Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena Ceausescu, represent a dark period of Romania’s past. The communist era seemed good for a while as people could lead a fairly good life in the communist mirage. However, all looked good as no one had the chance to see the greener grass of capitalism on the other side of the fence.
Ceausescu and his communist regime
Things got worse as Ceausescu got old. He became megalomaniac, ruthless and surrounded by people who tried to benefit of his power. He started huge constructions as The People’s House and he had this ambition to pay all Romania’s external debt. But all came with a great price. The people got poorer and their life became miserable. The Romanian people were starving, had no link to the world outside the Russian borders and had rationalized heat, gas and water into their homes. Above that, the secret service of the communist regime, named “Securitate”, was watching everybody’s moves and punished everything they considered to be a threat to the regime. Even a joke about Ceausescu and his wife was considered “a threat”. There are many things to say about Ceausescu and the communist regime that marked Romania’s history but I will get back to that in another post.
Ceausescu’s grave in Bucharest
Yesterday I went to see Ceausescu’s grave in Bucharest. I was surprised to see that there were fresh flowers on his grave, meaning that people, nostalgic of that era, come to mourn the dictator. In fact, every 26th of January (Ceausescu birthdate) and 25th of December (the day Ceausescu died) people come to his grave to read patriotic poems, listen to communist songs, bring lot of flowers and express regret for his death.
PHOTOGALLERY EXECUTION – The place where Nicolae Ceausescu and Elena Ceausescu were shot – Visit the museum where the execution took place
Ceausescu and his execution
Ceausescu and his wife died on 25 of December. They were put to execution after a so called trial at the end of Romania’s revolution. They were sentenced to death for genocide and undermining the national economy. After many rumours that the filmed execution (photo below) was in fact fake and the two survived, their bodies were exhumed in 2010 to take DNA samples that would prove that they are in fact buried in Bucharest. The results came in positive.
As the financial crisis is kneeling Europe and also Romania, some people tend to look upon their past and youth and say that “there were better times in the communist era” forgetting how many innocent people died in the communist regime just for thinking differently.
Photo: Ceausescu’s exhumed body
When, where, how much?
The cemetery where the dictator and his wife were burried lies on the periphery of Bucharest, capital of Romania. If you have a GPS and a car, it is not that hard to get there. Just enter in the GPS “Ghencea Cemetery” – “Cimitirul Ghencea Militar” in Romanian.
If you want to have a ride with the public transportation, you can arrive there by bus. The numbers you should look for are: 122 (You can take this bus from Victoriei Square in Bucharest – You can arrive in Victoriei Square by subway), 173, 302 or 385.
I found it interesting to visit Ceausescu’s grave but also kind of creepy. This cemetery is an old one and some crypts and monuments look just like in horror movies. I found it a bit difficult to stroll along the graves with statues, old photos, stone angels and dead flowers. However, it might be an interesting experience if you are into history and communist ruthless dictators.
The area of the cemetery is not very awesome, I might say. It’s kind of grey and creepy, but, after you pass the cemetery’s gates it feels safe. As you enter the big gates under a yellow entrance building you will see a chapel in front of you at the end of an alley. Ceausescu’s grave is right near the chapel. You can see it if you place yourself at the entrance of the chapel looking on your right side. Of course, there is no fee to see the grave.