Cantacuzino Castle: Home of Richest Man in Romania
When traveling to Romania, many people only set out to see Bran Castle or Corvin Castle.
But the Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni has great architectural, historical, and artistic value for Romania. It was built in the neo-Romanian style in 1911 by architect Grigore Cerchez.
You'll discover this hidden gem and lesser known tourist attractions in the middle of nature in a perfect place at the foot of the Zamora Mountains where vast forests begin, overlooking the majestic Bucegi Mountains and perfectly cradled by the Carpathian Mountains.
Constructed at the request of Prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, probably the richest man of his time in Romania, the stone and brick castle covers 3.148 square meters of the Cantacuzino family domain. Surrounded by an immense park with stone-paved alleys, the scenery at the castle resembles a spectacle with artesian wells and an artificial cave, the whole domain overlooking the Caraiman mountain peak in the Bucegi Mountains.
And it is just a few kilometers away from the summer royal residence Peles Castle in the old town of Sinaia. Another great tour to take when traveling from Bucharest or Brasov into Prahova Valley.
When I first visited Cantacuzino Castle in 2014 I was mezmerized by the scenery
But this early 20th century Prahova Valley palace has become increasingly popular after it was the set of Tim Burton’s take on the Adams Family, the Wednesday series. Yes, there were special effects and Burtonesque filters added to the images of the castle to turn it into the Nevermore Academy.
However, the beauty of the original Cantacuzino Palace was considered the perfect place for the series' producers despite considering five other locations.
The castle is located on the right of the train station in Busteni. If you wander off into the resort and reach the city hall, you already went too far. But on a guided tour you don't have to worry about this!
Once you step inside, you are swept away by the romantic atmosphere. And you do not have to be an expert to appreciate the exquisite details, like the Murano glass windows, intelligently adorned with portraits of family ancestors, the exposed painted ceilings, the white stone fireplaces decorated with mosaic ornaments and gold foils, the wooden doors carved with headboards of the Cantacuzino family members, and many more.
The Cantacuzino family played an important role in Romanian history and politics
Probably the most impressive room of the castle is the ballroom, located in the central pavilion, with natural-size portraits of the family members painted on Cordoba leather, a gallery with a unique collection of heraldry, the coat of arms of the 27 boyar families the Cantacuzinos were connected to, and two fresco galleries.
During your guided tour, you will notice that Wednesday’s Nevermore interiors differ from the original, which makes sense since it is soaked in Romanian history and would not have been representative of the movie.
Also, some of the scenes were shot in different locations, like principal Larissa Weems’ (Gwendoline Christie) office and the adjacent railed mezzanine were shot at the historic Monteoru House in Bucharest. So that's another good thing to put on your Bucharest travel list of things to visit!
The guided tour of the Cantacuzino castle is awe-inspiring. You will get an idea of what life was like for some of the wealthiest people in Europe and how their lavishly adorned home has changed through the years under different regimes. It was even a sanatorium for respiratory diseases at one point!
The artistic value of the neo-Romanian style can be seen on a guided tour of Cantacuzino Castle
In 1948, when the communist regime seized power, the castle was nationalized. During this time, all the original furniture was stolen or simply appropriated by party members. In 2004, it was returned to the heirs of the Cantacuzino family, who sold it in 2008 to a German developer who spent almost $ 3 million on restoring it.
One of the additions and great attractions since the takeover is the fancy Canta Cuisine restaurant, where people come to dine, enjoy delicious food and a unique view, take in the beautiful artwork of the carefully curated art gallery, and maybe take the kids to the castle’s adventure park, where they can get on the zip line.
The German developer has great plans for the area but is still awaiting government approval for most of them. One of the most prominent art exhibitions, The Machines exhibitions with sketches of DaVinci’s machines, is hosted at the castle. End your trip with a visit to the gift shop and see what memorabilia can best remind you of the beautiful Cantacuzino castle.
Customise this private tour to see three major Romanian castles: Cantacuzino Castle, Bran Castle and Peles Castle
Since many different events are organized Cantacuzino Castle, especially weddings during the weekends, you just need to check their availability prior to your holiday booking if you wish to include this place in your to visit list.
You can of course contact us to get help with planning your trip or customising one of our day trips to also include this famous Romanian tourist attraction on your itinerary.
We'll take care of logistics while you enjoy your holiday!
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