Peles Castle, Romania – Cradle of a Dynasty – Photo Friday

Peles Castle, Carpathian Mountains, Romania

Peles Castle in Romania, or more correctly, “Peleș” castle, is one of those places that makes you think “it must be nice being a King”. Located in the glorious surroundings of the Carpathian mountains, King Carol I named this castle the “Cradle of Dynasty”, after his son King Carol II was born here in 1893. King Carol I clearly had impeccable taste, as Peles Castle is a stunningly unique blend of classic European architectural styles. By form and function, Peles is a “palace” not a castle, but who am I to split architectural hairs, when more than a quarter of a million visitors each year refer to Peles as a “castle”.

Nicolae Ceausescu, repressive former head of state of Romania didn’t like Peles Castle.

Nicolae rarely visited Peles Castle. Mr Ceausescu also thought it was a great idea to demolish large tracts of beautiful renaissance buildings in Bucharest, in vain attempt to create a Romanian mirror image of Paris’s Champs Elysees. Architecturally, his tastes were questionable to say the least. In any case, in 1989 his people saw fit to murder Nicolae and his wife, so I believe we can safely ignore his opinions here.

Even though I have an incredibly soft spot for the brutally styled Soviet architecture that eventuated during the best-forgotten era of Ceaușescu, given a choice between a stark concrete block in Bucharest, and a 170 room palace in the green surroundings of the Carpathian mountain range, I’m taking the Peles Castle every time. It doesn’t hurt that the ski fields are easier to get to, and there’s a hunting lodge on the grounds. The fact is, I would do anything to be a 19th century Romanian King. Anything.

New Jersey, Peles Castle is not.

Peles Castle was featured in the 2009 film “The Brothers Bloom”. However, in this movie Peles castle is located in New Jersey. Uh huh. I’ve been to New Jersey. It doesn’t look like this. In fact, it’s pretty much the exact opposite of this. Such is the magic of Hollywood, where the suspension of disbelief allows an audience to allow rural Romania to pass as New Jersey.

Peles Castle is located near the town of Sinaia, and not too far from Brasov. This region of Romania is especially popular with tourists, and easy to get around. I rented a typical Romanian car – a Dacia of course – and spent a nice week cruising around Transylvania and the Carpathian mountains. Bran Castle, former home of Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Count Dracula, is the biggest draw-card in this part of the world. Arguably, Peles Castle will appeal more to those with – ahem – classier design sensibilities. Or, those people who just like to dream of being Romanian royalty.


*about this photo : another photo taken with my trusty film camera, a 35mm lens, and some old cheap film I bought in Prague. 

BTW, I would love to send you the next dispatch, posted from some-where random around this planet (and you'll soon find out why YOMADIC email followers are my favourite followers):

11 thoughts on “Peles Castle, Romania – Cradle of a Dynasty – Photo Friday

  1. Peles is really beautiful. I tended to prefer the fortified churches, but I think that’s due to the fact that I’m a nerd about fortresses. =) It’s more of a palace, but the views are sure stunning!! I’m with you – in my latest post I told people to steer clear of Bran Castle. Much more to see, Peles included! Great post, I like seeing Romania covered as it was my favorite country we visited.

  2. (Just saw that you did in fact mention the palace/castle thing! That’s what I get for commenting before I do a thorough read!)

  3. Hi Dayna, I’m a bit of a fortress nerd myself. I stayed in Sighisoara, Romania, right up against the walls of the citadel (fortified church), and had the whole building to ourselves for a night. So cool, and I would be doing an amazing post about it, but the whole roll of film I used was destroyed. Oh well.

    I *always* check out a castle if I’m anywhere near one!

      1. Fortress nerds unite! ;) I had no plans on visiting Romania, it was my gf who convinced me to go, I was an instant convert, and want to get back asap!

  4. That looks cool–I’d love to see it and hope to at some point. Romania is on my list!

    PS: I’m from New Jersey! I’ve seen a some serious mansions in super wealthy areas that were castle-like, but no–not quite like this!

    1. A Joisey girl! Excellent! Thanks for the comment, and yes, I bet there are some incredible houses in New Jersey. Unfortunately, I spent 95% of my time in Jersey on the turnpike. I would love to go back one day, and I’m sure I will…

  5. I loved Peles Castle and this photo of it is absolutely beautiful. Embarassed to say I didn’t go inside because I was in a hurry to make my connection to Bucharest – was that totally stupid of me? Either way, just walking around the outside of it and being in the Carpathians for a couple hours was worth the detour.

    1. Thanks Larissa, it’s one of my favourite photos as well. Such a scene! I’ll go ahead and tell you, no, the inside of the castle is totally boring, you didn’t miss a thing ;)

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