Hundreds of people visited the former residence of the Ceausescu family, Primaverii Palace (Spring Palace), which opened to the public on Saturday. Built in the ’60s, the Spring Palace was the private residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu and their children Valentin, Zoe and Nicu.
The tour starts from the hall, where there is a wardrobe for visitors. The main hall hosts Renaissance furniture with plenty of gilded decorations.
Nicolae Ceaușescu’s study has solid nut wood furniture, while the walls are entirely covered in wood paneling adorned with sculpted arabesque.
The study and the chess salon have the most precious carpets of the palace, received as gifts from the last Iranian shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The salon also displays several African ivory items, gifts from Ceaușescu’s African counterparts.
Upstairs there are the apartment of the former dictatorial couple and the two apartments of their daughter Zoe and youngest son Nicu. In the Ceaușescu couple’s sleeping room there is a sofa where the two black Labradors used to sleep at night.
Near the presidential apartment there is a dressing where the dictators’ clothes are on display.
During winter, Ceaușescu family enjoyed a greenhouse sheltering several exotic plants. Only a palm tree and a mandarin are still left.
A spa center, two hairdressers and a cinema can also be admired. Inside the poolroom, the walls are adorned with monumental mosaic. The pool is now hosting an exhibition with photos depicting the former communist dictators.
The building, erected during 1964-1965 according to the indications of the former Communist dictator and his wife, has over 80 rooms. The area was considered one of maximum security. No car and no pedestrians were allowed on the boulevards surrounding the palace.
The legend has it that a tunnel would link the villa to the sports base on the lake’s shore, where the communist party’s meetings took place.
After December 1989, the protocol villa has been managed by the state protocol administration and hosted several official delegations. Due to the high maintenance expenses, the state put the protocol villa up for sale in 2014.
The opening of the Primaverii residence was attended by deputy premier Vasile Dincu and several ministers of the Ciolos cabinet. Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu stated on the occasion that this is a first successful experiment of rebuilding the Romanian society as a transparent society as regards its past.
The tour of Saturday was free of charge, but as of next week a tour will cost RON 30. Pupils, students and pensioners will pay RON 15, while the entrance is free for war veterans and the Revolution heroes.
A tour lasts 45 minutes. Organisers hope foreign tourists will also come to visit the former residence of Ceaușescus, an English guiding being also available.