Commemorative Medal Peles was instituted on August, 16 1933 by the Royal Decree No.2305 (Decretul Regal nr. 2305/1933) of the King Carol II in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebrations of erection of the Peles Castle (Castelul Peleş), the summer residency of the Royal Romanian Family. The medal was awarded to the members of the Royal family, celebration participants, Army High Command personnel and the Sinaian Garrison officers, knights of the Order “Michael The Brave” and holders of the medal of “Military Virtue”, 1st class.
Construction of the Neo-Renaissance castle under supervision of German architect Johannes Schultz and his colleague Carol Benesch from the Austro-Hungarian Empire started on August 22, 1873 after the first King of Romania Carol I have personally chosen a picturesque site in the Carpathian mountains near Sinaia. Inauguration ceremony was held a decade later, on October 07, 1883. Additional buildings erected in 1893-1914 were the work of the Czech architect Karel Liman. Upon recalculation to modern day prices, total cost of the majestic castle named after a neighbouring river is around $120 million.
History of the Peles Castle has close ties with the history of Romania as it was the very site where future Romanian King Carol II was born in 1893 and where decision to enter World War I had been made in 1916. It was the Peles Castle that saw young Mihai I leaving its chambers on his way to Bucharest to topple powerful Conducător Ion Antonescu and it was the same site that saw abdicated Mihai I leaving his home country in exile. Estate was nationalized in 1947 after abolition of monarchy in Romania, was declared a museum in 1953 but was closed to public in the late 70s. The Peles Castle reopened its gates to sightseers in 1989 and in 2006 it was returned to the ex-king Mihai that ceded his former residence to the Romanian government for €30 million.
Design of a medal was elaborated by a Romanian sculptor Ion Jalea (19.05.1887-07.11.1983).
An obverse shows portraits of three Romanian kings – Carol I, Ferdinand I and Carol II with an inscription above in semicircle “50 years from the foundation of the Peles Castle” (“50 de ani de la întemeierea castelului Peleș la Sinaia”) in capital letters in two rows. Designer’s signature is on the extreme right. The royal crown flanked by dates “
A reverse has a quatrain of a patriotic poem written by a Romanian poet Vasile Alecsandri (21.07.1821–22.08.1890): “I, Carol, with my people have built one minded all together and love my Kingdom during war, and my Castle during peace”.
“Eu Carol cu al meu popor,
Clădit-am într’un gând și dor,
În timp de lupte al seu regat,
În timp de pace al meu palat”
Round medal with a diameter of
Commemorative Medal Peles was presented to participants of a solemn ceremony that took place in the castle Peles on September 26, 1933. That stately event included divine service led by the Patriarch of Romania Miron and unveiling of statues of the King Carol I and the Queen-consort Elizabeth by a sculptor Oscar Späthe. Decoration was presented in a rectangular white cardboard box with golden edges and royal cipher.