The Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) - Part I
The Palace of the Parliament is the seat of the Parliament of Romania. Located in central Bucharest (Bucureşti), it is the second largest administrative building in the world, after The Pentagon, with 84 m high, an area of 365,000 m2, and composed of 23 bodies. Having a volume of 2,550,000 m3, it is also the third most massive building in the world, after Cape Canaveral in Florida, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico. In terms of weight, the Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world.
It houses the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. The building has eight underground levels, the last one being an anti-atomic bunker, linked to the main state institutions by 20 km of catacombs.
The building was constructed almost entirely of materials of Romanian origin. Among them: 3,500 tonnes of crystal – 480 chandeliers, 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured; 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 m3 of wood for parquet and wainscoting; 200,000 m2 of woolen carpets of various dimensions, velvet and brocade curtains, adorned with embroideries and passementerie in silver and gold.
The actual construction began on 25 June 1984, during the communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. Anca Petrescu, aged 28, was appointed chief architect of the project; the team that coordinated the work was made of 10 architects, that have subordinated other 700.
40,000 people were relocated from this area. The works were carried out with forced labor of soldiers and so the cost was minimized. On the site worked between 20,000 and 100,000 workers.
In 1989 building costs were estimated at $1.75 billion.
Though named the House of the Republic (Casa Republicii), after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 it became widely known as the People’s House (Casa Poporului).
Nowadays, the Palace of the Parliament is valued at €3 billion, making it the most expensive administrative building in the world.