Legends from Peles Castle and a Mysterious Door

We return to Peles Castle with a few legends and a striking, yet mysterious locked wrought iron front door – for Thursday doors.

The legend of Peles Castle’s dancing flames

How are legends born? Do they arrive on wing of bird? Drift with the night breeze that brings along the powder of sleep and the hoot of an owl?

Anyway, legend says that during certain nights of the year dancing flames can be spotted, swirling and jumping, all throughout the Peles Castle’s gardens. The wise ‘nes, mere folk, nod and describe them as being the work of old King Carol I (Romania’s first King) who had the castle built. And who also buried gold coins in the castle’s foundation – for good fortune, of course. And now the gold dances…

Romanian folk tradition says that building the shadow of a human being into the foundation of a home also brings good luck. Warning: the person whose shadow is buried might die soon. More auspicious items to consider are: corn / wheat seeds, coins, holy water, cow fur.

Peles Castle south, locked Wrought iron door with lion
Peles Castle south facing facade, the locked wrought iron door decorated with a lion’s head

The ghosts of Peles Castle

They should have known better.

Whisper goes that during moonlit nights, if one is caught wondering along the castle’s corridors (especially on the third level, you want to stay close to the walls over there) one can glimpse fleeting shapes passing by. Or through?

What was that? The old wooden boards squeaking? A draft of wind that caught your ankle?

If you listen to (their) whispers, you heard well: they are the ghosts of its past owners and inhabitants; if not those of Romania’s Kings and Queens, then perhaps other lost souls who lived here.

Peles Castle south, locked Wrought iron door with lion
Again, the stately front entrance of Peles Castle with its wrought iron massive reinforcement.

A mysterious door at Peles Castle

The main entrance door of Peles Castle sleeps bathed in sunlight, wrought iron lace with intricate design and guarded by the head of a lion. Locked.

This massive door (alongside all the other wrought iron details of Peles Castle) was created by Albert Milde, a Viennese master ornamental iron-smith, one of the most outstanding restorers of the figurative and ornamental iron-smith art in Austria. Albert Milde worked closely with Valerian Gillar, metal worker and wrought iron artist and the 1929 inventor of the iron frames used for windows.

under the sunlight Peles Castle south locked wrought iron door
The massive wrought iron door pf Peles Castle, work of Viennese master ornamental iron-smith Albert Milde and of wrought iron artist Valerian Gillar

Besides its symmetry and proportions, another Renaissance feature of this door is its invincibility. Built to withstand evil attacks and even fire, the massive door wood is reinforces with a metal sheet and joints.

There are three such wrought iron reinforced doors at Peles Castle.

Peles Castle south locked wrought iron door close up

Although reinforced with a laced wrought iron, the southern sun draws light and shadows patterns that make the door look alive. The use of diamond motifs gives it a dynamic effect while the rivets, those iron metal bolts, apart from strengthen it they make it shimmer, like a chameleon, and pull the eye. Do not mess with me, the lion seems to roar.

And do you see the bronze lion head? According to curator Daniela Voitescu on the Peles Castle website, the lion head was chosen as a symbol of the sun, as is the bronze metal it was cast from.

For Dan Antion’s weekly challenge Thursday Doors, where door lovers from all over the world come together – do have a look.


A little story inspired by the Romanian royalty comes to you in one of my books, Transylvania’s History A to Z:

Transylvania's History A to Z historical fiction must read

14 Replies to “Legends from Peles Castle and a Mysterious Door”

  1. I love iron-work, and this door is a beautiful work of art. The lion head would certainly get my attention.

    Thanks for including the myths and legends. I love reading about these things. The longer a building stands, the more stories it collects. Thanks for sharing all of this with Thursday Doors.

  2. Cow fur? I also can’t visualize that “building the shadow of a human being into the foundation” thing, but that’s only the 21st century naysayer of me. 🙂 Actually, the whole thing sounds mysterious and interesting come to think of it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you for the lovely door and for sharing the rich intricacies of its story, Patricia. I enjoyed your sharing.

  4. That’s one intimidating door! Still, I find myself intrigued about entering, and switching between wanting to spend the night there, or just stay away. Thanks for sharing this spooky tale and the history of the castle, Pat.

  5. The iron door at the main entrance of Peles Castle is beautiful, amazing iron work! Thank you so much Patricia for sharing some history and legends of this castle.

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