The building of the Romanian Parliament along with USA´s Pentagon and China´s Great Wall are three of the most visible buildings from space.
In this article we will discover some secrets and curiosities about the largest administrative building in the world.
This Romanian Parliament is known as:
- House of People.
- Parliament Palace.
- Ceausescu Palace (referring to the ex dictator).
This is the second largest building in the whole world, only because the first position is already taken by USA´s Pentagon designed for military actions.
Designed in gold and beneficiary of some gorgeous works of art, the House of People is a main touristic attraction in Bucharest (Romania´s capital).
In 1990, Rupert Murdoch tried to buy the building.
After the huge “December Revolution” (1989), the American billionaire Rupert Murdoch tried to buy the building, but he had no chance as the former was recognized as “State Heritage” and it became headquarter of the Romanian Parliament.
The House of People had a huge economic and human cost. The place where the Palace stays today was formerly a beautiful neighborhood made of contemporary mansions and monasteries which was surrounded by big gardens.
There were 57.000 persons that were moved by force from that particular area. Among the people affected by this project, there was also the main architect of the building, Cezar Lazarescu. After a short while, Lazarescu dies from a stroke.
The researchers believe that his death was caused by the devastating effect of being part of such a huge project. There were also cases of people from the ex neighborhood Uranus that they needed to be hospitalized.
There were also cases o suicides as a consequence of the forced moving from their homes. There were hundreds and thousands of stories of pain, anxiety and suffer described as direct consequence of building this construction.
The working rhythm of the construction was really insane: 24 hours of working in three shifts. This was only for attending the wishes of the ex dictator who wanted to finish his target in two years only.
The security or the workers had no priority at all. The official documents of the time confirm the death of 27 workers, although the real number was much bigger.
We should not forget that Romania was living one of the most cruel dictatorship of the area and there are witnesses that affirm most of the workers who refused to work because of the lack of security, were executed and buried under the same building.
The bunch of workers who built this construction was assigned by delimited sectors. In order to not be able to memorize any important info, the workers were taking turns. However, the workers assigned to the underground area and the tunnels´ areas were treated differently by the intelligence services.
The building´s catacombs were built by special miners brought from Petrila. They were taken underground blindfolded and they were escorted most of the times. Those miners worked in extreme conditions and many of them died because of accidents or most of them were assassinated.
The clues of those times are very difficult to be found because of the passing of the years and because of the secret actions that surrounded the project.
Curiosities on the largest administrative building in the world.
The Palace of People was projected to become a majestic building, the fruit of the ex dictator´s megalomania. However, the building has not been finished yet.
- It is the largest and most expensive administrative building in the world.
- It has a size of 365.000 m2.
- It is the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon (designed for military affairs).
- It counts with 12 floors over the ground and other 9 floors under the ground.
- The building is moving 6 mm per year.
- One million m3 of marble were used for the building.
- The Romanian Parliament occupies only a 30% of the total size of the entire building.
- There were used wood of oak, walnut tree, maple and cherry tree.
- There were 700 architects working on this project and the main architect was Anca Petrescu.
- The estimated total cost exceeded 3 billions of dollars.
- The building´s underground has various basements, catacombs and secret areas.
- 20.000 workers participated on the construction of this building (some researchers estimate a number with the peak of 100.000 workers).
- It can be seen from space (just like the Pentagon and the Great Wall).
- One of its chambers hosts the chandelier with the biggest weight in the world (more than 3 tons and 7.000 light bulbs).
- Some of its doors weigh more than 5 tons.
- Inside one of its rooms (Unirii Room) a helicopter could land.
- It has been calculated that the maintenance cost of the building has exceeded 6 million euro per year.
- 9.000 properties (apartments, houses and churches) were demolished in order to build the Palace.
- The building counts with 1.100 living rooms, chambers and offices (only the half was finished).
- Hermann Tilke designed the car circuit around the building which has been recognized by IFC (International Federation of Cars).
- In 1990 the Government of Ion Iliescu proposed its demolition in order to build a casino or they proposed to cover the entire building with ground as a sign of anti communism.
- In 2010, the politician Silviu Prigoana proposed to turn the building into a big commercial center.
The building´s catacombs and underground part.
The ex dictator Ceausescu ordered that the building must be built on top of an artificial hill in order to convert the building into a strategic point that would dominate the capital. Moreover, the hill has a tunnel network underneath which is connected to the different points of the city.
Just before dying, the architect Camil Roguski confirmed that the ex dictator had asked him in person to build a special underground system of escaping ways. This was a special order, apart from the two anti-nuclear bunkers especially designed to bear 9 grade earthquakes.
This info has been confirmed also by the soldiers that participated to December Revolution. They accessed the tunnels and discovered 8 different escaping ways (some of them were connected to the metro stations of the city).
Moreover, most of the surrounding metro stations were designed to bear nuclear attacks. The dimension of the tunnels is so big that we could easily travel them by car. Some of them have also a rain system derived from Dambovita River in order to be navigated by small boats.
The most important escape way of the building was a tunnel that led directly to the shore of Herastrau Lake, where the dictator was waited with a fast ferry which transported him directly to the aerodrome.
The construction of the underground secret places is known for ages and it had become an authentic tradition. Some centuries ago, the wealthy families of the city and the important traders of the time built an underground network of channels that linked their houses or offices to the suburbs of the city.
In the same time, the traders were also using those tunnels with some secret places in order to protect their goods for the Ottoman invasions.
Related to this subject of medieval tunnels in Bucharest we can find the first reference in 1899 (“Bucharest History” written by Gheorghe Ionescu -Gion). Different other sources confirm that the first underground tunnel was built by Vlad Tepes and that particular tunnel linked his home to Dambovita River.
During that communist era, when the modernization of Bucharest started, there were discovered tunnels where people travelled by carriages and horses. The ex dictator Ceausescu used most of the medieval tunnels and secret places in order to structure his own secret paths.
What the workers found in the medieval tunnels is considered an authentic mystery and there are no maps that could elucidate the mystery.
How many lives were sacrificed in order to build one of the largest buildings in the world? How many more secrets are still hidden and will never come to light?
In the following article, inside the category real estate miscellaneous we will analyze the aspects and curiosities of the largest building in the world, the Pentagon.
Sources: Ionescu-Gion, Gheorghe (1899): Bucharest History /calatorim.ro