Initiated by Romania’s former leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, he ambitioned the Palace of the Parliament to be a symbol of extravagance for Romania to show to the world. With the Palace continuing to be the heaviest building, it is evident that Nicolae hasn’t failed himself.
The Palace of the Parliament located in Bucharest, Romania weighs a total of more than 9 billion pounds, taking the title of the world’s heaviest building in the Guinness World of Records.
The Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament, known as the Republic’s House or the People’s House, holds the title of being the heaviest building in the entire world as listed in the Guinness World of Records. Situated on the top of the Dealul Spirii hill in Bucharest, Romania, its weight totals a massive 9.0356 x 109 pounds.
1.5 billion pounds of bronze and steel comprise the building with 350,000 square meters of marble, 7.7 million pounds of crystal glass, and 900,000 square meters of wood. Not only do the construction materials make the building heavy, but the massive size also helps, as it consumes more than 3,900,000 million square feet.
If you wish to enter this magnificent building, the only way you may do so is through a guided tour. The only requirement one needs is a booked ticket and a passport. With the size of the building, the adventure through the second-largest administrative building will take an average of 45 minutes. (Source: Tour in Romania)
The Bloody History of the Glorious Palace
From 1965 to 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania with an iron fist. Although claiming to be a communist, his leadership is totalitarian and massively oppressive to his citizens. Under his reign, a regular invasion of the private lives of his people occurred due to the police spying he requested. Additionally, Romania itself suffered as Nicolae held the whole country’s finances.
The infamous Vrancea earthquake in 1977 hit Romania, knocking down areas in Bucharest. Nicolae was delighted as he saw the ruins of Bucharest as an opportunity to align his wants with the rehabilitation of Bucharest.
Inspired by the Juche Ideology of North Korea, which came from his venture to East Asia six years before the Vrancea earthquake happened, Nicolae ambitioned a new and extravagant image for Romania to spread to the world. With that, the rebuilding of Bucharest started with having the old parts of Bucharest demolished to refurbish it in a brand-new socialist realism style.
To locate the right architect for the job, Nicolae established a nationwide contest that eventually led him to meet with Anca Petrescu. Anca Petrescu held the position of chief architect, heading a group of 700 architects. On June 25, 1984, construction for the Palace of the Parliament finally started.
The construction was not easy for the citizens of Bucharest. Forced by the soldiers to lower the cost of funds, they coerced 40,000 individuals to relocate homes. The building of the Palace also required several workers, with roughly 20,000 to 100,000 individuals working in pursuance of its finishing. The workers needed to take three shifts with the aid of volunteers.
The sweat and blood of the citizens were sacrificed for the Palace of the Parliament, literally. The construction of the Palace caused the deaths of thousands of its people, with the death count almost reaching 3,000 people.
With the much time, money, and even lives that Nicolae took for the Palace of the Parliament, he never got to witness its final form, dying before the finished construction of the Palace in 1997. (Source: Tour in Romania)