If one travels from Transylvania to Wallachia, the shortest route is through the Carpathian Mountains on a road which existed since the medieval times. Near the Bucegi Mountains, on the outskirts of the town Sinaia, one can find one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces, a treasure hid in the mountains – Peleș Castle, today a National Museum.
Picture © Credit to: Kisa_Markiza
The first King of Romania, Carol the First of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, fell in love with the spectacular scenery of the Bucegi Mountains when he first visited it in 1866 and decided to build a summer residence here. In 1872, the Crown bought 1000 ha of the land outside the village of Podul Neagului and named it the Royal Estate of Sinaia. The first plans were designed by an architect and Professor at the Technical University of Vienna Wilhelm von Doderer. He made tree different versions of the palace inspired by the Renaissance palaces of the Loire Valley in France. In 1876, Carol I rejected all of them on lack of originality and the design of the project went to an architect Johannes Schultz from Germany, who made the plans for the first stage of the construction (1879-1883), built like a Swiss alpine palace with the facade decorated in the German style Fachwerk. The electric wiring and a generator were installed in 1884, which made the castle one of the most modern palaces in Europe.
Picture © Credit to: sonatali
In 1890, the terrace on the south wing was rebuilt as The Moorish Hall, designed by a French architect Émile André Lecomte du Noüy, a student of the famous architect Violet Le Duc. After 1894, the architect in charge of the castle wass Karel Liman from the Czech Republic, who designed the Queen Elisabeth's Chapel, the apartments for the princesses of Wied and Hohenzollern from the north wing and the mezzanine. The central heating was installed in 1897.
Karel Liman designed and built the Marble Gallery, the Concert Hall, the Little Music Hall, the Queens Bathroom and also the room for Ms. Mavrogheni and the guest apartments from the north wing of the castle, between 1903 and 1906. The Imperial Apartment wass also planned in this period and included the Big Saloon, the Little Saloon, a bedroom, a boudoir, a bathroom and the valet's room. The two towers were designed and built between 1906 – 1914, and the clock on the main tower was made and installed by the Royal Bavarian Clock-plant for Towers Johann Mannhardt. In this period, the rest of the rooms were also finished, including the Honor Lobby, the Theater Hall, the Arms Hall and the decorations for the Florentine Hall. With the death of King Carol the First in 1914, the works on Peleș Castle also stoped and the project was considered finished.
Picture © Credit to: emicristea
I definitely recommend visiting Peleș Castle, as it is one of Romania’s most beautiful palaces, rich in history and art, surrounded by a magnificent mountain landscape. It is truly a treasure hid in the mountains.
Cover picture © Credit to: Dimitar Chobanov
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