In the beginning of the year, Sinaia is the perfect destination for those who wish to choose Prahova Valley for Leisure. Besides fresh air, mountains and snow, the Pearl of the Carpathians provides tourists with numerous attractions, including the Peles Castle’s “child” – Pelisor. Built at King Carol I’s desire as a residence for the crown princes, Pelisor also has an apartment arranged and decorated in the late Italian Renaissance style.
Being located next to the Peles Castle – besides, deemed to be a sort of its “child” -, Peles represents an attraction for those who come to Sinaia. Built as a residence for the crown princes, at King Carol I’s desire, Pelisor illustrates Queen Mary’s tastes and her belief in nicely. Pelisor Castle has been opened to the public in February, 1993. Having an inestimable value, including a historical valence, as well as a memorial and an artistic one, Pelisor represents an important component of the cultural heritage of the Romanian nation. The building is part of the large architectural ensemble created by King Carol I on the Peles River’s valley, in a period that actually coincides to his entire life lived in Romania. In parallel with the Peles Castle, near to it there have been built the House of Knights, the Economat, the Guard’s Chamber, the House of Architects, the Garden’s House, and later, between 1899 and 1902, the Pelisor Castle. The chief-architect of the Pelisor Castle, Karel Liman, has complied with the requirements related to the external architecture, with “Fachwerk” elements, adding Romanian elements also – the two towers covered with tiles of colored sandstone, like the spires of the churches in Bucovina – , providing the building with a happy tone.
Pelisor has 99 rooms, the entire building being decorated in order to be a princely residence, bearing the stamp of Queen Mary’s powerful personality. The main halls are the Hall of Honor, refined in simplicity. Paneled with oak cassettes, the skylight adorned with stained glass is remarkable, being an architectural element specific to the art of 1900s. King Ferdinand’s office imposes solemnity, the walnut desk plated with three carved panels representing the Peles, Pelisor and Foisor Castles, standing out. The chapel built in Queen Mary’s apartment is located in a space plated with Ruschita marble, accessible through a golden arcade with columns which bears an emblematic inscription. Gold bedroom is furnished with pieces made in 1909 in the Arts and Crafts Workshops of Sinaia, following Queen’s plans and drawings. Queen Mary’s office, located in an interior decorated with columns in Brancoveanu style and with a fireplace specific to the Romanian interiors, includes a furniture designed by her. The gold room, the pivotal room of the castle, is unusual like a decoration. The gilded stucco walls bear thistle leaves, a motif that was dear to the Queen since it was the emblem of the city of Nancy, the Capital of the Art-Nouveau, being also related to Scotland, her birthplace. The furniture decorated with Celtic and Byzantine elements is highlighted by the skylight shaped like a Celtic cross on the ceiling.
Among the apartments arranged in Pelisor, the apartment belonging to the princes Carol and Nicolae stands out.
Being decorated in the late Italian Renaissance style, the apartment exhibits walnut and oak furniture, the most important piece being the bed, made at the end of the sixteenth century, in an Italian workshop. The carpets, dating from the second half of the nineteenth century, come from famous centers of the East: Tebriz, Shirvan, Hamadan, Belucistan. In this apartment, fine art is represented by an oil on panel, a copy of Lucas Cranach executed by Georg Bregenzer in 1881. At the same time, decorative tiles polychrome painted with mythological scenes – “Judgement of Paris” – or biblical scenes – “Moses removing water from the rock” – made at the end of the nineteenth century in the Alberto Issel Workshops in Genoa and Ginori vessels happily complete the interior.
For those who wish to enter into Pelisor, the castle also owns a valuable collection of decorative art belonging to the Art-Nouveau. Not at last, regarding the collection pieces, a special mention should be made for the parchment manuscript painted by Queen Mary and offered to Ferdinand in 1906. Besides the mentioned manuscript, other works belonging to Queen Mary are here also, such as some watercolors representing lilies.
The entry fee is 20 RON for adults, 10 RON for pensioners, and 5 RON for pupils and students. The entry fee includes the guide in Romanian, English, French, Spanish and Italian.