Located on a bank of the Prahova River, at the bottom of the Bucegi Mountains, in a spectacular landscape, Sinaia, also known as 'the jewel of Carpathians", is a vacation and tourism resort for all ages and all seasons. Winter sports - such as skiing, bob sleigh or sledge - on dedicated slopes for competition or just for fun, are among its major appeals. Sinaia is among the most visited resorts to recover or just to rest, because of its potential to cure and a highly ionized atmosphere and for its clean, ozone-rich air. The healing properties of its many sources of mineral water make also Sinaia a spa for therapy. Tourists have available updated cable transportation for easy access in the mountains or ski slopes: cable car, cable ride or ski cable.
Once the place to settle an old monastery in the 17th century, Sinaia has
witnessed major developments toward the end of the 19th century, once the
place has been slated as summer residence to the court of King Carol I. At
that time the Peles Castle has been erected and a railway directly linking
it to Bucarest has been built.
At the beginning of the 20th century Sinaia was perceived by many as a "small Versailles". The presence of the Royal Family, of its court and the many tourism amenities made a strong magnet out of Sinaia, whose stable inhabitants amounted to a little less than a third of those crossing it. Because of the Royal Family, the Peles Castle was concentrating many of the political and artistic celebrities of the time. Within the castle and in the Foisor Palace and the Pelisor Palace prominent artists have performed and highly significant political events in Romania's history took place.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit:
The Peles Castle
Pelesului Street 2. Open hours: Tuesday 11-17; Wednesday-Sunday 9-17; Monday closed
Located on a green hill, bordered by the staggering landscape of the Carpathian Mountains, this magnificent castle seems like coming out of the Grimm Brothers' stories. Carol I, Romania's first king, has been marveled by the beauty of these places and, as of 1873, has inaugurated the construction works following the layout of German architect Wilhelm Doderer. While initial plans have been many times extended, only in 1914 the project reached completion. The castle is host to rich collections of European armory spanning the last five centuries, pictures, furniture items and art. Visitors have also the opportunity to admire a series of rooms decorated by artists from all over Europe, in a variety of styles, of which the German neo-renaissance prevails.
The Pelisor Castle
Pelisor Street 2. Open hours: Tuesday 11-17; Wednesday-Sunday 9-17; Monday closed
Built during the first years of the 20th century for King Ferdinand and Queen Mary, the Pelisor Castle is the outcome of the work of Czech architect Karel Liman and Austrian decorator Bernhard Ludwig.
King Ferdinand, nephew of King Carol and son of Leopold von Hohenzollern, has come to Romania as of 1889. Three years later he married Princess Maria, daughter of the duke Alfred of Edinburgh and of Mary Alexandrovna, daughter of the Tsar Alexander the 3rd. After King Carol I death, as of 1914, Ferdinand became King of Romania. The most glorious time of his rule has been Romania's unification with Basarabia, Bucovina and Transylvania, in 1918, at the time the World War I came to its end.
The Pelisor Castle bears the imprint of Queen's Mary artistic personality, combining into a genuine mix Art - Nouveau, Byzanthine and Celtic influences. The Golden Bedroom, the Chapel and the Golden Living room are expressions of that artistic stance.
The Sinaia Monastery
Manastirii Street, from dawn to dusk, free of charge
The main attraction in this monastery built in 1695, and whose name is a reminder of Mount Sinai, is the old church, decorated with 300 years old frescoes. The new church, built from 1842 to 1846 stands for the perfect exemplification of genuine Romanian, religion - inspired architecture. The furniture in sculpted golden oak is a piece of art in itself.
The Casino in Sinaia
Built in 1911 in the downtown park area in Sinaia, the Casino is the architectural duplicate of the Casino in Monte Carlo. Huge and exquisite halls that were accommodating in past times 700 to 800 gamblers daily have been converted into a modern conference center that has high performance technical equipment.
George Enescu' s Memorial House is where Romania's great violin player, composer and conductor lived. In this place has he received as a visitor and also as a trainee in violin, the later-on world-renowned violin player, Sir Yehudi Menuhin.