Communist history points of interest in Romania

Posted by on Dec 2, 2018 in Stuff

When visiting Romania you can tour a number of unique and interesting sites related to the country’s Communist past. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu led one of the most repressive Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, which makes these sites all the more interesting.


The People’s House

Description: The greatest achievement of Ceausescu’s megalomania, the “People’s House” is an architectural oddity that’s the most expensive and the second largest administrative building (after the Pentagon), with an area of 365,000 square metres or 3,930,000 square feet; also the heaviest building in the world at 4.1 Billion kg. The building was inspired by the architectural style of North Korea, is slightly larger than the Pyramid of Giza and features 1,100 rooms on 12 floors. Building materials included 3,500 tonnes of crystal, 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze, 1,000,000 cubic metres of marble and 900,000 cubic metres of wood. Currently houses the Parliament of Romania.

Wikipedia page for details: click here.

Tour details: Public tours which cover some of the most impressive rooms are available; an additional option includes a brief underground tour. Details here.


Spring Palace (Primaverii Palace)

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Description: Ceausescu’s opulent Bucharest residence is an urban palace in its own right. Includes original furniture, clothes and other objects belonging to the Ceausescu family, as well as an artwork collection and gifts received from world leaders. Very interesting experience that sheds light on the life of the dictator and his wife. The residence features 80 rooms and includes an underground bunker, a beautifully landscaped garden with live peacocks, a private cinema room, spa, indoor greenhouse, swimming pool, tanning and hairstyling rooms and more.

Official website for details: click here.

Tour details: Be sure to get the “private tour” for the most extensive experience. Click here for details.


Site of Ceausescus’ trial and execution

Location: Targoviste, Romania

Description: Former military facility that was the site of the Ceausescu’s couple trial and execution in December 1989. Currently a museum, the site includes a visit of the room where the trial was held, the room where the couple spent their final days and the site of their execution. Location is pretty close to Bucharest.

Official website for details: click here (Romanian only).

Tour details: Open to the public, check hours for visiting. Tours may not be available in English, but the site is still cool to visit. Details here.


Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Location: Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

Description: Former Communist detention center where political prisoners were imprisoned and tortured. Currently a museum. Very informative and interesting experience with detailed information on political repression during Romania’s Communist regime. Be advised the location is very far from Bucharest.

Official website for details: click here. Do enquire about availability of information or tours in English.

Tour details: Open to the public, check opening hours.


Spark House (Free Press House)

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Description: Building designed in the Soviet Socialist realism style resembling the Moscow State University building. Built in the 50’s to house printing presses and press staff of various media (has the same role today). This building cannot be visited but is cool to see from outside.

Wikipedia website for details: click here.

Tour details: No tours available and not open to the public.


Building of Union of Architects in Romania

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Description: Interesting building located in the center of Bucharest. Used to house Directorate V of the Securitate, Ceausescu’s secret police agency. Suffered heavy damage during the Romanian revolution of 1989. Refurbished by the Architects’ Union and completed with a modern, steel and glass section. Cannot be toured, but interesting to check out.

Official website for details: click here (Romanian only).

Tour details: No tours available and not open to the public.