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Journal of Early Modern Studies

Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Gardens as Laboratories. The History of Botany through the History of Gardens

Alexandru Mexi
Pages 181-196

Early Modern Garden Design Concepts and Twentieth Century Royal Gardens in Romania
Peleş Castle and the Mannerist Landscape

Built in between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in a mountainous region in Romania, the Peleş Castle and its gardens were conceived according to the mid sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries landscape design principles. Thus, the surrounding landscape, the park and gardens at the royal residence in Sinaia make up an overall image of a Mannerist landscape in which the Villa or, in this case, the castle, is integrated in a complex allegorical, alchemical and political programme. To explore this chronologically incongruent design and to explore gardening principles perhaps invisible in plain sight for modern eyes, the following study aims to emphasize the presence of early modern Western European gardens in the design of the park and gardens at Peleş. This analysis will also reveal the various ways in which, by manipulating nature according to Late Renaissance and Mannerism principles, nature was staged to achieve political goals.

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