On Valea Prahovei, as almost everywhere in Romania, one can find places and buildings having strong roots in the past. Walls carrying legends, picturesque, history. Here are some castles one must see, once in Romania.
Castles on Valea Prahovei
Peles Castle, Sinaia - Due to its historical and artistic value, it can easily be considered one of the Europe's most important buildings from the second part of XIXth century. Due to its unique style, it certainly is the most important historical building in Romania. It represents a true architectural pile (Peles Castle, The Watch Tower, Guarding Troops, The Economat and Pelisor), built at king Carol I's will (1866 - 1914), thus becoming the summer residence of the royal family, and after the king's death, in 1914, becoming a museum.
The castle was built between 1875 and 1883 by architects Karel Liman and Berhard Ludwig from Vienna, J.D.Heymann from Hamburg and August Bembe from Mainz. The interiors belong to German Renaissance, and the 160 rooms have various styles: Hispano-maur, German Renaissance, English Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, French Rococo and German Baroque. The place chosen for this castle is extremely picturesque, on the left shore of Peles spring, therefore it represents one of the most visited places on Valley of Prahova by Romanian along foreign tourists.
Iulia Hasdeu Castle in Campina is actually a museum, built by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu between 1893 and 1896. This museum was built to honor his daughter's memory- Iulia Hasdeu, died at only 18 by tuberculosis. Iulia Hasdeu was considered a real genius, being the first Romanian citizen graduated from the famous university of Sorbonne, France. The tourists that arrive here discover a part of this family's life, but also B.P.Hasdeu's Spiritism experiments, visiting the seven halls:
Hall 1 - Is Iulia Hasdeu's reception salon, the scientist's wife, where one can admire her marble bust.
Hall 2 - Is a huge living room, its walls being painted with family portraits as medallions.
Hall 3 - Also called "The temple of the Castle", being the highest tower, has a shrine and a narthex with parallel mirrors. In the middle of the tower there is Jesus Statue, sculptured by the famous Raphael Casciani, statue that was never affected by the human ignorance or the earthquakes.
Hall 4 - Is the place where B.P.Hasdeu used to carry on his work, where there is the scientist's portrait and his wife's.
Hall 5 - Is a room totally dedicated to their daughter, Iulia Hasdeu, there is also her bust made from Carrara marble in 1990 by the artist Ioan Georgescu. This room also hosts her untouched math notebook, here doll and her diary.
Hall 6 - Called "Dark Room", this hall seems to be the most interesting for the visitors, because this is the place where the Spiritism meetings took place. Here there are Jesus statue, a candlestick, a pigeon and an astronomical telescope.
In all these halls there are spread objects of Hasdeu family: old manuscripts, great philologist's newspaper collections, over a century old furniture, princeps editions belonging the great scientist, but also many painting signed by famous artists, such as : Diogene Maillart, Nicolae Grigorescu, Sava Hentia or G.D. Mirea.
Due to its architectural profile it is situated on a top position of the Romanian castles. Cantacuzino Castles in Busteni is an important touristic destination for both Romanian and foreign tourists. This castle was built 1911 on Prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino's property, nicknamed "Nabob" because of his impressive wealth. The legends say the interior court of the castle could have been entirely paved in golden coins. From the size point of view, Cantacuzino Castle can easily sit near other impressive buildings having neobrancovenesc architectural style, such as Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest, Peles complex in Sinaia and the Patriarchal Palace in Bucharest.
Situated in area that seems to be an important energetic pole, the castle is surrounded by fountains, caves and many waterfalls. The Castle once hosted the Minister of Intern Affairs Sanatorium till 2008, when a small group of investors bought it and brought it back to touristic market. Even if the structure of the interior columns and the sculpture on the doors seem to have the Brancovenesc style marks, the castle has a strong romantic air due to its interiors decorated with ornamental paintings, multicolored moulding, coffered ceilings, stone, wood carved or forged iron railings, many stained glasses and false painted beams. All these underline the unique profile of the castle, of the Cantacuzinos' and related families' coat of arms, painted in the enormous reception hall among famous members of the Muntenian branch of the nobility of this family. Cantacuzino complex has a perfect functionality, so the tourists can visit and admire it regardless the season of the year
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