Tour of the Romanian Communism

This tour was planned especially for those who want to discover a different side of Bucharest, one that is still marking the city’s existence, more than 25 years after the fall of the communist regime. During approximately 4 hours, our specialized guide is going to take you back over 60 years in history and try to explain what really happened in Romania after the Second World War.

We will drive to Ferentari, one of Bucharest’s slums, a conglomerate of huge, grey concrete blocks, housing hundreds of people, mostly in circumstances unchanged since 25 years ago. From here, we will travel to a traditional market in Obor, to discover a hidden part of the city: each day dozens of peasants from the surrounding villages of Bucharest come here to sell their home grown vegetables, egg, meat and dairy products, the same way they have been for decades.

Not only have the outside districts been affected by the changes during the communist era, but also the city centre. After a disastrous earthquake in 1977, Ceauşescu decided it was time to destroy a large part of the city, to make place for his new, megalomaniac plans. The cherry on the top of the cake was the „People’s Palace”, a monstrous useless building which costed billions of dollars at the time and is currently the second biggest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon.

You will also get the chance to find out more about the communist repression and details about how, between 1945 and 1964, almost two million people (which meant every other eight person in Romania) was in detention in a political prison or forced labour camp. You will find out how the day-to-day life used to be in those days and why the people rebelled against Ceauşescu and the whole communist regime in 1989. The “Revolution square” was one of the main sites where this movement, probably orchestrated by secret services and parts of the “Securitate”, the Romanian Internal Intelligence Service, took action against the current rulers. The revolution counted over 1000 casualties only in a couple of days, according to official records. The true number is not known to this day.

You will then walk to the University Square, the place where bloody anticommunist demonstration took place at the beginning of the 1990s, marking the beginning of a young, but much too fragile democratic regime. Your guide is going to finish the tour in an old restaurant, very similar to the ones from the communist era, with a discussion about Romania’s post communist evolution.