Monument to a madman: Romania's Palace of the Parliament

It's a monument to a madman. A vast palace that took 13 years to build with 2.7 million tonnes of marble especially mined from the local mountains, nine kilometres of corridors, 15,000 dazzling chandeliers, and a retractable glass ceiling so a helicopter can land inside.

And yet this bizarre beacon of power and privilege sits among so much grinding poverty in Romania, the poorest country in Europe

For this is the house that Ceausescu built, the Romanian communist dictator better known as the Butcher of Bucharest, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 25 years until 1989

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