When King Carol I of Romania visited the place where the beautiful castle stands today, he was amazed by the breathtaking scenery of the Carpathian Mountains that surround it. Peles Castle was built by the first King of Romania, Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, between 1873 and 1914. Until 1883, the year of its inauguration, it was used as a summer residence. Between 1890 and 1914, the palace was rebuilt and enlarged under the direction of the Czech architect Karel Liman, who is considered the main architect.

The construction of Peles Castle was commissioned by King Carol, and the foundation stone for a hunting lodge and summer residence for the Romanian royal family was laid on August 22, 1873. The castle was designed by the German architect Johannes Schultz in the Neo-Renaissance style, which combines numerous features of classical European styles.

In addition to the castle, other buildings were erected, such as a power station, the Economat building, the royal stables, the guards' chambers and the Foisor hunting lodge. Later extensions were built between 1893 and 1914 by the Czech architect Karel Liman. Peles was the first castle in Europe to be powered entirely by locally generated energy. The electrical system was completed in 1884 and central heating in 1897.
The castle was completed in 1914 and remained a royal residence until 1947.

Dining room at Peleș Castle © Peleș National Museum

Dining room at Peleș Castle © Peleș National Museum

After the forced abdication of King Michael I, Peleș was confiscated by the communist regime in 1947, along with all the royal family's possessions. In 1948, the entire estate was closed and numerous works of art were transferred to the Art Museum in Bucharest. Peles Castle was opened as a museum by the communist regime in 1953 and remained so until 1975, when it was closed again due to its advanced state of decay. Between 1975 and 1989, the castle was constantly renovated and also served the communist regime as a retreat for the heads of state who visited Romania. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the castle was reopened to the public and in 2007 it became the property of King Michael.

Today, Peles Castle is visited by between 250,000 and 500,000 tourists every year.