The Journey: Day 5
Built in a bout of Communist delirium, Ceausescu's Palace (or the House of the People, as he called it) it a standing example of what unlimited power can achieve. It is the largest and heaviest administrative building in the world, and it's only second to the Pentagon in terms of volume. We take a private tour, including the restricted areas.
One of the very elegant destinations in Bucharest, it is our final stop on the palaces map. Built in 1822 in the Neoclassical style, it has been a private residence, administrative building and host to numerous cultural events.
Considered as one of the masterpieces of modern cinema, Stanley Kubrik's movie has little known connections to Romania. Few people are aware the the chants in the secluded retreat in the film are actual Romanian Orthodox Byzantine chants, recorded in the town of Baia Mare. We recreate the whole mood of the party, masks included.
After surviving the night at the castle and breakfast on the premises, we head back to Bucharest for a very different castle, but in no way less impressive.
After a visit to North Korea and meeting with Kim Il-Sung, Ceausescu was so impressed my the “greatness” of Communism, and in an unequaled bout of paranoia and megalomania decided to built the world's largest building – and he almost succeeded, by sacrificing a whole generation, countless human lives and 82 acres in Bucharest, which were completely razed to make way for the palace that was to become the largest civilian building in the world, the most expensive administrative building and the world's heaviest building. He never got to see it completed, but left Bucharest with a landmark that is described as “genius” and “abominable” - or everything in between.
We are taking a private tour including the non-visiting areas (the building is now home to the Romanian Parliament), in which you will witness the full scale of imagination and grandeur unlimited power and resources bring, and get to understand why Ceausescu insisted in calling his reign “The Golden Age”.
Right after lunch, we are heading towards yet another palace – the Ghika Domain. Build by voivod Grigore Ghika in 1822, it is a standing example of classic Romanian architecture and class.
The palace will be host to the final surprise of the journey – the Eyes Wide Shut theme party, hosted by the Throne Room. In fact, the whole palace will be open just for you, allowing you into the mythical and dreamy atmosphere of the movie, as you advance step by step through the entire ritual Tom Cruise followed.