A masterpiece of German neo-Renaissance and Gothic revival architectural style, Peleş Castle is located in Sinaia, Romania. By form, Peleş is a palace but it is called a castle. It was built by the first Romanian king, Carol I, as a summer retreat. Later, it served as a royal residence until 1947. It is known to be the favorite castle of Carol I, who oversaw all of the construction and design process. The construction began in 1883 and ended in 1914.
The castle is often considered to be the most beautiful one in Romania.
The king wanted the castle to be part of Romania‘s history. To build a marvelous castle, he summoned many artists, architects, and workers from across Europe. He rejected the first three plans of Peleş submitted by the architects, which were copies of other castles and palaces in Europe. The King wanted an original plan and eventually, chose the project of the German architect Johannes Schultz. The project proposed a castle that combined different features of classical European architecture but mainly focused on the German neo-Renaissance style.
The Peleş Castle has 160 rooms, each of which has its own identity and theme. There is also a Concert and a Theatre Hall.
The interior of the castle was an important issue for the King as well as he was very passionate about art. The finest examples of European and Oriental art were picked for the castle like Murano chandeliers, Cordoba leather-covered walls, Carrara marble, and Persian carpets. The rooms were decorated with statues of the King and the Queen and with numerous other decorative pieces from different countries.
Apart from its marvelous and unique architecture, the castle had very modern facilities for the time. The Peleş Castle was the first European castle that was fully powered by electricity and it had its own central heating. This development became possible thanks to a local electrical plant in the Peleş Valley.
Peleş Castle accommodated many historical figures such as Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After 1947, it was used as a private haven by the communist leaders. It was reopened as a museum in 1990. Today, the Romanian royal family owns the castle and it is administered by the Ministry of Culture.