A new MUST SEE landmark in Bucharest: Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence

Less than a month ago, Palatul Primaverii – the Spring Palace – the official residence of the Ceausescu family, opened its doors to the public. This is now a public museum and I consider it to be a new must see landmark of Bucharest, capital of Romania.

A new MUST SEE landmark in Bucharest: Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence

We went to visit it last Saturday and we loved what we saw. The palace is in great conditions, the tour provides interesting insights on the private life of the Ceausescu family, also about the residence, historical and political context, decorations, furniture, customs and more. It really was an enjoyable visit.

And you get to see live peacocks.

And see a secret door.
And more, much more.

Here’s why you should visit this house, useful information – ticket prices, reservations etc., how I perceived it, and thing to pay attention to

Now, in a few words, for those of you who are not familiarized with Romania’s history, Nicolae Ceausescu “(26 January 1918 – 25 December 1989) was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country’s second and last Communist leader. He was also the country’s head of state from 1967 to 1989.” (Wikipedia)

Nicolae and Elena ceausescu - the couple in the right
Nicolae and Elena ceausescu – the couple in the right

He’s ruling was controversial and, as almost any period in time, had its good parts (construction of the subway, for instance) and bad ones. It was during Ceausescu’s time that the Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon (and the largest civilian building) was built. He was executed, along with his wife, on Christmas, 1989.

I won’t bore you with too many details though as, in the end, visiting the Spring Palace is not only for those who know Romanian history very well.

The palace is actually a house build around 1965 – and expanded between 1970-1971. As you’ll easily see, the palace has a ground floor, the floor and a semi-basement. You’ll also see the winter and summer gardens, the pool and all the other rooms.

Spring (Primaverii) Palace in Bucharest - Ceausescu's private residence

Why should you visit the Spring Palace?

– it’s a well maintained building;
– it’s a important from the historical point of view;
– it’s fun and interesting;
– it allows you to have a look at how a famous recent Romanian ruler – one that many people around the globe heard of – lived.

You might know the cruel Ceausescu – the one that everybody is talking about. But did you know that in the couple’s bedroom there was a separate couch for the two black golden retrievers the family owned to sleep in? And there was another sofa in a different part of the house. Yes, I didn’t know that and yes, it was an element that took me by surprise.

Actually, during your visit, if you pay attention to the explanations, you’ll find out many interesting things. You’ll find out where Ceausescu saw a chandelier that he liked and then he got back in the country and had a factory produce many for the residence. And they are almost all different – actually I’ll have an article dedicated to them later on the blog.

You’ll find out that he liked so much the terrace that Fidel Castro had and asked for a similar one to be included for his residence.

You’ll find out about several symbols used in the wood – chairs, offices…

You’ll find out that he fell in love with peacock while in Japan so he bought one. And yes, until this day, there are peacocks in the garden. And you’ll also see peacocks in mosaics for instance.

You’ll find out that he liked… westerns and he used to see many in the cinema room.

Like I said: plenty of interesting details to be discovered here.

In order to be able to have an idea about what you’ll see, I tried to make a selection of the photos I took and present you some of the rooms and interesting elements. Not all of them though, as I want to leave you the pleasure of finding some of the house’s secrets by yourself.

The Palace was aimed to impress – especially on the inside. Thus the decorations, materials used, and so on and so forth. Palatul Primaverii – Spring Palace – is a luxurious residence, spacious, and yet comfortable. It may seem like too much for some, but in the end everyone makes their house as they please – like we all do.

You’ll see mosaics from Iran; numerous objects used for decorations – some received as gifts, some bought –, wall coverings, wood paneling, marble, and more.

Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae Ceausescu's office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae Ceausescu’s office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae Ceausescu's office - David reduction
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae Ceausescu’s office – David reduction
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae Ceausescu's office - Whetter
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae Ceausescu’s office – Whetter
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae Ceausescu's apartment - day room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae Ceausescu’s apartment – day room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae Ceausescu's apartment - day room - showcase with gifts received
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae Ceausescu’s apartment – day room – showcase with gifts received
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Valentin Ceausescu's office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Valentin Ceausescu’s office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Valentin Ceausescu's bathroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Valentin Ceausescu’s bathroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - hallway
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – hallway
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - living room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – living room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - wine cellar
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – wine cellar
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Cinema room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Cinema room – accommodates up to 20 persons.
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Cinema room - chandeliers
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Cinema room – chandeliers
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - small fountains - there are numerous in the house!
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – small fountains – there are numerous in the house!
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - view of the interior garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – view of the interior garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - official dining_room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – official dining room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - official dining room - vases blown with silver
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – official dining room – vases blown with silver
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - the small table they actually used to eat
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – the small table they actually used to eat
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - hallway
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – hallway
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Zoe Ceausescu's bedroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Zoe Ceausescu’s bedroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Zoe Ceausescu's office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Zoe Ceausescu’s office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Elena Ceausescu's bedroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Elena Ceausescu’s bedroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - dressing room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – dressing room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicu Ceausescu's office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicu Ceausescu’s office
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - secret door
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – secret door
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu's bedroom - they have the original sheets
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu’s bedroom – they have the original sheets
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu's bedroom - Murano glass mirror
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu’s bedroom – Murano glass mirror
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu's bedroom - bathroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu’s bedroom – bathroom
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - "La Cuci" - a living room, a dressing room, and fitting room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – “La Cuci” – a living room, a dressing room, and fitting room
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - winter garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – winter garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - "pool
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – “pool
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - "summer garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – “summer garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - "summer garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – “summer garden
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence - peacock
Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence – peacock

Useful information

  • ticket prices: 30 lei (around 8 euro) for a tour in Romanian and 45 lei (around 11 euro) for one in English. You can take pictures, but without using the blitz. You are not allowed to touch anything, nor eat or drink. Pets aren’t allowed;
  • the palace is opened from Wednesday to Sunday – 10:18:00 (last tour starts at 17:00);
    – it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance: +40213180989 – the reservations’ page of the website is also in English.
  • due to the way the palace was built, it’s impossible to be visited by people with disabilities;
  • there is a buffet at the exit – so, if thirsty or hungry, you can grab a snack there.

The downside: the official website is only in Romanian for the moment.

For me, it was a chance to “see” Ceausescu from a different point of view. And I am happy I made this visit. It’s not about loving or hating the former ruler, it’s about visiting a palace as I would in any other city in the world.
Frankly, with all the French furniture, I sometimes had the feeling I was at the Louvre, in the Bonaparte III apartments. Of course that there are different styles, but you get the idea.

From the touristic point of view, I am happy to see that the Primaverii (Spring) Palace is opened to the public. I am sad it is so late, as I know many people interested in finding out more about the communist period and the communist rulers, especially about Ceausescu.

So yes, I am recommending this landmark in Bucharest – both for Romanians, and for foreigners.

Spring (Primaverii) Palace in Bucharest, Romania. A must see! Ceausescu-s private residence #travel #Europe #Romania

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Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

49 thoughts on “A new MUST SEE landmark in Bucharest: Primaverii (Spring) Palace, Ceausescu’s private residence

  • 15 April, 2016 at 13:08
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    I have a dream to be able to stay in a real palace for some time.
    The Spring Palace looks very beautiful, I will definitely visit it when I come to Bucharest!

    Reply
  • 15 April, 2016 at 13:52
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    Wow palace always takes me back tot he golden era of kingdoms, I would go back to that era, would you?

    Reply
  • 15 April, 2016 at 14:08
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    For some reason, I’ve never visited this Palace, even if I lived in Bucharest for ten years. I wanted to, but somehow never got around to it. I should definitely change that, soon!

    Reply
  • 15 April, 2016 at 16:52
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    This reminds me of the reunification palace in Ho Chi Minh City! its awesome to be able to visit Palace to understand the history behind it!

    Reply
  • 15 April, 2016 at 17:11
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    Wow, what an amazing place to visit! I love the murals in the pool room, very impressive. Thank you for sharing this beautiful spot.

    Reply
  • 15 April, 2016 at 21:06
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    Beautiful peacock! The interior, summer and winter gardens are amazing.

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  • 15 April, 2016 at 22:40
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    Interesting read! Thanks for sharing. Looks like a beautiful and interesting place to visit. And I love peacocks 🙂 so it’s gets bonus points.

    Reply
  • 16 April, 2016 at 10:01
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    Romania is not being promoted much as a tourist destination but your post has shown us that Romania is one of the more interesting places to go to in Europe. This is interesting as it shows how one of the more controversial figures in Romanian history lived. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • 16 April, 2016 at 13:23
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    It’s not only historic, but also interesting to explore for entertainment reasons. Adding it to my bucket list, for sure!

    Reply
  • 16 April, 2016 at 15:06
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    What a FABULOUS building! I love the interior decor – its incredible and its so cool they used to have a couch in the bedroom for their dogs! My puppy would love that! I think its important to visit buildings like this that have so much significance to a city and are such important sites. Thanks for letting us know this place is open – I can now add it to my must-do list
    Vicki´s last blog post ..48 Hours in Amsterdam: The Highlights

    Reply
  • 16 April, 2016 at 21:48
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    Very nice story of the Palatul Primaverii. Good to know that, and I think it would be such a great idea to visit Romania!

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  • 16 April, 2016 at 22:14
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    This seems like such a cool place to visit, especially side it’s not too expensive. This reminds me a lot of Hertz castle in California! The man who lived there loved to take parts of different cultures he likes and incorporated them into his house. I would love to see those peacocks! Still haven’t seen one in real life, but I imagine they are breathtaking!

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 02:47
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    I just heard about this opening!! I’m such a history buff with a special interest in exploring old homes and castles. Gives such insight of a particular time. Your photos are beautiful!

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 04:04
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    Super unique place! I love it. It does sound like the perfect spot for history lovers and to get a glimpse inside of how things were in the past.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 04:56
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    Looks like it would be an interesting place to visit indeed. The place is full of history. If only the walls could talk.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 05:56
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    I would love to visit this kind of place. The ambiance feels too royal and elegant. I wonder how many people maintain the entire area.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 06:42
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    The palace is very well taken care of, it’s so evident in the pictures. It’s always nice to tour palaces, they are just really stunning and breathtaking! What an experience this must have been for you!

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 09:15
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    Romania has long been in my radar of places to visit and this is another great destination to add to my Romania list – especially since I love castles and history. 🙂 Amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 10:03
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    Ahhh. Romania… Good to know some of its history. I like the vintage style, if that’s what you call it.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 13:29
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    Lovely! The appeal & beauty of a palace come from the fact that it is a palace and how it used to be a private residence so everyone is just intrigued at how it looks like inside and what kinds of things are in there. I love the interiors and all the intricate details on the rooms, fabrics, linens. I would want to visit myself.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 13:58
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    Wow, very cool, looks like such a unique space and loved the photos! I always enjoy seeing historical architecture while traveling, not just for the design inspiration, but also for a bit of culture + history. That gold bathroom though….

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 15:24
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    As a history buff, I love visiting sights like this. I really need to brush up on my eastern European history, though. The architecture and historical tidbits like the couch for his dogs are so interesting. Details like this really give us a glimpse of the person behind the persona. Will definitely keep this on my radar for my next trip to eastern Europe.

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 17:50
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    Whoa! What can I say? Every inch of this palace shows the intricate beauty of the place. Every photo makes me want to go there, especially that I love history and traveling. It’s good that this historical structure is well-maintained. It gives us a glimpse of the past. I really want to visit Romania and other Eastern European countries. I hope that, eventually, I’d be able to go there.
    Claire Marie Algarme´s last blog post ..The Taste of Mekong in Bacolod

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  • 17 April, 2016 at 18:05
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    Wow such history. I am imagining how it all was during that period.

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  • 17 April, 2016 at 18:49
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    Everything looks so lavish and nice. I really like the inside look you’ve shared!

    Reply
  • 17 April, 2016 at 21:04
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    I love visiting this kind of places.Lucky for you. I hope I can visit Bucharest!

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  • 17 April, 2016 at 23:55
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    ive never been to bucharest and never thought about going before. one day i will

    Reply
  • 18 April, 2016 at 00:21
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    The museum is beautiful! Nicely chosen ! However I have been travelling to Bucharest too two years ago and I must say it is not a place I do like a lot. Interesting experiences in any case!

    Reply
  • 18 April, 2016 at 05:58
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    I love old buildings like this because of its ability to take you back. However, sometimes they give me the creeps because I feel like the spirits of the people who once lived there are still around…lol

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  • 18 April, 2016 at 12:22
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    I love your posts because you always include an introduction to the place’s history! It’s always nice knowing a little about it other than just seeing photos of it. I love this — the wallpapers are magnificent! Everything screams elegance and art in its own uniqueness.

    Reply
  • 18 April, 2016 at 14:51
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    The palace is so incredible and ornate! These photographs capture the interior so well. Also the inclusion of useful information section is really helpful and a good addition the post.

    Reply
  • 19 April, 2016 at 05:24
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    What a cool place to visit. Wouldn’t it be nice to live like this! Adding this to my list of places to see when I finally visit Bucharest!

    Reply
  • 19 April, 2016 at 09:12
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    I really like an interior garden, I’m always fascinated in hidden courtyards, not visible from the street and not accessible for everyone. Gardens like this are an oase of green, tranquility and silence in the middle of the city. Talking about furniture and decorations, it’s not a style that I like to be honest, for me there is too much of everything, but I appreciate its historical value.
    Epepa´s last blog post ..5 alternative things to do in Vienna

    Reply
  • 19 April, 2016 at 14:48
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    The best thing about spring palace i noticed is cinema room and the secret room,Were the chandeliers in cinema halls are very beautiful

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  • 19 April, 2016 at 21:51
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    What a dream residence! It is well-maintained. Good that they allow visitors. Will surely visit it if I happen to visit Bucharest.

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  • 20 April, 2016 at 05:02
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    Every little corner was seriously decorated. From the beautiful wall paper panels from floor to ceiling to the instricate carvings and chandeliers, plus the peacocks! OMG the peacocks are just too pretty.

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  • 20 April, 2016 at 23:53
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    A city of innovation and artistry; Bucharest elegantly displays such through the masterpiece of thie Primaverii palace. I crave to explore it soon in order to feel, see and merry in the awesome effects of this special landmark.

    Reply
  • 21 April, 2016 at 14:15
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    What a fancy place and photo worthy place!!! Will visit this if I had the chance, for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lori!

    Reply
  • 24 April, 2016 at 18:16
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    Being able to see your pictures let me warp back in time where families have luxurious castles and houses. I am dreaming of visiting this place in the future.

    Reply

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