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Old April 7th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Romania's Palace of the Parliament

Romania's 'Palace of the Parliament' hosts big NATO summit



BUCHAREST, April 2, 2008 (AFP) - The venue for NATO's 2008 Bucharest summit could hardly be more incongruous -- the vast, lavish "Palace of the Parliament," commissioned by Romania's communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu and still incomplete at the time of his violent overthrow and execution in 1989.

Claimed to be the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon in Washington DC), the titanic, 12-storey mock-classical edifice was begun in 1984, and measures 240 by 270 metres (260 by 295 yards), comprising 1,100 rooms, including a 100 metre (328 foot) long lobby.

And that is not including the large underground nuclear bunker built to preserve the communist elite in the event that NATO and the then Warsaw Pact had a thermo-nuclear Cold War exchange.

It is perhaps a fitting location for NATO's biggest summit ever involving some 60 heads of state and government, running from Wednesday to Friday.

Intended as the home of the Romanian communist government, it still functions as the parliament building of Romania, with plenty of spare space for conferences, and even as a trendy venue for a nightclub and bar.

It boasts 480 chandeliers, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ornate steel and bronze doors, and a selection of walnut, oak and elm wooden floors and wall panels. Ceausescu decreed that all materials should be sourced from Romania, as an emblem of national pride.

Less patriotically, a huge swathe of the capital was bulldozed at very short notice to make way for the grandiose, not to say megalomaniac, edifice. With 20,000 workers labouring on site for five years, it was still incomplete at the time of Ceausescu's overthrow and Christmas Day death by firing squad in the final and most violent of the 1989 East European revolutions.

Along with East Berlin's Karl-Marx Strasse, it is one of Europe's prime examples of what is sometimes derisively referred to as "wedding-cake" Stalinist architecture.

But unlike East Germany's parliament building, being demolished both because it symbolised an authoritarian past and also due to the large quantities of asbestos which were found in it, the Bucharest Palace of the Parliament is still standing.

This NATO summit will not only make use of the Bucharest palace, but will possibly see another eastward expansion of NATO into former communist states, including Croatia, Albania and possibly Macedonia, with preparatory moves perhaps on the cards for Georgia and Ukraine.

US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in their last summits here, and other guests include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and senior EU and World Bank officials.

Some 3,000 delegates and 2,000 media representatives will also take part, under the watchful eye of more than 10,000 Romanian police.

Ceausescu -- whose mild scepticism over Moscow's foreign policy earned him plaudits from the West at the time, including a visit from president Jimmy Carter and a (later disowned) state visit to Britain and a reception at Buckingham Palace -- would doubtless be spinning in his grave at the sight of the Palace of the Parliament playing host to his sworn enemies in NATO.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #2
nebunul
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NATO Summit Photos thread - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=603367

See (inside ) also some 360° panoramaS:

http://www.panoramas.ro/fotojurnalis....php?nume=plen

http://www.panoramas.ro/fotojurnalis...?nume=deputati

+

another NATO summit venue - http://www.panoramas.ro/fotojurnalis...o.php?nume=cec
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Timpul pentru Unire niciodată nu va veni de la sine, dacă nu-l vom face şi aduce fiecare dintre noi, cei care ne dorim Unirea cu adevărat.
“DACĂ VISUL UNORA A FOST SĂ AJUNGĂ ÎN COSMOS, EU VIAŢA ÎNTREAGĂ AM VISAT SĂ TREC PRUTUL” (GRIGORE VIERU)

Last edited by nebunul; April 8th, 2008 at 05:22 PM.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #3
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I know some people may be attracted to the massiveness of this piece of... concrete, but it's an eyesore for Bucharest. And we're stuck with it forever.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #4
nebunul
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Well, I’m no fan of this building; but I’d say, the interior(s) makes up (at least partially) for its disastrous exterior. BTW I visited it in … 2001 I think … and I can say it’s quite impressive - in a good or bad way? It’s up to each individual (visitor) to decide for himself
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Timpul pentru Unire niciodată nu va veni de la sine, dacă nu-l vom face şi aduce fiecare dintre noi, cei care ne dorim Unirea cu adevărat.
“DACĂ VISUL UNORA A FOST SĂ AJUNGĂ ÎN COSMOS, EU VIAŢA ÎNTREAGĂ AM VISAT SĂ TREC PRUTUL” (GRIGORE VIERU)
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Old April 12th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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My Home Town
1st January 2007 - Welcome Home ROMANIA! ®

Timpul pentru Unire niciodată nu va veni de la sine, dacă nu-l vom face şi aduce fiecare dintre noi, cei care ne dorim Unirea cu adevărat.
“DACĂ VISUL UNORA A FOST SĂ AJUNGĂ ÎN COSMOS, EU VIAŢA ÎNTREAGĂ AM VISAT SĂ TREC PRUTUL” (GRIGORE VIERU)
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