Anthony Daniels writes in the paper version of National Review (only the first few paragraphs are available on line) about the Casa Poporului (people’s house), the colossal edifice built by Ceausescu, then the Commie tyrant of Romania. The thing is monstrous both in size and appearance, and very badly built. It contains 1,000 rooms and halls and 20,000 people worked on it (with about 400 architects). The Romanians employ 200 people for its upkeep, and the Parliament meets there now. I bring this to your attention because I have seen the thing itself in all its horror, it is indeed a monstrosity. I was in Romania for a few weeks about three months after the revolution (the tyrant was killed on Christmas Day, 1989, as I recall), and while I spent most of my time in Transylvania, I did spend a few days in Bucharest (where I dined on black bear, by the way; I don’t recommend it). The proportions are gargantuan.
The Guiness Book of World Records lists the building in second place according to its 330,000 sq.m. surface, that is after the Pentagon. Here is a photo
of the thing, and another.
And this photo
is of the ballroom; it is 200 feet high, with a plaster niche at each end that was supposed to bear colossal portraits of the tyrant, but they were never painted. I couldn’t find a photo of the spiral staircase, which must have been twenty feet wide and--so I was told--had to be rebuilt once Ceausescu saw it because he wanted it shifted over by two meters. That took another year. This is another shot of the inside.
Daniels calls the building, "Ceausescu’s revenge."