As its name suggests, Pelişor Castle is a smaller replica of Peleş Castle, located on the Royal domain of Sinaia, in the immediate vicinity of its ”bigger brother”.
Built in the Art Nouveau style, Pelişor Castle is part of the vast architectural ensemble created by King Carol I on the valley of the Peleș creek, which also includes the Peleș Castle together with the Foișor Castle, Knights’ House, the Economat, the Guard Corps Quarters, and the Şipot Villa.
Raised between 1899 and 1902, the Pelişor Castle became, since 1903, the summer residence of the hereditary princes of Romania. It was built on the wish of King Carol I, so that his nephew, the heir Prince Ferdinand, and his wife Maria could live in their own quarters when the King would also come to Sinaia, in summer.
Pelişor Castle has 99 rooms and their decoration, to be worthy of a princely residence, bears the mark of the powerful personality of the future Queen Maria. Romantic, mysterious, daring, a promoter of new and surprising art styles, Maria designed the interior decorations, in various periods, to illustrate her own creed for beauty. In her will, “Letter to the Country and the Romanian People“, she said, “… if all these beautiful things will remind you of me, I shall be fully rewarded for the love I had for you, for beauty has been my creed“.
The visit to the castle will begin in a simple and refined Hall of Honor, decorated with oak paneling. Here you will admire a skylight adorned with stained glass. King Ferdinand’s office is solemn and imposing. Its furniture is made in the style of the German neo-Renaissance, and the walnut wood office stands out, plated with three sculpted panels that depict the castles Peleş, Pelişor and Foişor. The office of Queen Maria, which stands out with its Brancovean-style columns that define it, was furnished according to the Queen’s desire and decorated with her favorite symbols, the lily and the ancient ”gamma-shaped” cross.
The Golden Bedroom is also decorated according to the Queen’s plans and drawings with carved, gilded linden wood furniture with decorations of Celtic inspiration and Byzantine zoomorphic elements, transformed in the art nouveau style.
The Golden Chamber, regarded as the pivotal room of the palace, has golden walls, decorated with thistle leaves, dear to the Queen as they were the emblem of Nancy, the capital of art nouveau, as well as the symbol of Scotland, the birthplace of Maria. The furniture in here is all decorated with Celtic and Byzantine elements, the design being complemented by a ceiling skylight in the shape of a Celtic cross.
The Chapel of Queen Maria, intimately integrated with the apartment, is decorated with Ruschita marble and is accessible through an archway flanked by golden columns, bearing an emblematic inscription. The light, filtered through stained glass embelished with linear ornaments, creates a fascinating athmosphere in here.
Pelişor Castle holds a valuable art nouveau decorative art collection, including works of well-known artists such as Émile Gallé, Daum, or L.C. Tiffany.
On November 3, 2015, a military ceremony marked the “Return of the Queen’s Heart” to Pelişor Castle, from the National History Museum of Romania where it had been held for 44 years. The box with the Queen’s heart, covered by the flags of Romania and Great Britain, and escorted all the way by the soldiers of the Guard Regiment and the gendarmes, arrived at the castle and was deposed in the Golden Hall, the very same place where the heart of Queen Maria ceased to beat on July 18, 1938, and where it will remain for eternity.
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