PALACE OF PARLIAMENT
The Palace of Parliament - the symbol of the Romanian democracy - is an impressive public building placed on the Arsenal hill, emerged from the cornice of the river Dāmboviža. Accordingly to Guinness Book, the Palace is the second administrative building in the world, after the American Pentagon, if we are to consider its area, i.e., 348,650 square meters.
The construction started on June 25th, 1984. In December 1989, when the Ceausescu couple died, the Palace was entirely built. Yet, the inside, unless the South wing, were far from being finished.
In April 1991, the building was named the Palace of Parliament, becoming the headquarters of the Chamber of Deputies.
The greatest progress in constructing the Palace was made during 1992 and 1996. Nowadays, only the inside still needs finishing.
The Palace also hosts the Constitutional Court, the Legislative Council, the Concurrence Council, the Official Monitor and the Regional Centre SECI (the Southeast Cooperation Initiative) for combating the cross-border criminality, which was inaugurated in February 2000.
- Area: 76,000 square meters;
- Height: 84 meters over the ground floor; 15 meters in the underground;
- Length: 170 meters;
- Width: 245 meters;
- 3,107 rooms - 742 of them are used as offices;
- Over 30 rooms and salons - large between 200 and 2,000 square meters;
- Monumental staircases;
- Around 50 elevators;
It is a remarkable fact that the Palace was built very fast (1983-1989), due to an exceptional human effort. The costs were enormous in a period of great difficulty for the Romanian people. Moreover, as a matter of pride, it should be mentioned that the costs represented an entirely Romanian contribution. All the Romanian regions were involved in the building process, contributing both with human resources and professional experience. 17,000 artists and workers and more than 700 architects and Romanian plastic artists worked during the building process. Besides, all the building materials came from Romanian sources.
- One million cubic meters of marble from Transylvania;
- 3,500 tones of crystal - 480 chandeliers; 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured;
- 700,000 tones of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals;
- 900,000 cubic meters of wood essence, i.e., walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore maple, for parquet and wainscoting;
- 200,000 square meters of woolen carpets of various dimensions;
- Velvet and brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold;
The halls and the rooms were named after 1989. Usually, they evoke different important historical events or remind us of great Romanian personalities internationally recognized such as Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Nicolae Balcescu, C.A. Rosetti, Ion I.C. Bratianu, Nicolae Iorga, Nicolae Titulescu or Take Ionescu.
Monumentality and massiveness are two specific characteristics of the Palace. The architecture includes traditional Romanian elements especially those of the "Brancovenesc" style as well as popular art decorations such as the sun, the rosette and wood designs.
The International Conference Center in the Palace of Parliament disposes of the following endowments:
- 16 conference halls with a capacity from 30 to 1,300 seats;
- 30 offices;
- Specific facilities and services: internal and international telephones, telex, telefax, e-mail, copy-machines, high quality technical equipment for simultaneous interpretation provided with 4 to 8 interpretation channels, video wall, electronic boards, etc.
Important international events took place in the Palace. We mention:
- The Parliamentary Assembly for Economic Cooperation in the Black Sea Area;
- the Crans Montana Forum Conference;
- the Inter-parliamentary Union Session;
- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Also, the Palace hosts different parliamentary activities, conferences, symposiums, seminars, round tables on political, economic, social, cultural, scientific issues, exhibitions.
The exhibition hall "Constantin Brancusi", of 2,300 square meters, hosted more than one hundred Romanian and foreign art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, and fashion presentations.
Presently, 2,000-3,000 persons daily visit the endowments of ICC. Thus, the Palace of Parliaments is an attractive site for both Romanian and foreign tourists.
In the future, the Senate of Romania will occupy a large part of the Palace, so that the legislative process develops easily.