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Tour of Ceauşescu's Palace in Bucharest, Romania

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Uploaded on Aug 25, 2008

You have to see it to believe it. A guided tour of Ceauşescu's Palace (officially "Palace of the Parliament", in Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului, formerly Casa Poporului), the world's largest civillian administrative building. It is the heaviest building on earth and one of the few that can still be identified from space. The as yet uncompleted Palace measures 270 m by 245 m, with a height of 86 m, and goes 92 m deep below the ground. It has 1,100 rooms and currently houses the Romanian parliament which, however, takes up only a fraction of the available space. The volume of the building was planned the be 2% greater than the Cheops pyramid in Egypt and is second only to the Pentagon in the United States.
The building is constructed entirely of materials from Romania. It is estimated to contain one million cubic meters of marble and 3,500 tonnes of crystal. 480 chandeliers as well as 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured. 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals were used. It contains 900,000 m³ of wood for parquet and wainscotting, including walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore and maple as well as 200,000 m² of woolen carpets of various dimensions, with machines having had to be moved inside the building to weave some of the larger carpets. Hundreds of architects, under the leadership of Anca Petrescu, were involved in the project of building the Palace, which began in 1983. Its total costs were estimated to have been 3 billion euros at 2006 value.
Many ordinary Romanians paid a very high price for the palace's construction. It required much of Bucharest's historic district to be demolished, including 19 Orthodox churches, six synagogues and three Protestant churches. Eight churches were relocated, and 30,000 people lost their dwellings.

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