and one castle to remember forever.
It's funny that we always focused so much on visiting new places that are barely known by people and always stay away from overcrowded locations with tourists that we didn't even get to see some of the most iconic sightseeing attractions that foreign tourists come to see for themselves.
And not for a few times we've been asked if we visited X or Y place where the answer was quite simple and short: No.
It's true that most of the people who asked us about these places have no idea about what are the real hidden treasures of Romania, but last summer we decided we couldn't pass through the famous resorts of the country without, at least, stopping to see two of the castles from the area.
They are very close to each other, but the first one we've admired is called Peleș Castle.
When I say admired - I mean it. Because even though the castle can be visited entirely without any kind of problem, coming from a long road out of the mountains, quite tired, we arrived a little bit late to the party.
We did check the visiting schedule and still reached the castle 15 minutes before being closed, but the last tour of visitors was already inside and the guards were not letting us in.
During a normal period, when there was no pandemic and COVID-19 out there, normally, you won't be restricted when to visit the castle or how many people to do it at the same time.
But since it was at the beginning of the whole madness, with lots of rules, the access to the tourists was very limited and so there were just a few lucky ones who managed to actually visit the castle.
It wasn't just me who was surprised to see the guards that were refusing hundreds of tourists to get inside, but all the people who, more or less, were aware of that situation and actually understands the new rules.
But the most painful thing was that from a famous castle that probably every Romanian has a picture with, we ended up seeing lots of interesting architectural buildings which were locked, empty and deserted, which during the normal times would catch people's eyes and make them sit on the terrace for a fresh drink during the summer.
However, we weren't strangers from the rules and the situation the whole world was confronting with, so we decided to still walk around and admire the architecture and nature which were creating a real fairy tale for the eyes.
But what makes the whole surface a delight for any tourist, is created by both history and the care offered to maintain everything remain the same, no matter how many years passed since it was built.
To rise up the construction was needed quite a few years, taking place between 1873 and 1914 which was meant to be the summer residence for the kings of Romania back then.
Many years passed since then and there are still not too many things changed, the palace still being owned by the Royal Family of Romania which shelters Peleș National Museum inside of it.
Even though the construction of the palace was the desire of King Carol I, there were needed no less than seven famous architects to design all the details wished by the His Majesty and other 300 workers to take care of the garden and the rest of the surface.
All these efforts led to an impressive castle which is unique by its appearance and the history which made it become one of the most important historical monuments from my home country.
The whole process of building up the castle didn't take that long for no reason because the construction was not meant to be just a summer residence but to also hide some important treasures, remembering a few tens of gold coins that were hidden under the construction of the castle.
Each coin had the face of the king printed on it and every single piece had a value of 20 lei which represented the first such coins in Romania at that time.
Not too much time after the official inauguration took place, the castle was hosting many personalities of the time remembering writers, musicians, but also kings and queens, such as the famous Emperor of Austro-Hungary - Franz Joseph.
The more importance Peleș Castle gained, the more attention attracted too, also hosting significant political meetings, as it was the Crown Councils of 1914 when Romania's neutrality was decided in World War I that had just begun.
A very brief calculation shows that between 1875 and 1914 more than 16 millions of gold were spent in the castle to either host different events or for the day by day routine, which still sounds like a lot of money even these days.
However, the castle presents no less than 160 rooms with more entrances and interior stairs, a theater hall of 60 places, a stage, a royal lodge but also many towers where the main one is 66 meters high.
Due to its own power plant, Peleș Castle was the first fully electrified castle in Europe.
Some of the most important rooms that can be visited if you get inside of the castle are:
- Holul de Onoare (EN: The Hall of Honor) - which is very big and welcoming with walnut paneling wallpapered with bas-reliefs and statuettes. The moving glass ceiling powered by an electric motor or a manual system was a great surprise for the visitors of the king who could admire the clear sky on summer nights or anytime they wished.
- Biblioteca regală (EN: The Royal Library) - which shelters lots of rare and expensive books with their covers made of leather and engraved with gold letters. There is also a secret door which was the way of access to a special bookshelf where the king could take refuge and get lost while reading.
- Sălile de arme (EN: Weapons Rooms) - which are presenting over 4.000 European and Oriental weapons from the 14th - 17th centuries. The most valuable ones are considered the German armors from the 16th - 17th centuries and a complete armor for horse and knight that are unique in Romania.
- Sala de muzică (EN: The Music Room) - which is a salon of musical evenings at the request of Queen Elizabeth.
- Sala Florentină (EN: The Florentine Hall) - also known as The Great Hall which impresses with its gilded lime-carved ceiling, the two large chandeliers and the decorations realized in the style of the Italian Neo-Renaissance times.
- Sala Maură (EN: The Moorish Hall) - it features Hispanic-Moorish elements, with a Carrara marble fountain that is a copy of a piece from Cairo.
- Sala de teatru (EN: The Theatre Hall) - it has 60 seats and a royal lodge, the hall being decorated in the style of Louis XIV.
- Sala de Concerte (EN: The Concert Hall) - which was built in 1906 and presents all kind of musical instruments, such as a harpsichord performed in Antwerp in 1621, a Rieger organ with two claviers and a Blüthner upright piano.
...and many more to be discovered and explored by yourself :)
Picture from: urban.ro
Picture from: urlaub-in-rumänien.de
Picture from: urlaub-in-rumänien.de
I'm going to leave down below some technical information, but if you plan to visit the castle I still suggest checking out the official website for current details because the visiting hours are being changed quite often during this period. You can do so HERE.
- Monday: closed ;
- Tuesday: 9:15 AM – 5:15 PM ;
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM ;
- Thursday: 9:15 AM – 5:15 PM ;
- Friday: 9:15 AM – 5:15 PM ;
- Saturday: 9:15 AM – 5:15 PM ;
- Sunday: 9:15 AM – 5:15 PM .
Due to the COVID-19 situation, there are also some restrictions going on, such as the day of Tuesday letting the tourists visit only the ground floor of the castle while the first floor can be explored only between 10 AM - 4.30 PM.
Daily, between 12.30 PM - 1 PM a break is introduced for disinfecting surfaces and ventilating exhibition spaces.
- Adult Ticket for ground floor: 40 RON / 8.12 EUR ;
- Adult Ticket for ground floor + first floor: 80 RON / 16.24 EUR ;
- Pensioner Ticket for ground floor: 20 RON / 4.06 EUR ;
- Pensioner Ticket for ground floor + first floor: 40 RON / 8.12 EUR ;
- Student + Children Ticket for ground floor: 10 RON / 2.03 EUR ;
- Student + Children Ticket for ground floor + first floor: 20 RON / 4.06 EUR .
- Interior Photography: 1500 RON / 304.50 EUR per hour ;
- Exterior Photography: 1000 RON / 203.00 EUR per hour ;
- Interior Videography: 3000 RON / 609.01 EUR per hour ;
- Exterior Videography: 1500 RON / 304.50 EUR per hour .
Being a royal castle, the pictures and videos taken inside of the castles are not allowed to be posted on any social media pages or articles if it's not made a contract in this scope. They usually can be taken only for personal use.
The full address of the castle is Aleea Peleșului 2, Sinaia 106100, and it's located 120 km from Bucharest, 60 km away from Ploiesti and 50 km away from Brasov.
In order to reach the castle, you have to follow the national road DN1 until you reach Sinaia, from where you will find lots of road signs that will lead you to the royal place. However keep in mind that during the winter season you can spend twice (or even more) time on the road, due to the street which becomes very crowded, but you can always opt in for the option of travelling by train.
SEE YOU IN THE NEXT TRIP! 🗾
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