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At the historical center of Romania’s capital city Bucharest, stands the colossal Palace of the Parliament, one of the most expensive and extravagant building project undertaken in the last century. Regarded as the crowning jewel of the megalomaniac Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s ambitious urban development plan, and an embarrassment for its citizens, the Palace was built at great human and economic costs. To build the House of the Republic, the dictator leveled an entire hill and wiped out one fifth of the historic center of Bucharest. The project consumed a third of Romania's budget over 5 years. Despite being the object of disdain, it is Bucharest’s most visited tourist attraction.

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Photo credit: Alejandro Giacometti/Flickr

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