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The Royal residence of Romania - Peles Castle

Sinaia, Romania, Peles Castle overview

Located in Sinaia, Peles Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Romania and Europe. Peles Castle from Sinaia, the summer residence of the kings of Romania, was built at the wish of King Carol I of Romania (1866 - 1914), by Johannes Schultz Architects plans and Karel Liman, and was decorated by famous decorators JD Heymann Hamburg, August Bembi from Mainz and Berhard Ludwig from Vienna.
Peles Castle may be considered the most important historic edifice in Romania, with unique character and is, as historical and artistic value, one of the most important monuments of this kind in Europe the second half of the nineteenth century.

Prince Charles was elected prince of Romania in 1866, visiting Sinaia for the first time in August of that year, remained excited about beauty of those places. At that time, Sinaia was a small mountain village called Podul Neagului. The prince decides to build a castle in a secluded and picturesque: Piatra Arsa. A few years later, in 1872, he bought the land (1,000 acres), and work began in 1873, under the direction of architect Wilhelm von Doderer. First, workers have struggled to master the bad behavior of the elements of nature, such as underground water courses or landslides.
The 300 workers who worked here it took two years to complete the improvements, all the while, the prince personally supervised in detail the work. In 1875 it laid the foundation stone of the castle, beneath which are buried a few dozen gold coins of 20 lei, the first Romanian coins with the image of Charles I.
In 1883 has officially opened the Peles Castle, which the prince saw as a "seat" of the new dynasty. And its location on the Prahova Valley was not random. Not far away, in Predeal, Romania was then the Austro Hungarian border. But in the future after the unification of Transylvania with the Old Kingdom, the castle will be found in the heart of the country.

Peles will then stop growing importance, became the summer residence of the Romanian royal family, who spent quite a long time here, usually from May to November. Here were held important political meetings, as were the Crown Council in 1914 (when Romania decided neutrality in World War had just started) and 1925.
Castle has hosted many figures of the time, writers, musicians, and kings and queens. The most important visit was that of the old Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1896. It took a lot of photos on that occasion, was impressed by the beauty and richness of the castle. In 1906 expect a new emperor's visit, to celebrate 40 years of reign of King Charles I. On this occasion it was arranged at the imperial castle apartment, but Franz Joseph's visit never took place.

Even after his inauguration in 1883, Peles will change, always expanding. Its layout is reached only in 1914 (the year of death of King Charles I). The castle has 160 rooms and several entrances and staircase. Central tower measuring not less than 66 meters high. In addition like Peles, in the area, have been erected two smaller facilities, Pelisor and Foisorul.
Peles has a theater room with a small stage and 60 seats, plus a royal box. The castle was very modern equipped for the time it was built. For example, the glass ceiling of the hall of honor is mobile and can be powered by an electric motor. Since 1883, the castle has central heating.
The castle was built near Pelisor, Body Guards, Economatul House Hunting Arbour, stables, power plants, and Vila Sipot. By the end of the castle (1883), King Charles I and Queen Elizabeth, lived at home for hunting, completed before the castle. Due to its own electrical plant Peles Castle was first electrified in Europe.

Peles had a special importance for our country's history. Here was born in 1893, the future King Charles II (1930-1940), first king of the dynasty was born on Romanian soil and second baptized in the Orthodox religion. In 1921, the Pavilion, was born his son, King Mihai I. In 1921, there is the Peles, wedding Princess Ileana, one of the sisters of Charles II, at which time a lot of personalities, including Prime Minister then, Nicolae Iorga. Two years later the anniversary celebrations held Peles Castle (50 years after starting the work).
The castle will remain until 1948 the residence of the royal family, when the communist regime confiscated. In 1953, Peles will become a museum, but said he could have visited since the days of King Charles I. In 1990, Pelisor is open for public visits.
A brief calculation shows that between 1875 and 1914 were spent over 16 million lei in gold to build Peles.

It is interesting to note that Ceausescu rarely visited the castle. A story circulating in the 80s said that Mrs Ceausescu wanted to establish a protocol to the residence of Peles.
Knowing the anger that they had all kinds of demolition orders and changes, the curators have scared inside telling them that the castle is a fungus that attacks wood elements and is very harmful to man. In fact, the truth is that a fungus had attacked the building beams due to moisture and lack of ventilation. For this reason they started the restoration work, to be replaced the structure of the resistance of honor and dining hall downstairs. Prudence, Ceausescu spent one night at the Castle, sleeping in the gazebo.

After the Revolution of 1989, Peles and Pelisor were re-integrated into the tourist circuit. In 2006, the Romanian government announced the return of former King Michael I at the castle in Romania. Immediately after re-obtaining of title, began negotiations and Peles property returned to the Romanian state historical museum. In exchange Romanian government granted 30 million to the Royal House of Romania.

The castle was declared a museum in 1953. In recent years the communist regime between 1975-1990, Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the closure to the public domain. The only people allowed in this area were the maintenance of military and security personnel. The entire area was declared an area of interest protocol.


- Hall of Honor is great, with walnut paneling, lined with bas-reliefs and statuettes. Glass roof, driven by an electric motor or a manual system, was an element of surprise for visitors to the king, who could admire the blue sky of summer nights. It was fully completed until 1911, under the guidance of Karel Liman.
- Royal Library in particular attracts enthusiasts of rare books with leather covers and gold embossed letters. Even for those less familiar with the world of books, there is an attraction: the secret door, a passageway behind a bookshelf, which the king could escape into the various rooms of the castle.
- Arms rooms furnished in the period 1903 - 1906, housing more than 4,000 European and eastern parts of the XIV - XVII centuries. The most precious are considered German armor from the XVI - XVII and full armor for horse and rider, unique in Romania.
- Lounge music hall became the musical evenings at the wish of Queen Elizabeth. The furniture here was received as a gift from the Maharajah Kapurtala.
- Florence Hall, called the Grand Salon, impressive carved wooden ceiling of lime, gold, two large chandeliers, and Italian neo-renaissance style decorations.
- Maura Hall designed by architect Charles Lecompte du Nouy with Spanish-Moorish elements, with a fountain of Carrara marble, copy of a song from Cairo.
- Theater hall has 60 seats and royal lodge, decorated in the style of Louis XIV.
- The first floor is the Concert Hall, designed in 1906, which found a harpsichord made in Antwerp in 1621, a drop Bluthner grand piano and a Rieger organ with two keyboards.
- Imperial Suite was developed in 1906 during the visit all the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I, invited the 40-year jubilee of the reign of King Charles I.
- Other rooms are the Hall Councils, which resembles one of the halls of the City of Lucerne, Switzerland;
- Cabinet work where there is a stately desk and a lectern for audiences;
- Dining room, exhibiting pieces of silver of great value, is located on the 1st floor and has a rustic furniture fringe of the eighteenth century;
- Turkish salon which houses a collection of Turkish and Persian in brass vessels and Royal bedroom is lit by a chandelier of Bohemian crystal.

Peles Castle Stained glass windows were purchased and installed between 1883 and 1914, most of which were brought from Switzerland and Germany, piece dating from the XV and XVII centuries. In addition, the castle has seven terraces decorated with stone statues, fountains and ornamental vases of Carrara marble.

After Bran Castle, Peles is considered the second largest museum in the country looking for tourists. Only in 2006 they crossed the threshold of 250,000 visitors over the country and the U.S., Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Castle is given importance and the existing security measures: military security, supervisors and cameras.

Peles Castle is located in Sinaia (44 km from Brasov and 122 km from Bucharest) and on the road to choose E60 or DN1. On the track there are many races within Ploiesti Prahova Valley and is one of Sinaia resort destinations. Visitors enjoy an extended tour of the premises on the ground floor and first floor, with the guidance in five languages.
The construction was financed by the private box of Carol I, as well as the civil list.
Technical difficulties, the landslides that support needed strong walls and the presence multitude of underground springs that had to be trapped in drainage network, required to bring to Sinaia, architect Professor Wilhelm von Doderer, an expert on the subject

The scale of his project was conducted by Karel Liman illustrate the idea of royal residence, as has sovereign wanted from the beginning. The new architect, an admirer of Italian art, combined the Neo Renaissance Italian and German styles on facades, and turn inside of Peles into one of the most remarkable historical architectural monuments. Equally important, the facilities after 1900, the second floor were born one of the most consistent sets of Art Nouveau in Romania. The residence was raised with a floor, also the main tower, thus underlining the majesty of main facade. In its final form, building takes place on an area of 3200 square meters benefiting from more than 160 rooms and 30 bathrooms. After Karel Liman's death, Chief of Royal Architectural Bureau of Sinaia became the architect Jean Ernest.