Day 5 – Sinaia and Brasov

This morning you’ll visit the Peles Castle, the most famous royal residence in Romania. It was built in 1873 by Carol I, Prince Von Hohenzollern, the first King of Romania, who declared the country’s independence in 1877.

It is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and the first to be entirely electrified on the continent. The building had, even at that time, an interior elevator, vacuum cleaner, central-heating system and a movable glass ceiling, activated by an electric engine or by a manual system, as a surprise element for the king’s visitors, who could admire the sky on cloudless summer nights.

The castle has 170 rooms, out of which only about a third of them can be visited by tourists, and shelters various valuable collections of paintings, sculptures, armours, carpets, furniture, tapestries, statues, potteries, gold, silver and china dishes, stained-glasses.

If you’re curious to find more details, you could read more here.

 

For more interior images, you could see a short movie here.

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Before the World War I, in this area was the border between Romania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Consequently, Sinaia Monastery held a defense and protection role for the people in the area. Built in 1690 and dedicated to Saint Mary, it is located on a beautiful scenery and it’s nick-named The Cathedral of the Carpathians.

It has a bell of about 1,700 kg (3740 lb), large enough to warn the people of upcoming dangers. Now it is organized as a museum, displaying 300 years of Romanian art and spirituality.

 

Then, we’ll depart for Brasov, driving through the breathtaking Valea Prahovei, cutting the mountains.

 

Brasov it’s one of the oldest cities in Romania. The first attested mention of it dates from 1252, but the oldest traces of human activity and settlements date back to about 9500 BCE. It was fortified to defend the border of the Kingdom of Hungary.Surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, the city provides a mix of wonderful mountain scenery and medieval history with German influences in the old town.

 

 

Brașov’s Council Square – the symbol of the city – beautifully blends the medieval air with the modern life. Right in the middle of the square there is The Black Church. Its construction began around the year 1300. It has a 6 ton bell and an impressive pipe organ (it has 3993 tubes, the tallest being about 42 feet) built in 1839 and it’s still functional today! All around, you can admire the old-style buildings and the historical fortifications of the city.

Enjoy the reminder of the day at your leisure. Wander the city’s maze of streets, stopping for caffeine injections at bohemian cafes between losing yourself in a beguiling coalescence of Austro-Hungarian gingerbread roofs, baroque gods, medieval spires and Soviet flat-tops. The restaurants are  great and the food served at the outside tables is delicious.

The city’s centerpiece square, Piaţa Sfatului (Counsel Square), is a people-watcher’s mecca. There are myriad things to see here, great restaurants and oodles of accommodation. However, one thing that we noticed was that the weather in Brasov is relatively cold and wet, especially at night.

 

 

As our hotel is right on the Counsel Square, you’ll be close to all of those attractions and it will be easy for you to get a jacket from your room if the evening gets a bit chilly.

 

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