Top Historic Sights in Sinaia, Romania

Explore the historic highlights of Sinaia

Peles Castle

Nestled at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains in the picturesque town of Sinaia, Peleș Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. History When King Carol I of Romania (1839–1914) visited the location on which the beautiful castle now stands, he was amazed by the stunning scenery of the Carpathian Mountains that surround it. The constru ...
Founded: 1873 | Location: Sinaia, Romania

Sinaia Monastery

Situated in the Prahova Valley, the Sinaia Monastery gave its name to the nearby town of Sinaia. Prince (Spătarul) Mihail Cantacuzino founded the monastery upon his return from a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. The first buildings were completed between 1690 and 1695. It was designed to serve as a monastery as well as a fortified stronghold on the route from Brasov to Bucharest. In the midst of the Russo–Turkish War, 1735 ...
Founded: 1690 | Location: Sinaia, Romania

Pelisor Palace

Pelișor Palace was built in 1899–1902 by order of King Carol I, as the residence for his nephew and heir, the future King Ferdinand (son of Carol"s brother Leopold von Hohenzollern) and Ferdinand"s consort Queen Marie. In 2006, it was decided that the entire complex, including Pelișor, long a museum and tourist site, is the legal property of the King Michael I of Romania. The royal family was to assume lega ...
Founded: 1899-1902 | Location: Sinaia, Romania

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).