Known as the Spring Palace, the villa is spacious - 30 rooms, 53,000 sq ft, with gardens for winter and summer - but not quite opulent by palace standards. Visitors are asked to put on blue shoe coverings before stepping inside. More than a dozen rooms are decorated in a mix of late Renaissance and Rococo styles.
IN the 24 years that Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania, the mansion where he lived with his wife Elena was shrouded in secrecy.
No ordinary citizen could get near the villa in a well-heeled neighbourhood in northern Bucharest. But rumours abounded about its lavish décor:...