Peles Castle: Royal Legacy and Romania’s Finest Castle

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

Peles Castle is included in our one day tours from Bucharest and Brasov. 

Peles Castle is the most impressive castle in Romania and a must-see attraction if you’re passionate about stories of royalty, splendid architecture, and history. The summer residence of the royal family until 1948 when it was confiscated by the communists, the castle from Sinaia is today, like in its first years, one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Peles Castle

Peles Castle

Royal history at the King’s favorite residence

Peles Castle was the beloved residence of Carol the 1st of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a prince from 1866 and then the King of Romania from 1881 until his death in 1914. One of the most important political figures in the history of the country for his major achievements, empowered by his hard-working and intransigent nature, Carol the 1st cultivated his passion for architecture. Peles Castle, constantly modified according to his wishes, remains the best example of his lifelong interest in art.

Peles Castle

Interior court Peles Castle

In 1873, the future king, who loved the Carpathian landscapes from his new country, bought a large piece of land in Podul Neagului, a small mountain village he visited in his first months in Romania. The construction of the castle began in the same year, the first event of the many that changed that isolated corner of the country. The village’s name changed to Sinaia, a railway line was built, and many aristocratic families moved their summer residences in Sinaia or close by.

Peles Castle was a lifetime project of the first king of Romania

By 1883, the castle was suited to host the royal family who spent six months in Sinaia every year during the life of Carol the 1st. Numerous and ample architectural works were done until his death to the beautiful German Neo-Renaissance style castle, a reminder of the King’s German origins. Several teams of architects and designers worked throughout the years, among them Johannes Schultz, from 1873 to 1883, and Karel Liman, from 1896 to 1924.

Peles Castle

Statues on the terrace of Peles Castle

From the very beginning, Peles 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 the best comfort of the time.

With a total number of 160 rooms, including a theatre hall and a concert hall, seven terraces decorated with statues of the King and the Queen, and numerous other decorative objects done from Carrara marble, the castle was an impressive residence fit for its political and cultural functions.

Peles Castle

Statues on the terrace of Peles Castle

The interior decorations of the castle were given constant attention as the best designers of the time worked on themed styles for each room. Some of the most notable are the Music Room, the Library, the Turkish Salon, the Theatre Hall, or the Honor Hall.

Passionate about art, Carol the 1st had numerous collections, the number of art objects being estimated at 60,000. Given his military background, he also had 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.

The castle was a museum from the early days

The castle was a museum from its first years, and the tickets sold financed Queen’s Elisabeta charity works. After the castle was confiscated by the communists, it was used only as a museum from 1953 to 1975. The castle escaped the architectural moods of the ruling dictator couple, Ceausescu, who had the bad habit of destroying historical monuments.

The castle was again opened as a museum in 1990, and, three years later, the smaller Pelisor Castle, built for King Ferdinand and Queen Maria, also became a museum.

 Peles Castle

Statues on the terrace of Peles Castle

Where to stay in Sinaia

Sinaia offers many accommodation options every season. For a memorable experience, we recommend you book your stay at guest houses like the beautiful Regal 1880 Vila Arizto, Pension Casa Tom, and My Alfinio Villa. If you want to stay just a few meters away from Peles Castle, book a room at the historic Hotel Bastion.

Travel tips

For the visiting schedule, check www.peles.ro

Located just a short drive from BrasovRasnov Fortress, or Cantacuzino Castle, Peles is an excellent one day trip attraction if you’re departing from Bucharest of Brasov.

Reserve enough time for the visit and don’t forget to visit also Pelisor Castle.

Peles Castle is included in our one day tours from Bucharest and Brasov. 

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