Are you an aficionado of urban ruins? I am. There’s something about abandoned buildings that simply fascinates me. The bigger, the better. This week, I had a chance to explore Palatul Adevarul, or Palace of Truth, in Bucharest, Romania.
The Palace of Truth, or Truth Palace, was originally built in 1898 as the headquarters of Romania’s largest newspaper – Truth. In 1940 during World War II, Germans took over the building to publish their “Bucharest Daily Sheet.” Then in 1951, the communist party came in and printed the “Star.” Finally, in 1989 with the fall of Communism, many of the buildings in Bucharest were returned to their original owners. Unfortunately, in the case of Palatul Adevarul, the original owners had no way to maintain or restore the building, and it quickly fell into disrepair.
An old guard is stationed at the small entry to the right of the main entrance, preventing looters from making the building any worse than it already is. You can either give him a bribe to get in, or join the Beautiful Decay tour with Urban Adventures Bucharest.
Soon after entering the building, you’ll see the foyer where you can still locate the original emblem of Truth Press in the corbels. The baroque architecture has been vandalized with layers of graffiti, where it hasn’t been removed entirely. Remnants of desks and tables lay abandoned in rooms, and hardly a single window remains intact in the building (I did see one).
Continue up to the upper levels of the building, taking care on the banister-less stairwell. If you’re afraid of heights, this is not the building to explore. Skip the lower floors, as there’s nothing much to see beyond the continuous destruction. As you’re not really supposed to be in this building, stay away from the windows on the lower floors, or rather any of the windows in the front of the building.
In the top two floors, you’ll find a slightly different atmosphere. Street art “decorates” what remains of the walls in the building. Murals are on some of the larger walls, while smaller images or quotes can be found elsewhere. The back of the building also offers a good view of the Bucharest skyline.
A couple of the rooms caught my attention. One was a darkroom used by the newspaper. Another was an auditorium, now repurposed with a street art mural.
Take your time and explore. Palatul Adevarul is absolutely massive. With the guard in place, it doesn’t get looted like other places have, or rather the pillaging has ceased. It’s certainly hard to find anything of value left in the structure.
The building is located at Strada Constantin Mille 15, behind the National Military Circle (Ballroom). Obviously, you explore at your own risk. Bring a durable camera just in case, and wear shoes with thick soles, preferably good boots. The thick layers of glass throughout the building make them mandatory.