3 Castles private tour
Peleș Castle, Bran Castle and Râșnov Fortress
Peleș Castle is a representative building witch mirrors parts of Romanian history. This ‘Swiss chalet’ looking castle will amaze you with its looks, evoking great figures from Romanian history. Located in the geographical center of Romania, on a valley in the Carpathian Mountains, in Sinaia, at 120 km distance from Bucharest, this Neo-Renaissance Palace was buit between 1873 – 1883. Latter in the 19th century, Peles became an entire complex of buildings, featuring Pelișor Castle, Foișor Hunting Chalet, Guard Pavilion, the Power plant, Economat Villa, Sipot Villa and the Royal Stables.
Elegant and chic, Peles Domain, was the background for many important chapters of modern Romanian history. Built by King Carol I of Romania, the first Romanian monarch, as a summer residence for the Royal Family, became one of the most treasured national monument. The castle’s exterior is displaying a mock-Tudor half-timbered effect beneath pointed towers. Considered the second most expensive building built in 19th century, the alleged amount for the construction of Peleş Castle was over 16.5 million lei-gold equivalent of 198 million dollars at the time, money that come out of the King’s own pocket.
Since its inauguration, in 1883, the castle went under several stages of modernisation, being the first electrified castle in Europe, and from 1897 it has its own power plant. Keeping to the fashion of the age, Peles Castle combines classical charm of a mountain castle with modern elements of confort and utility such as an elevator, the electric glass ceiling of the Honor Hall, the central vacuum cleaner (which is currently functional) and since 1912 a cinema hall with the first movie projector in Romania.
Peles Castle was home to the Crown Councils in which capital decisions of the country’s foreign and local policy were made. It is also the death place of King Carol I and the birth place of King Carol II and King Michael I of Romania.
This architectural jewel is one of the most beautiful castles in the world and that makes it “a must see” if traveling in Romania.
Built as a customs point on the most traveled merchant road linking Transylvania to Wallachia, Bran Castle stands on a 60 m high cliff overlooking a narrow mountain crossing. It was buit between 1378 – 1382 in a Gothic architectural style. Due to it’s placement and similarities to the description in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Bran Castle becomes the legendary Castle of count Dracula. The name of the famous vampire, Dracula, is associated to the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler the bloody despot of 15th century Wallachia, who is surrounded by many other legends and stories.
On 1st of December 1920, Bran Castle, was gifted to Queen Marie of Romania by the Saxon mayor of Brasov. Seven year later it became a royal residence as a direct consequence of it being the the favorite retreat of the Queen. The castle was inherited by her daughter Princess Ileana and it was later seized by the communist regime.
Today Bran Castle is a “the Rockstar” of the Romanian tourism being the most visited sight in Transilvania.
The Donation Diploma signed by king Andrew II of Hungary and then approved by Pope Innocent III, one of the most influent and powerful pope in the middle ages, with his Papal Bull in 1211, gives the the strategic S-E region of Transylvania, called Burzenland (Țara Bârsei), to the Teutonic Knights Order, in return for defending the southeastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom against foreign invaders.
The Teutonic Knights plan of defence was building five Strongholds (quinque castra fortia), including Rasnov Fortress build in 1211 as a wood-and-earth fort. Rasnov Citadel was built as a strategic fort and was able to offer refuge, for short intervals, to the population of Rasnov and two other nearby villages in case of an invasion. From the beginning of 16th century to the end of 17th century, the Saxon population from Rasnov permanently inhabited the citadel which gave Rasnov Fortress the look of a medieval fortified Saxon village.
Nowadays Rasnov Citadel is one of the most visited places in Romania gathering tourists from all over the World.