Geographically Peles Castle is not located in Transylvania but Sinaia is so close to the border that we decided to add it to our list. Former summer residence for the Romanian royal family, Peles Castle is one of the most attractive and well preserved castles in Romania. Together with the smaller castle, Pelisor, and the nearby monastery, the site is a must stop for anyone travelling between Bucharest and Brasov.
A BIT OF HISTORY…
If you travel through Romania and arrive in county Prahova, the best place to stop for a break is Sinaia. You will find the town only a short drive from Brasov on the road connecting Transylvania with Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
The construction of Peles castle began in 1873, at the request of the first Romanian king, Carol the 1st of Hohenzolern, near the site of an old monastery that still exists and be be visited today. The construction was completed and the castle was inaugurated in 1883. Its initial purpose was to host the royal family during their vacations in the mountains, especially during the hot summer months, but due to its beauty and strategic location Peles became an important venue for political meetings and cultural events.
The castle has German and Austrian design influence and its around 160 rooms and hallways are adorned with rich decorations including very intricate woodworks, rare paintings and upholstery. These days, not all the rooms are open to the public but the visitors have acces to the most beautiful parts of the castle.
In 1902, on the grounds of Peles Castle, a smaller, but just as attractive, second castle called Pelisor was inaugurated. Pelisor was to become the home of the future King Ferdinand and his wife Queen Marie.
In 1948 the Peles castle was transferred into state administration and since 1953 functions as a museum but the general public was only allowed to visit since 1990.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE PELES CASTLE:
- Thank to its own power plant located on the grounds, the castle was the first castle in Europe to be fully electrified.
- The original vacuum cleaner installed during the construction is still functional and still used to clean the castle up to these days.
More detailed information and opening times can be found on the official website www.peles.ro