Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peles Castle, Romania

Beautiful Peles Castle, near Sinia, Romania is really more of a palace rather than a castle. Yet no matter what you call it, it is a magnificent example of interior craftsmanship and certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful castles or palaces. The construction of the castle began in 1873 under the supervision of Wilhem Doderer, a Viennese architect, for Romania’s King Carol I.

Even our three-star hotel, next to the castle, was a delight to look at:

A statue gazes through her plastic protection from winter rains to the castle's beautiful grounds:

A castle's tower and turret:

A pretty grate covers a courtyard window:

The half timbered courtyard facade with magnificent carvings and stained glass windows:

An ornate bell holder:

Stained glass skylight:

A golden ceiling:

A beautifully carved spiral staircase:

What a pretty door!

The King's office:

The Moorish Salon:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Market by Bran Castle

There is a busy market just outside Bran Castle, featuring, of course, Dracula souvenirs.

Some wild-looking masks:

A selection of dolls in native dress:

A variety of cheeses, including cheese packed in pine boxes:

And fur hats:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Decor of Dracula’s Castle

As you know, the actual Count Dracula’s Castle lies in ruins today. Bran Castle, now designated as Dracula’s Castle, was a temporary residence of Vlad The Impaler (Dracula) which he used as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania. Built in 1212, near the pretty city of Brasov, Romania, it has undergone a renovation or two over the centuries. Step inside. I thought you might like to see some of the interior design and decor of Vlad The Impaler.

There's a lovely sign over the door. I would imagine it says 'Watch out for sharp objects.' Nice lantern.

Another fancy lantern:

Ornate hand-painted tiles and beams:

It looks like someone lives here...someone who plays an organ....

I can understand why these ornate shelves over the bed hold no objects. Who would want to conceal any part of this masterful craftsmanship?

A pretty flower adds a bit of visual softness to a reinforced metal exterior door. Nice touch, Vlad!

Twin window nooks invite you to sit and enjoy the views:

What is a room without a view? Here's what you see from the castle windows. Nice!

I liked the geometric shapes of the windows, beams and door.

Lovely painted bed. Europeans often slept in a nearly sitting position in the old days. They were afraid if they slept fully reclined their mouth might open and their soul slip out. And in the days when big, big hair was the fashion, ladies didn't want to mess up their hairdo.

This is a slightly more elaborately carved bed. Of the two, which do you prefer?

A minimalist hallway. Again, I like the geometry.

An interior door with lovely folk art designs:

Another appealing window nook beckons.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beautiful Romanian Embroidery

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest houses a superb collection of garments, farm and household items collected from all over Romania. I was particularly dazzled by the incredible examples of embroidery. The time and care that have gone into making these creations is evident and impressive. The people who embroidered these items worked very hard during the day but still found the energy to create beauty. They certainly have my respect and appreciation.

They also found time to decorate eggs in magnificent designs and colors:

An elaborately beaded wedding apron; one of many for sale in the museum's gift shop:

Ann a few other memorable items....Wow! What a hat!

I love these chairs and would like to make one myself someday:

Beautiful hand-painted bowls in lovely colors: