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All you need to know about Ceausescu Palace in Bucharest Romania

If you find yourself in Bucharest, it would be a pity not to visit the palace that served as residence for Romania’s president and his family between 1965-1989. One of the best buildings in the capital, situated in one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of Bucharest, the mansion is more spacious and pretentious than it looks from the street.

Nicolae Ceausescu was Romania’s president. The communist leader remained in history as a dictator who forced a totalitarian regime on the population, imposed drastic shortages, but also managed to pay off Romania’s debt.

However, the introspection into his residence tries to be an objective observation.

Ceausescu House on the outside; photo: casaceausescu.ro
Ceausescu Palace is filled with spectacular mosaics

Content

Entrance fee and reservation
Bucharest’s residential area, home to Ceausescu Palace
Some interesting facts about the Ceausescu couple and Palace
General things about the Ceausescu Palace

Entrance fee and reservation

Ceausescu Palace is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10-17. It is best to book in advance, especially in summer or at weekends.

The price for the standard tour is 55 lei/person (11 euro) with English guide included, while students and pensioners have to take 45 lei (9 euro) out of their pockets. There is also possibility for a private tour.

You are allowed to take pictures, but filming is not permitted.

The chess table
Touches of pink and silk wallpaper; photo: vice.com

Bucharest’s residential area, home to Ceausescu Palace

Ceausescu House is located in Primaverii Street (Spring street), an area of Bucharest destined for the wealthiest. The area was initially inhabited by influential people and many officials because the gas and electricity factories were close. Thus, the area soon turned into a residential neighbourhood with imposing houses for state officials, and later, villas.

The palace was built between 1964-1965 for a former prime minister, but was first inhabited by the Ceausescu couple. The mansion showcases a Neo-Classical/Neo-Late Renaissance style that creates a luxurious visual interior.

Palace inside with pillars

After the Revolution from 1989, the Ceausescu Palace (also known as Primaverii Palace) got renovated and thanks to its imposing interior, it became a VIP residence for official delegations that visited the country. The huge maintenance bill almost made the Government sell the mansion, but luckily, in 2016, it is turned into a museum.

I enjoyed not only visiting it and taking pictures, but was also fascinated by the stories behind.

Nice chatting spot

Some interesting facts about the Ceausescu couple and Palace

Besides being best-known for his dictatorial regime and horrendous treatment the population faced especially during their last years, Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife are famous in the collective history for some facts.

  • Ceausescu was the third child from a poor peasant family with ten children;
  • He only attended primary school and started work as a shoemaker apprentice;
  • Despite being a total communist and overtly displaying atheism, Ceausescu built a church in his native village for his mother who was deeply religious;
  • He was obsessed about health and safety; had a balanced diet; did not eat chocolate or smoke, on the contrary, he slept every day at noon;
  • Elena Ceausescu, the wife of the nation’s first son and most hated woman in the country, played a very important role in leading Romania;
  • Part of the cult of personality, Elena Ceausescu had a doctorate in chemistry, wrote several books in the field of chemistry, was awarded the title of doctor honoris causa and was Member of the Romanian Academy, when the truth is, that was all a hoax as she was almost illiterate;
  • Elena was utterly jealous and was totally devoted to her husband; she considered that such a person is born every 500 years.
  • Both of them were fervent supporters of Romanian products and merchandise;
The Ceausescu couple in their youth
  • The Palace is the place where the leader of the Communist Party signed the treaty that condemned Czechoslovakia’s invasion in 1968, turning him into a hero;
  • Ceausescu didn’t allow anyone outside the Palace; that is why he only had one official visit there;
  • The Communist leader was obsessed not to be poisoned;
  • Was a big fan of Kojak movies and crime films that he used to watch in the cinema room of his Primaverii Palace;
  • Ceausescu was very proud of his origins; he even customized the chess pawns to represent Romanian peasants (you can see them in Ceausescu Palace). Nobody had the courage to beat the President.
  • Despite being the country’s leaders, the couple’s clothes were made according to world-famous brands, but always by Romanian tailors and from Romanian fabrics.
  • Elena was very scrooge and would rather refurbish her stockings than buy a new pair;
  • All the items in the mansion were on the inventory of the state.
Family memories

General things about the Ceausescu Palace

The Mansion is situated on Primaverii street, in a quiet residential area. From the outside, you wouldn’t tell that the Palace has 3600 sq m. and around 80 rooms. Not to mention the impressive garden where colorful peacocks (Ceausescu’s favourite animal) stroll freely.

The Palace shelters the apartment of the dictatorial couple and the separate apartments of each of their 3 children (only one living today).

Ceausescu’s Palace is undoubtedly a matter of taste, but it is certain that the whole mansion transpires luxury and opulence to the highest standards of the times.

Garden and peacock; photo: vice.com

You’ll visit some work rooms destined for the dictator; harmoniously decorated rooms and ostentatious bathrooms. Also, there’s a beautiful interior tropical garden and natural ventilation systems that helped the air cool down in less technologized times. There’s an impressive cinema room with the latest technology for the 80es and obviously, a spa area updated to the times with a sauna and solarium. The relaxation area had a sector dedicated for hairstyling, maintenance and physiotherapy where famous specialists exercised their skills.

Spa area
A bathroom

The Palace abounds in brightly coloured mosaics on the walls that create a sensation of joy, but the pièce de resistance is the swimming pool. It took two years to build and is eye-catching.

The communist leader loved eccentricity in the palace, but he balanced his comfort with the love for the Romanian raw material, just like in the Palace of Parliament. Thus, the mansion showcases paintings by famous Romanian painters, mosaics, marble, chandeliers, wood panels and silk wallpaper. Among the non-Romanian items, Ceausescu opted for mirrors made of Murano glass.

The dressing is very large; photo: vice.com
The four seasons

All the objects that Ceausescu had received as gifts from famous leaders, such as Kim Ir-Sen, Queen Elizabeth or the Shah of Iran did not belong to the family, but the state. Everything was inventoried and contrary to today’s trends, was state owned.

The furniture styles include Renaissance, Art Deco, Baroque furniture and Louis XIV and XV styles. The love for golden objects doesn’t only represent a cultural trend, it is also a symbol of opulence and richness. You will most likely remain speechless in front of the huge golden bathroom from top to bottom, although to today’s standards, I would call it kitsch.

Elena Ceausescu’s bedroom had a safe as well
Swimming pool and mosaics

Basically, Ceausescu Palace is not just a museum that highlights the luxury of Romania’s president in contrast with the poverty of the population, but it also stands for the best in Romanian design for 50 years.

Recommended by TTF:

  • Luxurious residence of the Ceausescu family between 1965-1989;
  • An objective display of the communist party’s leader standard of living;
  • A mixture of styles and top technology of the times;
  • Placed in one of Bucharest’s best areas, surrounded by villas and nature.

One Response

  1. I am not positive where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time finding out more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

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