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Visit it in spring, in summer, in fall and in winter, love your every second you spend there, because you'll always want to go back. Even if you don't usually like "castles", with Peles will be love at first sight.
This palace, because it looks more like a palace than castle, was built between 1875 and 1914 by the King Carol I at a cost of 16 million gold Lei, about 100 million euros today. Carol I, as a Prussian prince was shocked to discover after becoming the Romania's King, that his royal housing was small scale, so he wished, like Michael Jackson one hundred years later, for a personal Neverland.
Now, because the King of Romania was mightier and brighter than the King of Pop, Peles has become one of the most beautiful palaces throughout the World. No wonder why so many young couples ditch the Cinderella castle for Peles when they want to take honey moon pics, no wonder why Peles Castle is the only spot included in ALL tourist packages offered by Romania.
Seeing pictures of it, you can guess its beauty, but you'll never guess its actual size. How tall do you think its tower is? Well, that's 66 meters. How many rooms are there in? Well, that's 170 rooms! How many bathrooms are there? Guess! That's 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The reason I put so many exclamation marks is because older European castles, and France, Germany, Italy and Spain is full of them, were constructed with a total disregard for sanitation. But not Peles Castle! No way!
This palace is modern and when I say modern I do not mean its Neo-renaissance style is a modern one. I rather mean Peles was the first castle in the world to enjoy electricity and a central heating system, being maybe the only one which without giving up from its grandeur, is, in the same time a cozy place.
So, what can you see there? Well, Peles has a huge collection of paintings. More than 2000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God, a modern museum would display them on 2000 walls! Well, if you're not excited or just semi excited about paintings, you can enjoy the weaponry collection. This collection has more than 4000 (!) pieces, the oldest one being form the 14th century, and is displayed in the Arsenal hall and in the Small Arsenal hall.
The tour will take you in the Great Honor Hall, the Playhouse, where there are 60 seats and a Royal box, the Florentine Room, The Moorish Saloon and the Turkish Parlor. Last, but not least, you'll visit also the Imperial Suite, build to accommodate the most powerful man of the late 19th Century, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
For less than 10 US, you will get to enjoy about 30 rooms of the entire 170! Of course, the most important ones.
Peles Castle is not the only attraction there. You can visit the Pelisor Castle (The Little Peles Castle), the Economat, the Guard Chambers and the Royal Stables. Foisor Villa, from the same complex, is out of limits, being the residence for the Romanian President in office.
Speaking about presidents, Ceausescu spent just one night at this Castle. He wanted to make it his personal residence, but the curators feared he and his wife will redecorate it so they served the dictators a lie: "Sorry comrade, the Palace is infested with a dangerous fungus, it's not safe to live here".
why to go?
1. Because Peles Castle is the most beautiful residence of Romania's former Royal Family.
2. Because when it was built, Peles was the world's most modern Castle (the only one at that time with central heating and a mobile ceiling in the official lounge).
3. Because the first movie projection in Romania took place here.
4. Because it has one of the most stylish and luxurious interiors of all castles ever built in Europe.
When to go?
To visit Peles do not go on Mondays if it's summer and on Mondays and Tuesdays if it's winter! It's closed. Do not go in the month of November! It's closed! However its park and terraces are opened 365 days/year.
Opening hours in summer (19 May to 13 September 2009): Tuesday - Sunday: 0900 to 1700; Monday: Closed.
Opening hours in winter (14 September 2009 to 15 May 2010): Wednesday: 1100 to 1700; Thursday - Sunday: 0900 to 1700; Monday - Tuesday: Closed.
Between November the 1st and November the 30th it is closed for annual conservation operations.
How to go?
Go to Sinaia by car or train. If you go by car from Bucharest, please don't go on Friday afternoon. The road is crowded as hell because everyone else is going to Sinaia. Same thing on your way back: avoid as much as possible leaving Sinaia on Sunday afternoon. Your time in Romania is short and precious, so avoid spending it in a huge traffic jam, swearing at bad mannered Romanian drivers. You need to drive 120 km form Bucharest and 48 km from Brasov. From Sinaia Peles Castle is in walking distance.
Address: Muzeul National Peles, Str. Pelesului nr.2, Sinaia, Jud. Prahova, 106100
See a list of hotels in Prahova County HERE.
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