters of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), an organization focused on regional cooperation among governments against cross-border crime.[citation needed]

In 2008, the Palace hosted the 20th NATO summit. In 2010, the politician Silviu Prigoană proposed re-purposing the building into a shopping centre and an entertainment complex. Citing costs, Prigoană said that Parliament should move to a new building, as they occupied only 30 percent of the massive palace. While the proposal has sparked a debate in Romania, politician Miron Mitrea dismissed the idea as a "joke".[13]



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°25′39″N 26°5′15″E / 44.42750°N 26.08750°E / 44.42750; 26.08750