Nicolae Ceauşescu (AP Photo)

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One of the main monuments to Ceauşescu's megalomania is the collosal Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) in Bucharest. At 350,000 square metres it is the largest building in Europe and consists of eight underground and 12 above ground floors.

The gigantic complex has 2,000 rooms and, in order to create space for the building and adjoining boulevard, Ceauşescu had one fifth of central Bucharest demolished, including 19 Orthodox Christian churches, 6 synagogues and Jewish temples, 3 Protestant churches, and 30,000 homes.

Ceauşescu ensured that almost all of the components of the builiding came from Romania, and the project utilised an amazing 1 million cubic metres of Transylvanian marble.

Since 1994 the Romanian parliament has held session in the palace, although some sections are rented for conferences and private functions. So, if you need a venue for your next birthday....

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