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.

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Details

Founded: 1873
Category: Castles and fortifications in Romania

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve (3 months ago)
Incredible place, and we've been to a lot of castles. We were only visiting as it as it was part of the "Dracula Castle tour" but it easily outshone it! Even in November the ground and external aspect was beautiful. A short walk from the carpark, past the cafe which was also very good. Externally it was pretty however The internal architecture was incredible, predominantly intricately carved woodwork, outstanding but far less ostentatious than many Castles in the area. The small spiral wooden staircase and carved pictures were exquisite. The Armoury had an incredible array of international weaponry covering centuries apparently gifted to the King by visiting dignitaries. The library was compact but also impressive, apparently with a secret passage behind one bookshelf allowing the King direct access to his bedroom for a test between State duties. Or guide made it with his knowledge and clear Love of his Countries heritage. The detail in all rooms was excellent. Definitely worth a visit, try and get there soon after opening, 09:30 (I think), before it gets too busy with large coachloads. Toilets at the castle are better and more plentiful than those in the cafe (only two and individually gendered) on the way out.
Luis Vidal (5 months ago)
Probably one of the most beautiful castles in Romania. It is worth a visit, so if you are planning to stay in Bucharest or Brasov, then, it is a must in your itinerary. You can come from Bucharest by train to Sinaia, although you have to walk from there to the castle and it will take you half an hour. Taking a tour from Bucharest is easy and comfortable and you will get directly to the castle. If you are going to buy the tickets online, pay attention to the opening days, as optional tours I and II are only available from Wednesday to Sunday. It is a small castle compared to other in Europe but it is stunning! A regular visit can take you 45 minutes if you are in a guided tour and 20 minutes of you are going to visit the castle in your own.
Adrian S. Urdea (6 months ago)
A very disappointing experience. After we bought a parking permit for 5 Euros and received no ticket or other proof of payment, we walked up to the castle. A long way with no resting places, no benches, or other possibilities to sit down and rest. Outside the castle, in the surrounding area, some buildings are better looking than others. You can immediately see that the restaurants and cafes are somehow limited to price, offer, and space. Positive: it is a national cultural treasure built by the Romanian nation, now re-owned by the former royal family who used to rule the country. Negative: the administration of this place with all the sides and effects of such lousy management. Suggestions: the entry ticket should include in the price the entire castle and not just a part. You have to pay more than double to visit the other sections, which is wrong. Recommend: it depends! If you haven't visited it before, yes, you should see it. If you did, don't mess up your good memories.
Boromir Cutezătoru’ (7 months ago)
We visited last year, 2021. And today we just walked through the park. It is a very beautiful castle, a national monument, built for the first king of Romania, Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. It is spectacular, definitely worth seeing. As I said, we visited the inside of the castle last year, during the second year of the pandemic, so no people other than us. Today however, the queue was enormous, somewhere around 100-150 people. Pros: National monument, extremely beautiful. Spectacular view of the mountain. Cons: Chinese and German tourists, a long queue, 5€ parking although the parking is very close to the castle, but you can park somewhere in the city and take a bus near to a station near the castle, or just hike towards it. (first photo is from today, 2022, the others are from last year)
Nawras Taleb (9 months ago)
A must see when in Romania. Magnificent Palace in the middle of wonderful nature. Nice history as well (although shortly lived) and the decoration inside is brilliant. I liked the main hall with the great combination of marble, woodwork and carpeta. Also, the huge mirrors are pretty impressive for their time. I only did the short tour (no extra rooms) but I think it was sufficient.
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