Palace of the Parliament
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Panoramic photo by Andrei Zdetoveţchi EXPERT Taken 09:18, 19/07/2007 - Views loading...

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Palace of the Parliament

The World > Europe > Romania > Bucharest

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Front view of the Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament (Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului) in Bucharest, Romania is one of the world's largest buildings. Its original name was the House of the People (Casa Poporului), but it was renamed (in the post-Communist era) first during the 1989 Revolution with the derogatory name of House of Ceauşescu and then as the Palace of the Parliament. However, to this day, most of the Romanians retain the old name and call it Casa Poporului.

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 four additional underground levels currently available and in use, with another four in different stages of completion.

It is the second largest administrative building in the world by surface area of its floors (with a floor area of 350,000 m²), just behind the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It is 10% larger by volume than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Since 1994, the building has housed Romania's Chamber of Deputies that had previously been housed in the Palace of the Patriarchy; the Romanian Senate joined them there in 2004, having previously been housed in the former Communist Party Central Committee building. The Palace also contains a massive array of miscellaneous conference halls, salons, etc., used for a wide variety of other purposes.

The Palace of Parliament is also open to be visited by groups of tourists, everyday.

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Nearby images in Bucharest

map

A: Constitution Square near the Parliament in Bucharest

by Michael Pop, less than 10 meters away

Constitution Square near the Parliament in Bucharest

B: The romanian Parliament at night

by Michael Pop, 20 meters away

The Romanian Parliament Palace in Bucharest at night, which is the world's second largest building af...

The romanian Parliament at night

C: Palatul Parlamentului

by Matthias Kunze, 60 meters away

Palatul Parlamentului (the palace of the parliament) was previously known as Casa Poporului (the peop...

Palatul Parlamentului

D: Union Bulevard

by T. Emrich, 220 meters away

Union Bulevard

E: House of Parliament Bucharest

by Leca Razvan, 280 meters away

A 360 panorama of a room from the House of Parliament during the evening , with no people inside.

House of Parliament Bucharest

F: Institutul Naţional de Statistică

by Matthias Kunze, 290 meters away

The Romanian National Institute of Statistics is responsible for - well, you already guessed it - col...

Institutul Naţional de Statistică

G: Palace of the Parliament Hall

by T. Emrich, 310 meters away

Palace of the Parliament Hall

H: Palace of the parliament (National House) from Bucharest - Romania

by Boldir Victor Catalin, 310 meters away

Ridicata pe o colina artificiala, Casa Poporului are o inaltime de 84m, cuprinde 12 etaje si are o no...

Palace of the parliament (National House) from Bucharest - Romania

I: Inside Palace of the Parliament

by T. Emrich, 310 meters away

The Palace of the Parliament (Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului) in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpo...

Inside Palace of the Parliament

J: Palace of the Parliament

by Adi Mera, 310 meters away

Palace of the Parliament

This panorama was taken in Bucharest

This is an overview of Bucharest

Overview and History

Bucharest, Romania was first mentioned in written history around 1459 AD. Since then it has gradually grown in influence, becoming the capital of Romania in 1862 and even earning the title "Paris of the East" for its cultural magnetism.

The city has a population of about two million people and makes up one of the main industrial centers of eastern europe.

The origin of the name Bucharest comes from the legendary outlaw and prince Bucur. Linguistic roots from Albanian and Thracian languages connect that name to words like "beautiful", "glad" and "joyous."

Bucharest was home to Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler in the 15th century. The city was burned down by the Ottomans in the early 17th century, rebuilt, and ravaged by the Plague over the next two hundred years. Battles between the Ottoman empire and the Austrian Hapsburgs saw Bucharest occupied by Austria and also Russia in the eighteenth century.

In 1861 Wallachia and Moldova were united to form the Principality of Romania with Bucharest as its capital. This new region was occupied by Germany during World War One and saw heavy Allied bombing in World War Two. In the middle of the war, Romania joined the Russian side against Germany, and was bombed again, ths time by the Luftwaffe.

Following the wars, Romania was under Communist leadership by Nicolae Ceausescu. His tenure came with the construction of many large Soviet-style buildings which took over the historic districts of the city. He was overthrown in the 1989 revolution.

The 1991 Constitution established Romania as a republic with a multi-party system, market economy and individual rights of free speech, religion and private ownership.

Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.

Getting There

You'll be flying into Henry Coanda International Bucharest Airport, the biggest airport in Romania. Henry Coanda built the world's first jet powered aircraft, did you know that?

The airport is 16km north of the city and connects by bus, taxi and a shuttle bus to the Gara de Nord, Bucharest's main train station.

Transportation

Bucharest has an extensive public transportation system, one of the largest in Europe. There's a Metro along with buses, minibuses, trams, trolleybuses and light rail. They have limited the number of taxi licenses to ten thousand to keep down the traffic problems.

The main train station is called the Gare de Nord and it connects to all the cities in Romania as well as Belgrade, Budapest, Vinena, Prague and Moscow. The commuter rail line is currently being extended to unite it with surrounding counties.

People and Culture

The currency is the Romanian Leu (RON) which exchanges at about 4.3 RON to the Euro at the time of this writing.

The first known art in Romania dates to 10,000 BC as cave paintings in northwest Transylvania. Pottery from the Neolithic Age (4000 BC) has been found widely, all around the country. Around 2000 BC there was a distinct group of Thracian people here, whom the Greeks referred to as "Getae". The Romans called them "Dacians" and Herotodus described them as ""the fairest and most courageous of men," because they believed in the immortality of the soul and were not afraid to die.

Things to do, Recommendations

Rumor has it that Romania sits on one of the world's strongest magnetic lines, and these are responsible for attracting psychics and... wait for it... VAMPIRES to the area!!!

Many "dracula" tours take place in Romania, including such places as Sighisoara, the Snagoc Monastery, Castle Bran and of course, Curtea Domneasca. These sites are all related to the life of Vlad Tepes, the legendary Count Dracula.

Apart from that, Bucharest is known for its large neoclassical buildings and fashionable parks (in their day). Visit Cismigiu Park, Calea Victoriei street and the Royal Palace for a taste of the architectural history.

Text by Steve Smith.

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