Peles Castle, an exquisite representation of new-Renaissance architecture, is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and I thought it was one of the most perfect “fairy tale” castles I had ever seen. It was commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed 10 years later. It had a mere 160 rooms filled with European Art, crystal chandeliers, stained-glass windows, procelains, etc. Each room was furnished to reflect a different European country.
And, it was the first castle in Europe to have central heating and electricity produced by its own electrical power plant on the bank of Peles creek. I found that amazing.
During the Ceausescu era, Peles was used as a private retreat for leading communists and statesmen. Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Moamar Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat are just a few who were entertained by the Romanian dictator. Peles Castle is also surrounded by seven terraces and gardens, with statues everywhere.
Sinaia is one the most beautiful and popular mountain resorts in Romania, and Peles Castle is an important landmark in this area. Sinaia is nestled at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains in the Prahova Valley. We spent two nights in Predeal, one of Romania’s major ski area at the little Pensiunea Liliacul and did our day visits to Peles, etc. from there. I kept eyeing the mountains surrounding us, longing to take a hike up into them, but there was no time.
A wonderful weekend over, it was time to head back to the pit…