The House of Ceaușescu - Atlas Obscura

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The House of Ceaușescu

The kitsch mansion of the former Romanian president Nicolae Ceaușescu features a golden bathroom. 

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After admiring the grandeur of the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, head to another storied site of pomp and circumstance. The House of Ceauşescu, also known as the Mansion of Ceauşescu, served as the private residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu and their children, Nicu, Zoia, and Valentin from 1965 to 1989. Because it was protected during the Romanian revolution, it remains almost exactly as the family left it. 

Architect Aron Grimberg-Solari designed this lavish abode using a mishmash of architectural styles. From the outside, it may appear smaller than you’d expect, because many of the rooms were built underground, including a private cinema, physiotherapy clinic, garden, walk-in closet and a hunting room.

Built in the mid-1960s to be known at the time as the Palatul Primaverii (the “Spring Palace”), the home was later enlarged in the ’70s. Many designers worked on the house for its different elements. The home’s landscaping was directed by architect Robert Woll who was also the primary furniture designer for the house, together with the landscape engineer Teodosiu. Robert Woll and Agrippa Popescu led the mansion’s interior design.

Luxury and comfort are at the heart of the House of Ceauşescu, paired with a more-is-more approach to decoration: handmade panelling, crystal chandeliers manufactured in Romania, handmade fabrics, art by famous Romanian painters, vast mosaics, tapestries, instruments, and materials sourced from all over the country.  Elements such as a grand piano that no one knew how to play, and several absurd attempts to copy the Palace of Versailles, give a slightly surreal vibe to the place.

The room that tends to strike most visitors is the golden bathroom of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu. The sheer wealth on display, together with the knowledge that the Ceauşescu couple were educated to primary school level, is sure to leave vistors absolutely speechless.

Know Before You Go

Update February 2024: Sadly the tours no longer take on the bunker and secret passages and there is currently no plan to reinstate this part of the tour.

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