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Photographer's Note

Ce faci, Ceaușescu? - What's up, Ceaușescu?

I'm sure most TEers would remember the time when Romania was a strong communist country lead by "comrade" Nicolae Ceaușescu. I don't. Because of the simple fact that I wasn't even born when his regime ended and he was executed in December '89 as a result of massive protests.

The foundation of his huge castle was built in 1981 although most of it looks like it could be build in the 18th century. Until this, the area was inhabited by a lot of people, and there were historic churches located on the hill that used to be there. Everything was demolished when the leader had decided the perfect spot for his new castle. The people who lived there had to find new homes on their own, no help from the state. Or maybe they were offered far worse apartments that they had to pay for (can't quite remember what the guide said). This also included people living next to the hill as Ceaușescu wanted a natural view. By the time Ceaușescu was executed, about 85% of the castle was finished. People in general wanted to demolish the building after the execution, but they found that it would be a lot cheaper to finish it. About 5% is still yet to be finished.

It is today the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon, but said to be the heaviest. We were guided around for an hour or more through several huge rooms, and in the end our guide told us that we had only seen 3% of it. A lot of rooms are still kept secret in what is now Romania's parliament building.

The picture was taken while leaning to the stairs which was specially constructed to fit Ceaușescu's way of walking so that he could walk down them without looking down. Says a lot about the man when the rest of his country lived in poverty and still does.

As of the guided tour, it was definitely worth it. It costs an extra fee of 30 lei to take pictures, but this is also worth it!

edcone, ncosmin, bona, manrezaei has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 654] (3326)
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