“The Royal Castle stands amongst other monuments, in an extremely pretty landscape with gardens built on terraces, all at the edge of dense forests. The castle itself is very impressive owing to the riches it has accumulated: old and new canvases, antique furniture, weapons, all sort of curious, and with everything arranged with good taste.”
- Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria, October 1896 -
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 to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The castle enchants with its unique architecture, the refined interior decorations, and sumptuous rooms. The fairytale scenery is completed by the beautiful landscape: soft hills, then steep valleys, and a rapid climb into the Carpathians.
The castle in Peleș Valley, the summer residence of Romanian royalty, was built during the rule of Carol I (1866-1914) and today it is an important national monument of XIX century Europe. Several other buildings, annexed to the castle, were built simultaneously: Pelișor Castle, The Guard's Chambers, The Economat, The Foișor Hunting House, The Stables, the Electrical Power Plant and the "Șipot" Villa.
The Prince of Romania from 1866 and the King of Romania from 1881, Carol I, built Peleș Castle, a royal residence that became a lifetime project until his death in 1914. He loved the Carpathian landscapes, particularly the one from Podul Neagului, a small mountain village he visited in his first months in Romania. He bought a large piece of land here in 1873 when the construction of Peleș Castle began. The presence of a royal residence brought many changes to Podul Neagului. Its name changed to Sinaia, a railway line appeared, and many aristocratic families started building their own residences in Sinaia or close by.
The construction of the castle started in 1873 and by 1883 it was suited to host the royal family who spent six months every year here during the time of Carol I. Numerous and ample architectural works were done until 1914, the castle’s architecture being inspired by the German Neo-Renaissance style, a close tie with the King’s German origins. The castle is a true wonder, due to the sculpted wood and the stained glass windows.
The Reception Room was built in 1991 by architect Karel Liman, who redesigned the interior yard into a true wonder, due to the richness of the sculpted wood and the stained glass windows. The armory rooms were built between 1903-1906, while the Council Room was ready in 1914.
From the very beginning, Peleș Castle was one of the most modern in Europe. It was the first castle on the continent fully supplied by electrical power – it had its own electrical unit – and one of the few with a central heating system, an elevator and all the highest comfort of the time.
Passionate about art, Carol I had numerous collections, the number of art objects being estimated at 60,000. Given his military background, the King had also a solid knowledge and interest in weapons. His collection from the Weapons’ Room has over 4,000 pieces, including a complete knight and horse armor, unique in Romania.
After the forced abdication of King Mihai I in 1947, the castle was opened for tourism, but during the last years of the communist regime, the entire area was closed, being involved in a long and complex period of reconditioning.
Today, except for the hunting house, which remained a presidential residence, the Peleș complex was re-integrated into the tourism circuit, impressing throughout all four seasons with it’s beauty and elegance, deep in the middle of the forest, shrouded in the fairy tale landscape of the Carpathian Mountains.