Cantacuzino, the Castle that could have been paved in golden coins
Cantacuzino Castle, Busteni is located in Zamora, on the street that bears the same name. The construction was accomplished and finalized in 1911 by architect Grigore Cerchez at the request of Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino, also known as the Nabob, due to his impressive fortune. Rumors circulated that he was so rich that he could pave the entire yard of the castle in golden coins and that he would have requested the erection of the castle as a reaction to another famous construction of that time, King Carol I’ Peles Castle.
The foundation stone of the castle was placed in 1901 on the site of an ancient residence of the Cantacuzinos, an old family cottage and the construction was made in neo-Romanian style, stone and brick and it was completed in 1911 by the architect Grigore Cerchez.
Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino, (born September 22, 1832, Bucharest, died March 23, 1913, Bucharest) was twice mayor of Bucharest and all twice prime minister of Romania.
The prince was a noble man being a descendant of Romanian princes and Byzantine Cantacuzino kings. Due to its excessive wealth, Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino managed to build three palaces (two in Prahova County and the other one in Bucharest, on Calea Victoriei, the current George Enescu National Museum), thus he was nicknamed ‘Nabob’. It is also why history remembers him linked to a legend about the castle in Busteni, which he wanted to pave it with gold coins. He was the greatest landowner in Romania at that time and competed even with King Carol I, both as wealth and social position but also as origin. He wanted to cover up the roof in golden coins thus his palace would go beyond the majestic Peles Castle.
The castle covers a total surface of 3,148 square meters. The interior decorations create a strong romantic ambience. Stained glass windows, marble, brackets and ceilings with painted beams, wood, stone or wrought iron railings and bronze represent a master of artistic craftsmanship. The white stone fireplaces decorated with polychrome mosaics complete the atmosphere of the boyar residence.
Several years ago, the land and the Cantacuzino Castle were bought by a group of investors who wanted to develop a luxury holiday and ski resort. Nowadays, probably because of the global economic recession, the plans have been postponed and the place is open for visitors as a museum.
Visiting program: Monday-Thursday 10.00 – 19.00; Friday-Sunday 10.00 – 20.00; Entrance is made every hour.