Don’t miss out the Little trains exhibition within Sinaia Train Station
Sinaia CasinoThe imposing building with unique architecture was originally designed for gambling.
They built it in only 1 year (1911-1912) on the site of resort’s first villa: Ghika Villa, built by Prince Dimitrie Ghika.
The main shareholder was the Baron of Marçay, also shareholder at Monte Carlo Casino.
That’s why rumors said this building would be the precise replica of French edifice.
In fact, the 2 casinos share only a few elements of interior architecture.
Casino’ opening event included a high-performance show and a George Enescu concert, ending with fireworks.
Both the royal family and Prime Minister Titu Maiorescu attended this event.
Weekly pleasure train
Soon the casino became the resort’s irresistible attraction and an important revenue source for its shareholders.
During weekend, Bucharest-Sinaia “train of pleasure” brought here the addicts of roulette, cards (baccarat, Brazilian), rummy, chess…
Unbelievable but this “social magnet” succeeded to attract between 600 and 800 guests each play day.
The bar-restaurant, where they also danced, had a jazz orchestra.
In the private small room with only 2 tables the minimum stake was 5 times higher than in the others.
Players were highly confident in their chances of significant gains.
Before entering, they were throwing silver coins in the artesian fountain nearby the casino.
But once inside, seduced by gambling exhilaration, they lose important amounts of money.
They were getting to gamble inclusively their jewelry and gold chain watches and then to borrow with huge interests.
Benli and Red Cross Society
At that time, resort’s most original bazaar was only two steps away from Casino.
Here, there was a Turk, Hagi Benlian (known as Benli), with burgundy-red turban and silk baggy trousers.
He was luring pedestrians with all kind of Oriental adornments, sweets like in Istanbul, tobacco or cigarettes and coffee.
For a few coins discreetly slipped in his palm, Benli was telling in the coffee cup 2-3 fortunate numbers (from 1 to 9).
Then customers quickly run to play these at roulette.
After Second World War, Sinaia Casino passed into state ownership.
It was closed and used for a while by Red Cross Society.
After major restorations that kept its elegance, it became Sinaia’s House of Culture, nowadays being an International Conference Center.
A guided tour of this beautiful Casino will lead you not only back through its interesting history but also on its terrace.
This has a great view overlooking the city and Bucegi massif.
You will also visit the superb interior garden, as well as the halls hosting the permanent painting exhibition.
Prince Mihai Cantacuzino found it in 1695, this being named after the great Sinai Monastery on Sinai Mount (Egypt).
This is the 6th most spectacular one in the world (2010).
Dream castles of the artist queenQueen Elisabeth of Romania was the most fascinating personality of her time.
She was talented painter, garden designer, creator of original pieces of furniture, inspired interior decorator, photographer…
But the most of all she was a writer (inclusively for prestigious American magazines).
The Queen had two castles very dear to her soul: Bran and Pelisor.
The vast architectonic ensemble created by King Carol I on Peles Creek Valley, includes Pelisor (Little Peles Castle).
Built between 1899 – 1903 as a royal and princely residence, its initial purpose was to be used as bell tower.
After tower’s demolition, they moved its 1,700 kg bell to Sinaia Monastery.
But it became summer residence for King’s nephew and heir, the future King Ferdinand (son of Carol’s brother Leopold von Hohenzollern) and Ferdinand’s consort Queen Mary.
In 2006, castle’s complex, including Pelisor – museum and tourist site for a long time – became legal property of Romanian royal family’s heirs.
Pelisor still keeps the pregnant memory of Mary, Queen of all Romanians, King Ferdinand and their children.
Some consider it even more interesting than Peles and unmissable.
Pelisor was designed by Czech architect Karel Liman in Art Nouveau style.
Furniture and interior decorations were designed mostly by Viennese Bernhard Ludwig.
Art Nouveau artistic current from 1900 defined both the end and beginning of a century.
It bestowed personality to an epoch and included all artistic genres related to exterior and interior environment.
Accomplished artist, Queen Elisabeth considered Art Nouveau a weapon against sterile historicism.
So she created a personal style combining Art Nouveau elements with Byzantine and Celtic elements.
She herself made many artistic decisions about Pelisor Castle’s design.
And participated in its decoration, inclusively as a painter.
Important Art Nouveau pieces were acquired by Queen Elisabeth and especially by Queen Mary of Romania in order to complete the Royal House Collection initially constituted by King Carol I.
Hunting PavilionLocated next to Pelisor Castle, the original destination of Hunting Pavilion was King Carol I hunting lodge.
Endowed with 42 rooms, it also has a swimming pool, which Peles and Pelisor do not have.
Because it was finished before Peles Castle, the royal family (King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth) lived here for a while, as well as King Ferdinand with Queen Mary, until Pelisor was finished.
In 1921, King Michael – son of King Carol II and Queen Helen – was born here.
Hunting Pavilion could never be visited because it is a protocol residence.
Memorial House of George Enescu composerThe most famous Romanian composer, George Enescu had long worldwide tours.
These used to end with escapades for recreation at Luminis villa.
Here you can still see one of the pianos to which he composed numerous masterpieces.
There are also furniture and ceramics formerly belonging to the great composer.
Numerous documents and photographs evoke the personality of the Romanian musician.