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PELES CASTLE GUIDE

The Peles castle was built as a royal summer residence by King Carol I between 1873 and 1914 down the Bucegi Mountains, on the site named Piatra-Arsa in Sinaia.

On 10/22 of August 1875 the foundation stone of Peles Castle was laid, followed by the official inauguration of the residence on October 7, 1883.

Almost 40 years were needed to achieve the whole castle. The original plans were formerly designed by architect Wilhelm von Doderer, then taken over in 1876 by his assistant Johannes Schulz.

In 1890, changes were made by the French architect André Lecomte du Noüy.

The castle was transformed and improved until 1914. After 1890 the works were entrusted to the architect Karel Liman, who managed to complete the final shape of the construction.

In order to make the Peles Castle a modern residence, King Carol I introduced hot-water heaters (1881) and gas radiators, an elevator (lift) manufactured in 1903 by Wilhelm Brückner's Viennese company, a telephone station (1885), power station made by Algemeine Elektricität Gesellschaft in 1894 and a sewerage system.

The most important decorators commissioned by King Carol for the interiors were August Bembé and mainly the ebenist Bernhard Ludwig the Young.

Other artists who have constantly worked on decorating and supplying decorative art pieces for the castle were: Anton Pössenbacher - decorations, furniture (Münich), Joseph Dollitschek - architect, decorator (Vienna), L. Bernheimer - Oriental carpets (Münich), Ed. Wollenweber - silverware (Münich), Zettler workshops - stained glass (Münich), Josef Resch - jewelry (Paris), J.A Eysser - furniture (Nürenberg), Paul Telge - silverware (Berlin), Raffaello Romanelli - stone sculpture, marble, Alberto Issel - tile pieces.

The Hall of Honour

The main reception hall of the castle was built between 1910 - 1911 by the architect Karel Liman and decorated in German Renaissance style.
Located in the center of the building and 16 meters high, the lobby has a glass-lined mobile ceiling made by Griedl Company from Vienna.
The decoration of the room is made of walnut carved wainscots and embroidered with ebony, rose and ash wood essences worked by the Viennese decorator Bernhard Ludwig, alabaster basoreliefs and statuettes with biblical, mythological and historical themes, a set of in-lay panels illustrating medieval residences of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family (Sigmaringen, Nürnberg, Zollern, Beringen, Strassberg a.s.o.).

The Hall of Weapons

Designed between 1903-1906 according to the plans of the architect Liman, the hall shows part of the European weapons collection of King Carol I, most of them from the 15th-17th centuries.
A career officer, Carol has gathered over the time an impressive arsenal collection currently counting approx. 3600 pieces.
On the panoplies are displayed blade weapons and firearms, the main workshops being Nuremberg, Solingen, Toledo, Milan.
Along with original steel knights armor, the equestrian maximilian armor made in Germany (XVI century), unique in Romania, weighs approx. 200 pounds.

King Carol's Office 

Arranged between 1875-1883 in the German Renaissance style by Heymann workshops in Hamburg was the place where the sovereign used to spend most of the day in audiences. Oak furniture (office, desk, cabinet), unpolished ceramic fireplace and the stained-glass windows made in Germany (Zettler) and Swiss stained glass windows give a sober look to the room.

The portraits - King Carol I in the uniform of general of the Romanian Army and Queen Elizabeth together with Princess Maria (the only daughter of the royal couple), were worked by the famous American artist George Peter Alexander Healy. The silver and half - jewelry jubilee jar worked by Paul Telge (Berlin) was offered to King Carol at his 70th anniversary.

The Royal Library

The German Renaissance style is strongly emphasized by the sobriety of oak wood worked in Hamburg's Heymann workshops. The library has over 700 volumes of history, literature, medicine, geography in German, Romanian, English and French. Stained glasses windows ordered to the Zettler workshops (Münich) feature the castles of the Hohenzollern family in Germany.
Particulary for this room is the secret passage placed behind the second segment of the library. A spiral staircase leads to the first floor of the castle, on the corridor of the royal apartment.

The old music room

Located on the southern wing of the castle, the hall was built in 1883, and then (1906) transformed into the literary sessions hall of Queen Elizabeth, known under the penname Carmen Sylva.
Stained glass windows worked in the Zettler workshops (Münich) depict scenes of the Romanian fairy tales gathered by the Romanian poet Vasile Alecsandri. The room is decorated with walnut wood and curly ash and paintings with allegorical characters painted by a German artist, Dora Hitz, between 1883 and 1890.
Various instrument, witnesses of the past of Queen Elizabeth's musical soirees at the castle are: Carl Bechstein's piano, a violin, a harp (Italian workshop), an orchestrion (a phonograph with organ pipes) unique in Romania and very rare around the world.

The Florentine Hall

Replacing the old Great Salon, it was set up as reception hall between 1906 and 1910, being decorated with late Florentine Renaissance items.
The basic decoration - Renaissance inspiration - includes the carved gilded lime wood ceiling, Murano glass chandeliers, a Venetian crystal mirror, the oak flooring and the bronze doors featuring allegorical characters.
The Paonazzo marble fireplace (Italy) is decorated with bronze reductions, replicas following Michelangelo's sculptures:
The Thinker, Sunset, and Dawn. Complementary, the floor is adorned with hand-made oriental silk carpets in Keshan (Persia) and Caesareea (Asia Minor) workshops.

The Dining Room

Built in 1883 and refurbished in 1906, the room is decorated with specific elements of the German Renaissance style.
Walnut and curly ash panels, furniture ordered and worked in the August Bembé workshops in Mainz (extensible table for 36 people, walnut and ash tree cupboard), Zettler (Münich) stained glass windows with German medieval scenes and the decorative fireplace insure the room sobriety.
Decorative art pieces (cups of beer and silver and crystal tankards) and plastic art (still nature imagery made after Cornelius de Hem) complete the decoration of the room.

The Arabic Room

According to French architect Charles André Lecomte du Noüy design, this room replaced the former evening are mainly used by Queen Elisabeth for her receptions and tea parties.
The furniture was commissioned to the Viennese company Stöger and it was decorated with mother of pearl and ivory.
Part of the King's collection, Oriental weapons are displayed on panoplies on the walls. Backsided, there is a crying fountain, Carrara and Ruschiţa marble, inspired from an old Egyptian one in Cairo.

The Turkish Room

Part of the initial project of the castle (1875-1883), the Turkish Hall is mostly covered with silk embroidery, such as the ceiling, the walls and some of the furniture pieces, according to the Oriental new wave of that age.
Mirrors next to the ceiling area and stained glass windows with Oriental items, including Koran versets balance the richness of the interior.
Used as a smoking area, the room is furnished with comfortable turkish sofas, embeded in the walls together with low chairs, around specific marquetry worked tables.

The Theater Room

Designed as a theater by architect Johannes Schulz in 1883, the room it was transformed in 1906 under the guidance of architect Karel Liman by changing the level difference for cinema shows.
The hall features a next – to – ceiling painting (around the walls, in the upper part) called Museums, Masks, Allegories and Emblems, created by the Viennese artist Gustav Klimt in the Künstler-Compagnie workshop. The ceiling painting, entitled Poet and the Poetry, was created by the austrian artist Franz Match. Independence of Romania, the first Romanian movie ran here, in 1912.

The Concert Hall

Queen Elizabeth used to organize her musical evenings in this hall built according to the architect Karel Liman's plans and decorated in the style of the English Renaissance.Talented musicians from all over Europe concerted here, such as George Enescu, Dumitru Dinicu, Dall'Orso. The walnut wood panels, the gilded stucco ceiling, the embossed leather wallpaper give a note of elegance to the room. There is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth in the upper part of the decorative fireplace, painted in 1897 by Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ. A large organ with two consoles (control boards) displaying 1796 metal tubes (pipes) and 28 registers is positioned on the southern wall of the hall. It is a Rieger organ, worked in Czech Republic in 1903.

Queen Elisabeth's office 

Queen Elisabeth's office consists of a semicircled shape salon and a small library on two levels, and it was arranged in 1883 and decorated in the style of the Italian Renaissance.
The ceiling and the walls in walnut wood are partially covered with wallpaper made of textile and metallic wire.
The stained glass windows made by Zettler workshops in Vienna illustrate scenes from the German fairytales: Snow White, La Belle Melusine.

The Royal Bedroom

The bedroom was decorated in the Flemish Renaissance style by Bernhard Ludwig and was transformed over the time to the present shape (1905) after the architect Karel Liman's project. In the large bed of the room, King Carol lived his last moments on September 27 / October 10, 1914. He passed away at 75, after 48 years of ruling Romania. The oil painting above the bed and signed by Laetizia von Witzleben depicts Princess Maria, the daughter of the royal couple Carol - Elizabeth (1870-1874), who died too early - aged almost four - of scarlet fever. The walnut wood Triptic (German Workshop), with the chromolithography made by van Eyck Brothers, is a remarkable piece of furniture from the end of the 19th century.

The Breakfast Room

Designed in 1906 and decorated in the style of the German and Italian neo-Renaissance by Bernhard Ludwig, the salon was used for breakfast and the signing of daily mail by the royal couple.
A special piece in the room is the German tile stove, made in Berlin in 1906.
To be noticed: the 17th-century sideboard and the Italian Renaissance-style writing desk located between the two loggias of the room.
The Meissen porcelain service on the table in the center of the piece is genuine, from King Carol I period.

The Rococo Bedroom

Designed to accommodate the royal family's high-class guests, the bedroom is decorated with rococo style elements - white-painted wooden panels with golden and red daisy rods and a Bohemian crystal chandelier.
The wooden bed, in silk velvet, the benches and chairs of golden rice straw, the Brazilian walnut wood desk and the two inlaid wooden chests give elegance to the room.

The imperial suite

Built according to the plans of the architect Karel Liman between 1905 and 1906, the apartment for important guests consists of several rooms: the working room, the living room, the bedroom, the toilet, the bathroom, the wardrobe and the valet room.
Austrian Baroque style, the working room is decorated with walnut wood paneling and exotic wood essences, Cordoba leather wallpaper, crystal and bronze chandelier and carpet as a replica of the ceiling. The pieces of furniture made in the Bernhard Ludwig workshop in Vienna are integrated in the baroque ensemble.
The bedroom in the background is furnished with walnut pieces (bedside, commode) and a canopy bed with silk velvet. 
The daytime area features a wall decoration made of Flemish leather and mirrors. The Baroque chandelier, in bronze and Bohemian crystal, along with the furniture pieces made in Vienna and the Aubusson covered furniture set complete the interior design.

The maid of honor apartment 

Being part of a group of rooms designed for staff, close to Queen Elizabeth, the apartment was designed by architect Karel Liman, using a small surface for the layout of several bedrooms: a bedroom, a toilet, a wardrobe, a desk, a washroom, a lounge. Beech wood furniture was executed in the Bernhard Ludwig workshop in Vienna and decorated in Secession style.

The Yellow Room

Strictly designed for guests and decorated in Louis XIV style, this room was designed on a high plan, rectangular shaped, divided into alcoves, bathroom and lounge, with two arches and two screens. The wall decoration - gilded stucco, the white furniture made of walnut with golden ornaments, upholstered with yellow silk give a note of elegance to the interior.

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