Ceausescu’s home in Romania opens for visitors

Former residence of Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu opens to the public after 26 years of the dictator’s fall

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A visitor walks inside the former residence of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in Bucharest, Romania on March 12, 2016

The former residence of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu opened its doors to the public on Saturday, after some 26 years of the dictator’s fall.

He ruled the country from 1965 until his regime fell, when he was convicted of genocide.

The Romanian president was executed along with his wife Elena by a firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989.

During his rule, Ceausescu was living in the Primaverii (Spring) Palace with his wife and their three children.

Built between 1964 and 1965 to the exact specifications of Ceausescu and his wife, the luxury residence has 80 rooms and is decorated throughout with Murano glass mirrors, chandeliers, colourful mosaics and other extravagant touches.

An indoor swimming pool, a cinema, an underground bunker and extended gardens where peacocks roam are some of the amenities visitors can see in the residence.

The residence "must be opened to the Romanian people who must make peace with their history and know about their past," Minister for Civic Dialogue and Public Consultations, Violeta Alexandru, said at the opening ceremony.

Over the years, it has accommodated visiting diplomats.

On its first day, the entrance fee was waived, with some 300 people visiting the site. It will next be opened to tourists from March 19 who will pay 30 lei (6.70 euros/$7.50) to get in.