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 construction of Peleș Castle was commissioned by King Carol, and on August 22, 1873, the foundations were laid in the form of a hunting house and a summer retreat for the Romanian royal family. The castle was designed by the German architect Johannes Schultz in a Neorenaissance style that combined numerous features of classic European styles. Construction saw a slight slowdown during the Romanian War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1877–78, but soon afterwards the plans grew in size and construction was quite rapid. Completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947.

After King Michael I's forced abdication in 1947, the Communist regime seized all royal property, including the Peleș Estate. The castle was opened as a tourist attraction for a short time. It also served as a recreation and resting place for Romanian cultural personalities. The castle was declared a museum in 1953. Nicolae Ceaușescu closed the entire estate between 1975 and 1990, during the last years of the Communist regime.

After the December 1989 Revolution, Peleş and Pelişor Castle were re-established as heritage sites and opened to the public.

Architecture

By form and function, Peleş is a palace, but it is consistently called a castle. Its architectural style is a romantically inspired blend Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival similar to Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. A Saxon influence can be observed in the interior courtyard facades, which have allegorical hand-painted murals and ornate fachwerk similar to that seen in northern European alpine architecture.

Interior

Peleş Castle has a 3,200-square-metre floor plan with over 170 rooms, many with dedicated themes from world cultures. The furniture in the Music Room is carved of teak, a gift to King Carol I from the Maharajah of Kapurtala in India, while handmade silk embroideries adorn the ceiling and walls of the Turkish Salon. The ceiling paintings and decorative frescoes in the Theater Hall were designed by the renowned Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Frantz Matsch.Over 4,000 European and Oriental pieces dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries are on display in the armories. Peleș Castle shelters a painting collection of almost 2,000 pieces.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1873
Category: Castles and fortifications in Romania

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

FranciscaChesca (2 years ago)
Most beautiful palace I’ve visited so far. The interior is breathtaking. The extended tour that covers 2 floors is worth it. Bare in mind that to be allowed to take pictures inside the palace one must pay an extra fee.
blafticks (2 years ago)
An amazing site, probably one of main attractions in Romania. On this occasion I did not manage to get inside as there was like a 20 minute queue. My suggestion is to go here early morning so you can be one of the first people getting in. Enjoy this national treasure, amazing historical place
K. M. Ellis (2 years ago)
I haven't been to Sinaia since 2012. The town has really grown, lots of modern businesses and great places to eat, nice flats. Peleș Castle is as beautiful as I remember. Definitely worth the trip out to Sinaia!
Suzan King (2 years ago)
WOW. Amazing place. Definitely worth paying the minimal charge for taking pictures. Be ready for crowds! Not really suitable for children as its very busy and a quick visit would be difficult. The grounds are lovely too.
Diana (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle! The interior is so detailed and we'll preserved! I really enjoyed exploring this castle. There is a fee to take photos inside so that's good to know. I would recommend going with a tour. That is what I did and there were lots of people there without a tour guide who had to wait in quite a long line to be able to enter. Definitely worth a visit!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.