Christmas 2014 spent in Bucharest and Transylvania
King Carol I of Romania (1839–1914), under whose reign the country gained its independence, first visited the site of the future castle in 1866 and fell in love with the magnificent mountain scenery. In 1872, the Crown purchased 1,300 square kilometres (500 sq mi) of land near the Piatra Arsă River. The estate was named the Royal Estate of Sinaia. The monarchy commissioned the construction of a royal hunting preserve and summer retreat on the property, and the foundation was laid for Peleș Castle on 22 August 1873. Several auxiliary buildings were built simultaneously with the castle: the guards' chambers, the Economat Building, the Foişor hunting lodge, the royal stables, and a power plant. Peleș became the world's first castle fully powered by locally produced hydro-electricity.