The former residence of Romania’s communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu has opened its doors to the public after more than 25 years.
Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by a firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989, but ordinary Romanians will soon be able to see the mansion where the couple once lived, Balkans Insight reports. The luxurious building – dubbed the Primaverii (Spring) Palace – has opened its doors to visitors for the first time on March12.
For nearly $4, visitors will now be able to roam the 80-room residence – said to include a cinema, a swimming pool and an impressive dressing room – set in 3.5 acres of grounds in Bucharest’s desirable Primaverii neighborhood.
The building was designed in the mid-1960s to the exact specifications of the former dictator and his wife, who reportedly personally picked the chandeliers and mosaics.
After the 1989 Romanian revolution which deposed Nicolae Ceausescu, the building was taken over by the state and only rarely used to host official delegations. It was put up for sale in 2014 but attracted no buyer.
In February, the Palace of the Parliament – another massive building built on the orders of Nicolae Ceausescu – opened its doors to virtual tours. With 1,000 rooms, which were once the workplace of 100,000 people in the last days of the Communist era, it is both admired and reviled by the Romanian people.
The revival of interest in the Communist era and an apparent softening of attitudes towards the once-hated regime come at a time when many Romanians feel that life has not improved much since Nicolae Ceausescu’s overthrow, Balkan Insight says.