PALACE OF PARLIAMENT
Str. Izvor, nr. 2-4, Sector 5, Bucharest,
The Palace of the Parliament (in Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului) in Bucharest, Romania is one of the world's largest buildings. Its original name was the House of the People (Casa Poporului), but it was renamed (in the post-Communist era) first during the 1989 Revolution with the derogatory name of House of Ceau?escu and then as the Palace of the Parliament. However, to this day, most of the Romanians retain the old name and call it Casa Poporului.
The structure combines elements and motifs from multiple sources, in an eclectic postmodernist architectural style. Edward Behr (food specialist who became famous by authoring The Artful Eater) wrote that "the combination of cultural and aesthetic illiteracy, rigid Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy and an innate taste for gigantism was… devastating" for the architecture of the edifice.
It measures 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground. It has 1,100 rooms and is 12 stories tall, with four additional underground levels currently available and in use, with another four in different stages of completion. Estimates of the materials used include one million cubic meters of marble from Transylvania, most from Ruschita; 3,500 metric tonnes of crystal - 480 chandeliers, 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured; 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 cubic meters of wood (over 95% domestic) for parquet and wainscotting, including walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore maple; 200,000 square meters of woolen carpets of various dimensions (machines had to be moved inside the building to weave some of the larger carpets); velvet and brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold.
It is the second largest administrative building in the world by surface area of its floors (with a floor area of 350,000 m˛), just behind the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It is 10% larger by volume than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The building is constructed entirely of materials of Romanian origin; it is reported that during the latter years of construction, this building and Centrul Civic created such a massive demand for Romanian marble that tombstones throughout the country had to be made from other materials. Effectively, the building, due to its immense size, cuts the city into two—an urban planner's nightmare. Constructing the Palace and Centrul Civic required demolishing about one-fifth of the historic districts of Bucharest. The two neighborhoods with 19 Orthodox Christian churches, 6 synagogues and Jewish temples and 3 Protestant churches (plus eight relocated churches) were razed to make way for the behemoth are remembered to this day.
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