More than 25 years since his execution on Christmas Day, 1989, the former home of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu opens as a public museum this Saturday.
Built in the 1960s and known by the codename P50 during the communist period, the 80-room Palatul Primaverii (which translates as Spring Palace) served as a home for the Ceausescus for almost two decades.
While the building – which came with its own cinema and swimming pool – is relatively elegant from the outside, the interior is decorated throughout in a ghastly style. Chosen by Ceausescu’s wife, Elena, the decor is perhaps best described as neo-classical kitsch, complete with solid gold toilet roll holders.
To book a place on a tour (the only way you are allowed to visit), you need to phone a day in advance. You can also reserve a tour directly on the palace’s website. Tours in Romanian cost 30 lei (adults), 15 lei (children, students, pensioners). Under sevens are admitted for free. For a tour in English, an additional 15 lei is payable.