About Peles Castle
A neo-classical masterpiece, Peles Castle or Castelul Peles in Sinaia, Romania, was the summer home of the Romanian royal family from 1883 until 1947. Nestled within the Carpathian Mountains, Peles Castle was built along an existing medieval route that linked Transylvania and Wallachia and is today considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe.
Peles Castle history
Commissioned by Carol I (1839-1914), independent Romania’s first king, Peles Castle was constructed between 1873 and 1883 and built in a neo-Renaissance style with Fachwerk facades. Carol had fallen in love with the superb scenery and so commissioned a royal hunting preserve and summer retreat. Peles Castle was the first ever European palace to be powered by electricity, created in its own power plant, and to have central heating.
Carol I also built a further castle – Pelisor Castle – on the grounds of Peles Castle. This was to be a wedding gift to his heir, Ferdinand I. Other buildings within these grounds include the Hunting Lodge, the Royal Guard House, the Gardener’s House and the Royal Stables.
After King Michael’s forced abdication in 1947, the Communist regime seized royal property including Peles and opened the castle as a tourist attraction. Declared a museum in 1953, Nicolae Ceausescu closed the estate after 1975 because he did not like it. The castle remained closed until the 1989 Revolution when Peles Castle was made a heritage site and reopened to the public.
Peles Castle today
With a wealth of artwork in over 160 rooms, including thousands of paintings and sculptures, today Peles Castle houses the Muzeul National Peles, exhibiting these many pieces to the public. There are guides in several languages for those who want to join a historic tour of the lavish interior.
Getting to Peles Castle
Peles Castle is most easily reached by car from Brasov along the 1 motorway heading south, which takes about an hour. Sinaia train station also has regular links to Budapest and Brasov.
Discover the best Historic Sites in Romania, from Peles Castle to Alba Iulia Fortress and more, includes an interactive Romanian cultural monuments map.