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Peles Castle, built between 1873 and 1914 is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova CountyRomania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. Its inauguration was held in 1883. It was constructed for King Carol I.

When King Carol I of Romania (1839–1914), under whose reign the country gained its independence, first visited the site of the future castle in 1866, he fell in love with the magnificent mountain scenery. In 1872, the Crown purchased 5 square kilometres (1.9 sq mi) of land near the Piatra Arsă River. The estate was named the Royal Estate of Sinaia. The King commissioned the construction of a royal hunting preserve and summer retreat on the property, and the foundation was laid for Peleș Castle on 22 August 1873. Several auxiliary buildings were built simultaneously with the castle: the guards’ chambers, the Economat Building, the Foișor hunting lodge, the royal stables, and a power plant. Peleș became the world’s first castle fully powered by locally produced electricity.

The first three design plans submitted for Peleș were copies of other palaces in Western Europe, and King Carol I rejected them all as lacking originality and being too costly. German architect Johannes Schultz won the project by presenting a more original plan, something that appealed to the King’s taste: a grand palatial alpine castle combining different features of classic European styles, mostly following Italian elegance and German aesthetics along Renaissance lines. Works were also led by architect Carol Benesch.

 Later additions were made between 1893 and 1914 by the Czech architect Karel Liman, who designed the towers, including the main central tower, which is 66 metres (217 ft) in height. The Sipot Building, which served as Liman’s headquarters during the construction, was built later on. Liman would supervise the building of the nearby Pelișor Castle (1889–1903, the future residence of King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie of Romania), as well as of King Ferdinand’s villa in the Royal Sheepfold Meadow.

The cost of the work on the castle undertaken between 1875 and 1914 was estimated to be 16,000,000 Romanian lei in gold (approx. US$ 120 million today).

Do you like Peles Castle? Read an article about Peles’s little brother Pelisor Castle

Spiral Staircase inside Peles Castle
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  1. Avatar Dracula


    Thank you for the information and the pictures. I have been a fan of Dracula since my teenage years and that was part of my interest in castles. My #2 bucket list is visit castles in Europe and I definitely want to see Peles castle.

  2. Avatar Dracula

    Stephen Barker

    Two IMPORTANT hints for future visitors, and one less so.
    1) Even though we were a small group on a relaxed tour, our tour of the castle was restricted to the lower levels. We weren’t told this until the last moments of the tour, and I did feel somewhat cheated. There were longer tours that went upstairs, but most people seemed to be on lower floors only tours.
    2) You need to pay to take photos inside, and they kept tabs on you. Also it is quite dark for photos, so you’ll need a decent camera. My wife paid the fee, but her small Canon camera wasn’t up to the job. These are probably the reasons that you cannot find many interior photos online.
    3) I don’t remember seeing a ‘coffee-table’ photographic souvenir book in the shop, and haven’t been able to find one online since. If you find good photos online, please let me know.

    We visited the castle in 2017, as part of what I consider the best holiday of my life. We were on a small group tour to Transylvania and then the Danube Delta. Partly we were inspired to visit by a TV program, in which Michael Portillo (UK ex-politician) visited. It was probably part of his series of railway journeys using a Bradshaw’s guide from early 1900s. The program showed the centralised vacuum cleaning system and the sliding glass roof in operation. You won’t see this during a visit.

    The castle interior was a delight. I was struck by the quality of the work and, having an interest in woodwork, the beautiful grain figuring of the panels. Another highlight was the paintings by the two Klimt brothers, though it isn’t always known which brother painted which.

    I got the impression that the castle was partly built as a demonstration piece, to show the craftmanship and industries that Romania could supply. Perhaps a role comparable to the World Fairs etc that other countries held in that era.

  3. Avatar Dracula

    Susan Petersen

    This castle is so warm and inviting. It also has amazing views of the mountains. I can see why it was built at the place. Dreams were made there I am sure and walls probably tell amazing stories. Please continue to keep this beautiful place well kept and telling the history of great people. History is being removed far to often. Thank you for your care of history!

  4. Avatar Dracula

    Scott Lane

    As a teacher of social studies and special education, I absolutely love the majesty of this beautiful castle. The rich history and stories this amazing castle holds is overwhelming. As a person with European ancestry, I hope to visit my European family when it becomes affordable. I will definitely seek the opportunity to visit Peles Castle. I have taught the history of Romania and “Vlad the Impaler” (Dracula) and would love the opportunity to, one day, take my family on a trip to see the wonders of the beautiful castle with an amazing history.

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