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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Peles Castle

We backtracked about thirty miles to the South from Brasov this morning to visit the Peles Castle at Sinaia.  Unlike, yesterday's defensive military castle, this one is more a palace, fit for a king.  King Carol, more specifically, who had it constructed as a summer retreat in the mountains in the late 1800s.
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It is a bit difficult to get a good photo of the whole castle.  Both this one and the castle at Bram should probably be visited by balloon to get a good picture.  I didn't see any balloons around so I just did the best I could.  And speaking of photography, it costs 20 Romanian Lei to get in but 32 Lei to use your camera.  I didn't pay the extra fee and just tried to take a few photos surreptitiously.  When you pay the extra photo fee, they give you a 3x5 card on a rope to hang around your neck.  There are "minders" stationed around the castle to catch violators.  My first attempt to use the camera produced a stern looking woman (perhaps a leftover from the Communist era) shaking her finger at me shouting, "no photos!"   Scared the heck out of a paying guest nearby.  I don't think he used his camera again for several minutes.

The interiors, I thought, are a little reminiscent of the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.  I wonder if he had seen this on his European tours. I'm going to have to pick up one of these books about Julia Morgan when I get home and check on that.

Here is the dining room at Peles Castle.

One of the artistic treasures on display is a full suit of armor, both horse and knight.

After the castle tour, we stopped at the nearby monastery.  (remember you can click on any photo to enlarge!  A couple more clicks gets you into my Flickr Photostream.)
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The monastery dates from the late 1600s and has some remarkable paintings on the ceilings and walls that depict biblical scenes.  Here is a section of the ceiling.

Near the center you might notice Jesus bringing Lazarus out of the coffin.

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