Banffy Castle

Banffy Castle



Location: Bonţida, Cluj County   Map

Original owner: Katalin Banffy

Constructed: 1437- 1890

Destroyed: by the Germans during WWII


Description of Banffy Castle

Banffy Castle is located in village of Bonţida of Cluj County in Romania. These lands were granted to a noble Romanian Banffy family by King Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1387. The site was probably inhabited by the family since then. The construction of the much larger chateau began in 1437. The core of the mansion was constructed in Renaissance style.


According to records the Banffy Castle was surrounded by a ring of military fortifications. In the eighteenth century the owners of the estate undertook extensive renovations in Baroque style under guidance of Viennese architect Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach. It was finally completed in 1890 in Romantic style. The Banffy Castle survived the World War I without major damage. During World War II the things have changed. In 1944 Wehrmacht evicted the last legal owner of the Banffy Castle Nicholas (Miklos) Banffy and turned the residence into a military hospital. With the advance of the Soviet Red Army the Germans looted everything they could carry away. The rest of the structure the damaged or burned. Currently it undergoes a reconstruction, but as with many things in the region it takes it time and doesn't proceed too hastily even though it is officially done under patronage of Prince Charles of Wales, who visited the site repeatedly.


Old Photo of Banffy Castle

The castle in its better days (1935)