Bucharest

Sightseeing

Free Press House (Casa Presei Libere; Casa Scânteii)

An impressive edifice standing somewhat menacingly at the entrance to the capital, Casa Scanteii (as it is still universally known) was designed by architect Horia Maicu and completed in 1956, one year after the strikingly similar (though much taller) Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland (both buildings were based on the Lomonosov Moscow State University). Originally built to house the editorial offices of almost all of the capital's newspapers and magazines (it was far easier for the censor if they were all in one place), it today carries out pretty much the same function - publishers can rent office space here at a discount - although the dwindling number of print publications in Romania means that a fair amount of the building is empty. The impressive archive of Rompres, the state press and photo agency, is housed here.

The ghastly steel structure in front of the building (where once a statue of Lenin stood) is called Aripi (Wings) and is a monument to all those Romanians who fought against the installation of communism in the late 1940s, and died (often in appalling conditions) in communist-era prisons.

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29.06.2009
Anca Eoff
USA/VA,
I do not know how the building looks now but I remember the impressive entrance hall with marble columns and crystal chandeliers in the 1980s.My dad used to work there and I visited the place pretty often.It is worth stopping if you are in the area.
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