THE UNDISCOVERED CASTLES OF ROMANIA (V)

Our trip across the castles of Romania has reached its end. But we still have two wonderful castles to see.

Cantacuzino Castle, Busteni

This beautiful castle in the town of Busteni was designed and built by architect Gregory Cerchez in the year 1911, on the orders of Prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, former Minister of Romania, between the late 19th and early 20th century. The architectular style is Neo-Romanian and it preserves elements of Medieval inspiration. Until the nationalization in 1948, the castle belonged to the Cantacuzino family, and afterwards it became a sanatorium. Since 2010 it re-entered the tourist circuit.

Spread over an area of 3148 meters and built of stone and brick, Cantacuzino Castle consists of four buildings and is surrounded by a park where there used to be a cave, several waterfalls and fountains. In the reception hall there is a collection of heraldry, unique in Romania, escutcheons representing families of landowners and their affinity with the Cantacuzino family.

One of the modern attractions nowadays is represented by the Canta Cuisine restaurant, with a capacity of 110 seats. Here you can organize dinners and from the terrace you can admire the staggering panorama of Bucegi Mountains. Preparations are made by the restaurant’s chef, Mrs. Romica Harabagiu, who completed her gastronomic experience in countries like Japan, China and more than 7 years in Marseille. In the restaurant there operates a bar and a cigar lounge.

Schedule and rates:
Cantacuzino Castle is located on the Zamora Street in the neighborhood that goes by the same name. Many events, such as conferences, concerts, product launches, fashion shows, photo shoots, etc. are often organized here.
The castle is open for visit Monday to Thursday between 10 and 18 o’clock and Friday to Sunday between 10 and 19.

Peles Castle, Sinaia

Next to Bran and Corvin Castles, Peles is probably the most famous and most visited in Romania. In 1874, the village Podul Neagului, a town with an area of 24 kilometers, was renamed Sinaia, at the initiative of King Carol I, the first king of Romania. Between 1873 and 1875, again at the same initiative of King Carol, the foundation of Peles Castle is being settled; the King wanted it as a summer residence, vested with political, cultural and symbolic value. The works were conducted under the direction of three architects Johannes Schultz, Carol Benesch and Karel Liman, and they ended in 1883, being completed but, over the years, until 1914 – the year when King Charles I had died – it has been completed step by step. Also, between 1889 and 1903 nearby was built a smaller castle named Pelisor, small-scale replica of the castle, and it was the birthplace of King Michael of Romania.

Between 1914 in 1947, the castle served as a space for official visits, hosting military ceremonies as well. In 1948, Peles has been closed down by the Communist authorities and all heritage assets have been inventoried, some of them being transferred to the Art Museum in Bucharest. In 1953 it became a museum and now it still is open as a part of the tourist circuit. On the day of February 20th, 2007, it was returned to the former King Michael I, still remaining open to the public.

From the architectural point of view, Peles Castle is built in Neo-Renaissance German style. It is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, is equipped from the start with some modern elements: interior elevator, central heating and, in particular, its own power plant, located on the river bank nearby. Peles has 170 rooms, but only 10 of these are accessible to tourists (among them, Maura Hall, the Florentin Salon, Columns Hall, Armory). In the castle there are also several valuable collections of sculptures, armor, paintings, tapestries, furniture, ceramics, silver and porcelain.

Schedule and rates:
During summer it can be visited between May 15 and September 15: Tuesday 11 – 16.15 Wednesday to Sunday between 9.15 and 16.15, Monday is closed.

Remember, these are the 10 best-known castles, but there are many others as well, that will make the subject of other posts.

Photo source:

Picture 1: romanianturism.com; Picture 2: project-romania.com; Picture 3: blogdecalatorii.ro; Picture 4: en.wikipedia.org; Picture 5: en.wikipedia.org; Picture 6: crazysexyfuntraveler.com; Picture 7: deviantart.com