|1480 Sinaia - Peleş Castle seen from helicopter|
Posted on 08.03.2015, 12.08.2015
In 1866, just months after he ascended the throne of Romanian Principalities (formed by only 7 years, by the unification of Wallachia and Moldavia, then still under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire), Carol I visited Sinaia, at that time a small village called Podul Neagului (Neagu's Bridge), and fell in love with the magnificent mountain scenery. Prince decides building a castle in a secluded and picturesque place: Piatra Arsă (The Burnt Stone). In 1872, the Crown purchased 10km2 of land and commissioned the construction of a royal hunting preserve and summer residence. The first three design plans were copies of other palaces in Western Europe, and Carol I rejected them. The german architect Johannes Schultz won the project with a plan representing a grand palatial alpine villa, combining different features of classic European styles, mostly following Italian elegance and German aesthetics.
|1481 Sinaia - Peleş Castle - detail|
In 1875 was laid the foundation stone of the Peleş Castle, in which are buried dozens of gold coins of 20 lei, the first Romanian coins with the image of Carol I. Works were also lead by architect Carol Benesch. Queen Elisabeth of Romania, during the construction phase, wrote in her journal: "Italians were masons, Romanians were building terraces, the Gypsies were coolies. Albanians and Greeks worked in stone, Germans and Hungarians were carpenters. Turks were burning brick. Engineers were Polish and the stone carvers were Czech. The Frenchmen were drawing, the Englishmen were measuring, and so was then when you could see hundreds of national costumes and fourteen languages in which they spoke, sang, cursed and quarreled in all dialects and tones, a joyful mix of men, horses, cart oxen and domestic buffaloes."
|1810 Sinaia - Peleş Castle in winter|
Construction saw a slight slowdown during the Romanian War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1877-1878, but in 1883 held the official opening of the castle. Meanwhile, in 1881 the Romanian Principalities became the Kingdom of Romania, and Carol I was crowned as King. Later additions to Peleş Castel were made between 1893 and 1914 (the year of the death of King Carol I) by the Czech architect Karel Liman, who designed the towers, including the main central tower, which is 66m in height. By form and function, Peleş is a palace, but it is consistently called a castle. Its architectural style is a romantically inspired blend Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival similar to Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. A Saxon influence can be observed in the interior courtyard facades. Interior decoration is mostly Baroque influenced, with heavy carved woods and exquisite fabrics.
|1482 Sinaia - Peleş Castle - Sala Mare De Arme (The Grand Armory)|
The location of the castle wasn't random. Not far away, in Predeal, was at that time the border between Romania and Austria Hungary. Later, after the unification of Transylvania with the Kingdom, the castle came to be located right in the heart of the country. It has hosted many personalities of the time, writers, musicians, and kings and queens, and also important political meetings, such as some Crown Councils. Here was born, in 1893, the future King Carol II, the first king of the dynasty born on Romanian soil and baptized in the Orthodox religion. In 1921, in the Foişor Huntin was born his son, King Mihai I. The castle remained a royal residence until 1948, when it was confiscated by the communist regime. In 2007, the Romanian government returned the castle to Mihai I, which has decided to retain the museum quality of the castle, leaving it in the tourist circuit.
Sala Mare De Arme (The Grand Armory or The Arsenal) is where 1,600 of the 4,000 pieces of weaponry and armor reside, and was decorated between 1903 and 1906. One of Europe's finest collection of hunting and war implements, timelined between 14th and 19th century, are on display. The king added pieces used in his victory against the Ottoman Turks during the War of Independence. Famous are the complete Maximilian armor for horse and rider and a 15th-century German "nobles only" decapitation broadsword. Also on display are a wide array of polearms (glaives, halberds, lances, hunting spears), firearms (muskets, blunderbusses, snaphaunces, flintlocks, pistols), axes, crossbows, and swords (rapiers, sabers, broadswords, and many others).
About the stamps
On the postcard 1480
The first stamp, depicting Anthericum ramosum (Anthericum ramosum), is part of the series Flowers’ Clock (II), about which I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), is part of the series Flowers’ Clock (I), about which I wrote here.
On the postcard 1481
The stamps are part of the series Hotels:
• Hotel Continental, Timişoara (1 ROL)
• Hotel Lebăda, Crişan (5 ROL)
• Hotel Orizont, Predeal (9 ROL)
• Hotel Roman, Băile Herculane (10 ROL)
• Valea Caprei, Făgăraş (2 ROL)
• Hotel Intercontinental, Bucharest (4 ROL)
• Rarău, Rarău (18 ROL)
• Kasino, Constanţa (25 ROL)
• Mioriţa, Bucegi (30 ROL)
• Muntele Roşu (6 ROL)
On the postcard 1810
About the stamp, issued in 2014 to celebrate Christmas, I wrote here.
On the postcard 1482
The stamp was issued on March 16, 2012, to celebrate The Easter. For this year, the postage stamps issue reproduces an icon achieved in 1876 and belonging to the Patrimony of Saint Pantelimon Church inBucharest. Saint Pantelimon Church has a history of over 250 years, being mentioned for the first time in his will by ruler Grigore Ghica - as a small wooden church built on the site of the present edifice.
Peleş Castle - Wikipedia
Peleş Castle - Official website
Sender 1480: Eugen Mihai (direct swap)
Sent from Bucureşti (Bucureşti / Romania), on 23.02.2015
Photo: Eugen Mihai
Sender 1481: ???
Sent from Sinaia (Prahova / Romania), on 19.01.1994
Sender 1482: Adriana Popa
Sent from Sinaia (Prahova / Romania), on 24.07.2012
Photo: Daniel Bădescu
Sender 1810: Dănuţ Ivănescu
Sent from Sinaia (Prahova / Romania), on 10.08.2015
Photo: George Avanu / 2014