The Heaviest Building in the World

According to the Guinness World Records, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, is the heaviest building on the planet. It contains 700,000 tons of steel and bronze, a million square feet of marble, 3,500 tons of crystal, and 222 acres of wood. In 1977, an earthquake destroyed entire neighborhoods, resulting in 1,500 deaths. The communist dictator at the time, Nicolae Ceausescu, used the earthquake as a pretext to complete his vision of grandeur — making Bucharest a futuristic city. He wanted to combine all of Romania’s political institutions under one roof. He ordered an army of bulldozers to raze almost one-fifth of Bucharest’s historical neighborhoods, wiping off the map forever between 7,000 and ,9000 picturesque homes and almost 30 very old churches. In 1984, construction of the Palace of the Parliament began, and for five years 20,000 workers labored day and night. Communism fell in 1989 and thousands of angry Romanians looted the palace, and Ceausescu and his wife were shot in the public square. Then the people were faced with what to do with the palace. Since it wasn’t finished, there were thoughts of destroying it, but they discovered that would cost too much, so the decision was made to house the Romanian House of Deputies, the Senate, museums and other institutions in the building. The building is so immense that many of the rooms are not used or maintained anymore, and visitors only have access to about 7% of the building.