The legend of Plesa Palace

In the village of Obârșia de Câmp in the county of Mehedinți there is a wonderful monument of unique architecture in the rural environment in Romania: the Pleșa Palace. The building was built at the end of the 19th century in neoclassical style by the boyar Gheorghe Pleșa, established in France.

The building’s construction is shrouded in an aura of mystery and local legends. It is said that, during the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish representative who came to collect taxes and duties from the area was hosted by the village furrier (father of the future boyar Gheorghe Pleșa). During his stay through our parts, the Turk collected from the population dozens of bright yellow bags. Seeing so much gold, the furrier would have come up with an idea: he thought ill of the Turk to get his money. One night, when the Turkish representative set out on his way to the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul, the furrier put his plan into practice: he pursued and killed the Turk and stole his yellow bags. Not long afterwards, the furrier would have bought large plots of land – over 500 hectares – in the villages Obârșia de Câmp (Mehedinți county) and Cetate (Dolj county).

It is known about the furriwr that he would have had two sons, one of whom, Gheorghe Pleșa, used his father’s impressive wealth to finance his life and pay for his studies in the field of Law in France. There it is said that Gheorghe would have lived a beautiful love affair with a rich Frenchwoman, who would have asked her hand by promising her that he would build in her honor a palace like those in France, covered with yellow coins.

Falling in love, Gheorghe Pleșa ordered the construction of a palace on one of the estates received from his father in the village Obârșia de Câmp in Mehedinți. The works at the palace began towards the end of the 19th century. Gheorghe did not discount quality, choosing to use components built in Italy and transported by ship on the Danube to Gruia Port for the erection of his edifice. From here, the peasants from the surrounding area loaded them and transported them to Obârșia de Câmp, over 30 km away, where the builders only joined them.

To give the palace a sumptuous and sophisticated look, similar to that of the castles on the Loire Valley in France, the boyar Gheorghe Pleșa hired painters from Italy and France. They mainly dealt with the interior decorations, leaving their mark on the unique and recognizable style in Romania of the palace. The French aspect was also given by the arrangements and decorations that enriched the interior of the palace: marble columns, carved wooden stairs, the fireplace and the Venetian mirrors. The paintings, the trinkets and the imposing library full of rare books also brought uniqueness to the residence. It is said that many of the pieces that decorated the palace were extremely expensive, most of them being ordered in high-profile luxury workshops in Italy.

The Pleșa Palace also stands out from the point of view of the facilities. Inside it was installed and put into operation a modern wood-fired thermal power station, unique in the country, which provided the heat in the rooms through massive pipes and heaters.

On all four of its sides, on the exterior facades, the palace was provided with imposing marble balconies. To complete the elegant appearance of the entire edifice, an imposing artesian fountain was erected in front of the palace.

All the efforts of the boyar Pleșa proved, in the end, useless. The Frenchman refused marriage to the boyar when, visiting the palace, she saw that he had no interior toilets and the roof was not built in gold. It is said that the boyar Gheorghe Pleșa died at the age of 90 in Paris, unmarried and without heirs, without ever finding his soul relieving.

After the death of the owner, the Pleșa Palace became the headquarters for the offices of all the tractor sections of the Machine and Tractor Station in the southern area of Mehedinți county. This institution has worked in the palace for over 20 years; later, the palace remained in the care of the municipality, which brought and housed in the palace the workers and the military brought by communists for field work. After 1972 all the pieces of furniture and decorations, including all the trinkets, Venetian mirrors, interior parts and even the library with books, disappeared from the palace.

Currently, the municipality of Obârșia de Câmp wants to restore the palace and integrate it into the tourist circuit.



• „The neoclassical palace Gh. Pleșa, Obârșia de Câmp”, 10 July 2017,

• Alexandra Georgescu, “Boyar Gheorghe Pleșa erected a castle at Obârșia de Câmp for a rich Frenchman”, 23 January 2015,

• Violeta Ionescu, “Mayor of Dârvari buys his own palace”, 13 May 2013,

• “Pleșa Palace – neoclassical and peasant”,