Being in Sinaia is almost as being inside of a Tim Burton movie. I fell in love from the moment I stepped out of the station. A small park where I had to go through was covered it autumnal leaves. I was sad I didn’t have the chance to stay in Braşov for longer, but at the moment I was even sadder I only had one morning in Sinaia. I just stopped there on my way back to Bucharest, aiming to visit Peleş Castle, ignorant that the whole town is an attraction in itself. Also not knowing that the 30 minutes walk from the station to the castle were up-hill. It was 2 degrees, but I was quickly sweating inside my multiple layers.
It was really quiet. I had arrived at 9:30am and it was a working day, but it did seem more like a lazy Sunday morning. Perhaps the town gets a lot busier in summer or even when is covered in snow and the ski trails attract skiers from around the world. Later I read Sinaia has only ten thousand inhabitants. What a beautiful and peaceful place to live in.
I was in ecstasy. I had always loved gothic houses, and every single one of them seem to be part of a set of an horror movie. I was inside a Tim Burton movie and walking around, without a sound on the streets, completely alone, I really thought I had been transported to a fantasy world, where I was being tested for something I had yet to find out.
I walked and photographed aiming to reach the one that would be the most beautiful castle I have ever visited. Peleş Castle is the epitome of all my favourite architectural styles – german, neo-renaissance, gothic revival, with interiors richly decorated in baroque style, elements of classical frescos on the walls, detailed wooden carvings. Despite being called a castle, it is definitely a palace.
One thing I didn’t know about is that you can’t visit it on your own. There ae hourly planned guided visits to the interior of the castle and, unfortunately for me, I still had to wait about half hour to be able to get inside. This took me some of the time I thought I would have to visit more of Sinaia, and had to rush back after the end of my visit. And still, I can say that it was definitely worth it.
It served a a summer residence to the royal family of Romania until 1947, after being seized by the Communist regime.
It’s hard to stop your jaw from dropping. There are so many details, so many beautiful and incredibly cosy rooms. Part of such cosiness is related to the fact that it became the first castle in the Europe to be provided with locally produced electricity and to have a central heating system – this was completed in 1897 and it still works today.
And for the second time in Romania, I left a town desiring to stay. It was a melancholic journey back to Bucharest, but I was then enjoying the country so much I couldn’t wait to find out what the capital of this country had reserved for me.
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