Brasov

Brasov City CenterFringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania.

Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven walled citadels*, Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as backdrop in many recent period films.

The Sinaia Monastery

Sinaia monastery

The Sinaia Monastery, was founded by Prince Mihail Cantacuzino in 1695 and named after the great Sinai Monastery on Mount Sinai.

As of 2005, it is inhabited by 13 Christian Orthodox monks led byhegumen Macarie Bogus. It is part of the Bucharest archdiocese.

The Bran Castle

220px-Bran CastleBran Castle (Romanian: Castelul Bran; German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár), situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, at about 60 kilometers from Sinaia. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula.

The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.

The Peles Castle

The Peles CastleThe Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, located on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. It was built between 1873 and 1914.

Its inauguration was held in 1883. King Carol I of Romania (1839–1914), under whose reign the country gained its independence, first visited the site of the future castle in 1866 and fell in love with the magnificent mountain scenery.

The Sinaia Casino

casino sinaiaSituated in the northern area of the "Dimitrie Ghica" park, Sinaia "Casino" still represents one of the architectural symbols of the resort. The stately edifice was built in record time, only one year (1912–1913), in the same place where Sinaia's first villa, raised by Prince Dimitrie Ghica, was built. The stockholder of Sinaia Casino was Baron of Marçay, who was also a key shareholder at the Monte Carlo Casino; this is why it has been speculated that the Romanian building would be the architectural copy of the French edifice. In fact, there are only a few elements of indoor architecture that could confirm the resemblance between the two casinos.

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The Peles Castle

The Peles CastleThe Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, located on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. It was built between 1873 and 1914.

Its inauguration was held in 1883. King Carol I of Romania (1839–1914), under whose reign the country gained its independence, first visited the site of the future castle in 1866 and fell in love with the magnificent mountain scenery.

In 1872, the Crown purchased 1,300 square kilometres (500 sq mi) of land near the Piatra Arsă River. The estate was named the Royal Estate of Sinaia. The monarchy commissioned the construction of a royal hunting preserve and summer retreat on the property, and the foundation was laid for Peleș Castle on 22 August 1873.The first three design plans submitted for Peleș were copies of other palaces in Western Europe, and King Carol I rejected them all as lacking originality and being too costly. German architect Johannes Schultz (1876–1883) won the project by presenting a more original plan, something that appealed to the King's taste: a grand palatial alpine villa combining different features of classic European styles, mostly following Italian elegance and German aesthetics along Renaissance lines.

Later additions were made between 1893 and 1914 by the Czech architect Karel Liman, who designed the towers, including the main central tower, which is 66 metres (217 ft) in height. The Sipot Villa, which served as Liman's headquarters during the construction, was built later on. Liman would supervise the building of the nearby Pelişor Chateau (1889–1903, the future residence of King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie of Romania), as well as of King Ferdinand's villa in the Royal Sheepfold Meadow.

The cost of the work on the castle undertaken between 1875 and 1914 was estimated to be 16,000,000 Romanian lei in gold (approx. US$ 120 million today).