Pelisor Castle – A Must-See. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Bucharest to the HipTrip Travel Film Festival. My film, Hit The Road: India, was screened to an enthusiastic and sold-out audience. To read more about the festival, check out these articles by my friends, Laurel, Eileen and Tom.
In addition, to seeing some great films, I was also treated to a great road trip courtesy of Vivolis. I met my guide, Dana, at the Gara de Nord (Bucharest North Railway Station) a stitch before 8 in the morning. We boarded the train and sat comfortably in the train compartment. I settled in for the two hour drive to Sinaia. a mountain resort town. Upon exiting the train, I was met with the frisk October weather coupled with the higher elevation (at least 2,500 feet). The town is named after the Sinaia Monastery.
I zipped up my light jacket and Dana and I started our semi-steep walk exiting the quiet train station to our first stop, Pelisor Castle. Pelisor Castle is not your traditional castle with a moat and drawbridge, but an incredibly large and beautiful mansion. I approached the brown and tan, Swiss looking chalet surrounded by thick green trees and white puffy clouds. The castle was completed in 1902 under the direction of King Carol I for the future heir-to-be Ferdinand.
King Carol I ruled as king from 1866-1914. The king is considered a national hero since he expelled the Ottoman Empire from Romania and earned their full independence in 1878. Despite being the king of Romania, he was actually born in Germany.
I casually strolled through the 99 rooms, mostly art nouveau in its style. King Carol I’s wife Queen died in the opulent golden room, which is covered in golden leaves. During the communist era, hated dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu used Pelisor as his private hunting lodge. Today, it is a popular museum and tourist site.
Adjacent to Pelisor is the larger and more stately castle, Peles. The Neo-Renaissance Peles is a labor of love as it was constructed over a 41 year period. It is estimated that the construction in today’s dollars is 120 million and employed a multi-national work force. The castle contains over 170 rooms decorated in multiple styles including Imperia, French, Florentine, Turkish, and Moorish. And check out the other best castles in Romania.
Incredible exterior views greet the visitor with the castle set in the Carpathian Mountains. A statue of King Carol I stands sentry in front of his former residence. And click here to explore the Danube Delta.
Walking downhill you will run into the Sinaia Monastery. It was founded in 1695 by a Romanian prince. It was inspired by the historic Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt. The prince was inspired by his pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. Enjoy the beautiful and detailed frescos at this Romanian Orthodox Monastery.
After an interesting and busy day exploring these castles, get ready for a fun night on the town when you get back to Bucharest.
And click here to see more historic European castles.
My trip was provided gratis by HipTrip Travel Film Festival and Vivolis.
And click here to see my list of the best 193 travel books.