Peles and Pelisor Castles

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  • 11-02-2020
Off the Beaten Track in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Peles and Pelisor Castles

If you’re going Castle hunting in Europe you may have the fine structures in France at the top of your list, or perhaps Neushwanstein Castle in Austria, which is considered the most beautiful castle in the world due to its magnificent setting;
If Romania, is the choice, then most people head for Bran Castle, to discover the myth about Bram Stoker and it’s alleged inspiration for Dracula;
Lesser known castles (yes, it’s a twofer) but of equal importance are Peles and Pelisor Castles set in the majestic mountain scenery of the Carpathians.

Peles Castle

Pelisor Castle


Peles – Neo-Renaissance / Gothic Revival / Alpine
Pelisor – Art Nouveau (Byzantine and Celtic)


Sinaia, Prahova County, Romania


The uniqueness of this selection, is that the buildings are in close proximity to each other and were commissioned by the same person – King Carol I. Peles was built by him as a summer palace mainly from 1873-1883 but expanded twice into its present form by 1914. It contains over 170 rooms.

Pelisor, also know as “Little Peles” or “Peles Junior” was built between 1899-1902 by King Carol for his nephew and heir, King Ferdinand. It is significantly smaller and has about 99 rooms.

There the comparison ends. The interiors are at huge odds with each other. Peles is said to have one of the finest interiors of any castle or palace in Europe whilst Pelisor by most accounts has been called “plain vanilla”.


Peles is a good example of Architects checking their ego at the door. The design appears to be seamless, but in fact over time, it had 3 Architects’ handprints on it – Johannes Schultz, Carol Benesch and Karl Liman. Karl Liman was also the Architect of record on Pelisor.

The construction site was truly a mini United Nations as between 300-400 men from different countries were involved – Romanians, Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Poles, Czechs, French and English.

Technically it was the most advanced construction of its time. Additional outbuildings included the Economat Building, royal stables, Foisor Hunting Lodge and a power plant. Unique in that it generated its own electricity and had a telephone line and central heating system in addition to electric lighting.

Other Readings:

Wikipedia articles on both Castles
Many travel sites with background stories are online


Jane Sixsmith

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