Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
T he Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest is the largest civilian building with an administrative function in the world at 3.55 million square feet in floor area. Construction of this massive and blatantly ostentatious building was started in July of 1984 — five years before the Romania Revolution of December 1989 when Nicolae Ceauşescu was overthrown as the president of Romania and executed not long after that by protesters who had had more than enough of his oppressive regime.
Before I visited it in September of 2007 as part of a trip while earning my Master of Business Administration degree — go ahead, poke fun at the fact that I earned an MBA degree — I was told by the professors at the university at which I was matriculated that this building displaced Romanian citizens where dozens of homes were razed. For several years, stray dogs which were once pets of the displaced people supposedly roamed the streets of Bucharest in packs, sometimes biting people — such as one of the professors who exclaimed during class that one dog bit him in his posterior.
That was one of those rare moments where I could not stop laughing. The way he said that — coupled by the thought of a dog biting him on his rear end — sent me into an uncontrollable fit to the point where fellow classmates asked if I was okay, as I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.
You had to be there to understand.
Anyway, please let me know if you are interested in learning more about Bucharest and other parts of Romania which I visited — as well as seeing more of the photographs I took. I can even tell you about some of the people who lived through the revolution and imparted their stories to me in person…
…but meanwhile — for this article, anyway — here are some photographs of the inside and outside of the Palace of the Parliament; as well as views of and from this building. The building may have a look of grandeur to it; but I inspected parts of it up close — and I can tell you that the construction of parts of this building is rather shoddy or poor at best.
All photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.