A sightseeing tour of Sinaia

When one thinks of Sinaia, the first thing that pops into mind is the Peles Castle. Though this is indeed an outstanding place to visit, Sinaia is also a very cultural town, with numerous sights related to this aspect. This mountain resort vibes with culture so that a sightseeing tour of Sinaia really means getting in touch with your artistic side.

So as to better understand Sinaia…

The cultural tradition of Sinaia began when the nobleman Cantacuzino had the Sinaia Monastery built there. A series of cultural activities were initiated on this occasion: ‘the reading house’ or ‘the Mihai Cantacuzino cultural meeting’. Also, due to its being an enchanting place, many famous Romanian artists visited it or chose to live there for a couple of months, their creations reflecting the beauty and tranquility of the places: Vasile Alecsandri (poet), Nicolae Grigorescu (painter), Ion Luca Caragiale (playwright), Nicolae Iorga (writer) or George Enescu (composer).

The Sinaia Monastery

This is also known as the ‘cathedral of the Bucegi mountains’, being the first holy place built within this resort. The nobleman Mihai Cantacuzino had it erected after a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai (hence its name, Sinaia), its role being that of protecting spiritually the Prahova valley. In the 19th century, on the occasion of the monastery’s bicentenary, the first Romanian religious museum was set up the monastery’s courtyard. Its importance is even greater as you can admire there the first Bible ever written in Romanian, as well as the epitaph that Ana Roth (one of Queen Elisabeta’s court ladies) sewed in silk and gold (this embroidery is included in the UNESCO heritage list).

The George Enescu Memorial House

The fact that Sinaia was home for many of these important Romanian people is proved by there being several memorial houses dedicated to them in Sinaia: for Nicolae Iorga, for Anastasie Simu (Romanian art collector) and for George Enescu.  The latter is maybe the most visited due to Enescu’s great personality and artistic life. Enescu had a villa built in Sinaia not only because it a relaxing and comforting place to create but also because the nearby Peles Castle was his launching gate into the contemporary musical life – he had the support of Queen Elisabeth (Elisabeta) of Romania.  Enescu lived 20 years in his villa named ‘Luminis’ (Glade). When he was forced to live the country (because of the political events in 1946), Enescu signed in Paris a donation act leaving his villa to the city of Sinaia as a place where other Romanian artists could relax and create.

The Sinaia Casino

It is found within the ‘Dimitrie Ghica’ Park and it was built in 1912 – 1913 on orders of King Carol I. Nowadays, the casino hosts numerous conferences, symposiums, national and international gatherings as well as very popular art exhibits, book releases, concerts and different shows. The most famous of these events is the International Festival of Classic Guitar (which also takes place in the concert hall of the Peles Castle).

This was, maybe, a different sightseeing tour of Sinaia, but you should take it into account. Sinaia means more than just a very famous castle.

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