Ceausescu Palace (also known as the Spring Palace), a luxurious building, where Romania’s former leader Nicolae Ceausescu and his family lived, is open to the public for the first time in history and included in the tourist circuit.
Built between 1964-1965, the opulent former residence has a land of 14,830 square meters made after a design of architect Aron Grimberg-Solari. Palace’s architecture is complemented by a landscape ensemble designed by architect Robert Woll, who is also the furniture designer of the Ceausescu Palace.
The wealth of materials and techniques used, the depth of the ornamental materials in the style of neo-Classicism / neo-late Renaissance, are meant to create a sumptuous visual interior.
Ceausescu Palace is located on Primaverii Street (Spring Street). The houses from this area were built at the beginning of 1930. Initially, Primaverii was a neighbourhood inhabited only by officials, because the gas and electricity factory was near. Taking as an example the Russian model, the Communists searched for a single place to build houses for officials and they choose this place. That’s how in 1950 began the construction of the villas that you can still see today.
Known in the Communist regime as “objective P50”, the palace was the private residence of Nicolae, his wife, Elena, and their children, Zoe, Valentin and Nicu in the entire period of Ceausescu’s dictatorship (1965-1989).
After the Romanian Revolution in 1989, there was shown at TV pictures of the property, were Ceausescu couple had lived for the last 25 years of their life, where almost everything was gold, even the bathroom taps. This is how it got the name “The Golden Palace”. After that, the building was used only for housing members of official delegations, foreign presidents and prime ministers who were visiting Romania.
Initially, the Government wanted to sell the palace because the maintenance was very expensive, but then it decided that the palace should be turned into a museum and a space for conferences and symposia.
Important things to know before visiting the Ceausescu Palace:
Wednesday – Sunday : 10:00 – 18:00
Monday – Tuesday: closed
Standard: 30 lei
English guide: 45 lei
Students, retirees: 15 lei
Preschool children, veterans, heroes of the Revolution, museums specialists: Free of charge
The Ceausescu Palace can be visited once by groups of minimum 5 and maximum 15 persons only by making an appointment which is made at least one day before visiting.
Interesting facts about the former residence of Ceausescu family:
The value of the building is estimated at 6-8 million Euro, and the land to 12-14 million Euro, considering the values of real estate and land prices in Primaverii neighbourhood, which has always been, according to real estate experts, the most sought area for premium and the luxury residential segment of Bucharest.
The former residence of Ceausescu has a swimming pool, solarium and sauna, cinema, a greenhouse with exotic plants and a garden with peacocks. Plus 80 rooms decorated with silk wallpaper, wood panels, paintings by famous Romanian painters, mosaics, marble, chandeliers and mirrors made of Murano glass. The furniture style is very varied and includes Renaissance-style furniture, Art Deco style and British classic furniture items, Baroque furniture and Louis XIV and XV style.
Interesting facts about Ceausescu couple:
- Ceausescu studied only four years. He went to elementary school. That was all of his education. In his teenage years, he worked as a shoemaker. Shortly after, as a young man, he got Arrested and Imprisoned for communist propaganda, which was illegal at that time.
- It is said Nicolae Ceausescu was really shy around women. At one time, in Africa, two topless dancers came to impress him but he couldn’t even look at them. Members of his staff say now that he was always serious and said only one joke when he was a dictator.
- He faked hunting. His staff used to tranquillize the bears before so that he could shoot them. No one was allowed to shoot more animals than he.
- Ceausescu had a very balanced diet. He hated chocolate, didn’t smoke and slept at noon every day.
- Elena Ceausescu became a researcher, but she barely knew how to write. At international scientific meetings, the translator always had a competent speech, no matter what the dictator’s wife said.
- Elena was a very jealous woman and she didn’t support any other woman around her husband.
- At one point, Ceausescu couple wanted to move to Peles Castle in Sinaia, but the two have been fooled that in the castle is a deadly fungus that could threaten their life. This is obviously not true, but they believed it.
- He died singing the hymn of the communist countries.
- His last words were: “Long live the Socialist Republic of Romania! History will avenge me! “.
- Ironically, all his life, Ceausescu was afraid of being shot.