Peles Castle is one of the most famous and stunning castles in Romania.
It is a masterpiece of German Neo-Renaissance architecture and is located in the Carpathian Mountains near the city Sinaia in Prahova County. The construction was commissioned by King Carol I in 1873, and it was completed in 1883. It served as the summer residence of the Romanian royalty until 1947.
The Prahova County gained its independence under the reign of King Carol I who visited the site of his future castle in 1866 for the first time. The King loved the mountain site so in 1872 he purchased 1, 300 square kilometers of the land. Until the completion of the castle, the royal family lived in the hunting house.
Along with the castle, several other buildings were added such as the Economat, the chambers of the guards, the stables, the Foisor hunting lodge, and a power plant. Peles Castle was the first castle in Europe that was entirely lit by an electrical current.
There were three design plans for the castle which were inspired and practically copied from other castles in Western Europe. King Carol I rejected all of the plans because he wanted his castle to be unique. The architect who presented the most original plan was Johannes Schultz. His idea was to construct a grand palatial villa combining different European architectural styles. Other works on the castle were also added by the architect Carol Benesch. Between 1893 and 1914 the architect Karel Liman made new additions to the castle. He designed the towers and the main tower.
He also supervised the building of the Pelistor Castle which was built nearby the Peles castle. The Pelistor castle was commissioned by the successor of King Carol I, King Ferdinand. It is a smaller castle with 70 rooms and features a unique collection of Viennese furniture. Another interesting building is the Sinaia Monastery which was built and founded by Prince Mihai Cantacuzino in 1695. The monastery today is home to a monastic establishment while in the past, it served as the residence of the royal family.
On the main entrance of the Peles Castle, there is a statue of King Carol I made by Raffaello Romanelli.
Other statues were also made and can be found in the terrace gardens. Many rooms of the castle were uniquely designed by various architects who gave their best for the fantastic look of the rooms. The most notable rooms are The Hall of Honour, The Grand and the Small Armory, The Imperial Suite, The Playhouse, The Moorish Salon, The Florentine Room, and the Turkish Parlor. It is the most bizarre castle in Romania and one of the most modern of its time.