Lázár Castle (Castelul Lázár)

Lázár Castle


Location: Lăzarea, Harghita County Map

Constructed: 15th century


Description of Lázár Castle

Lázár Castle is a medieval citadel situated in Lăzarea, Harghita County in Romania. Lázár Castle was named after Lazar or Lazarus aristocratic family in 15th century during reign of Prince Bethlen Gabor. It was significantly increased in 1532. Additions were made in 1631- 32 giving the appearance of Baroque, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. The citadel was badly damaged during Francisc Rákóczi Rebellion. Armies of the Habsburgs besieged the castle in 1706 and finally took it in 1707. They left the military fortifications in ruins so it couldn't be used by the rebels in the future. It was partially reconstructed as a private residence in 1742, but it was again burned down just six years later in 1748.


Ftefan IV Lazar, county of the Ciuc, Gheorgheni and Cașin chairs, was the one who demolished the medieval mansion on the property, constructing a larger building reusing some segments of the old building. The oldest body of the present building dates from 1532, the rest being added between 1631-1632. From the beginning, the prince wanted a residence worthy of a prince expressing an influence of the politico-administrative life of the Principality and he managed to illustrate this aspect through the details of the construction: the monumental staircase, the bastions decorated with inscriptions and blazes and the cornice painted after Renaissance style.

Recently, the construction was investigated by archaeologists and two tractors and an east-west axis were discovered in the foundations of the manor. As for the southern façade, it was occupied by a 4.6 m long loggia with arches, and the hall walls were painted with different zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures. The windows of the castle on the first floor have triangular earrings, and the walls are decorated with corner bushes and painted friezes. After the east wall of the new enclosure was erected, the bakery and kitchen were raised in the north-east corner. From here, the entire north-western body called the "Knights Hall" is built, which will house the diet room of the Szekler chairs. An interesting thing is that in the middle of the court was placed a prison where the prisoners stayed until their fate was decided. The role of the construction was to build a huge and unique bastion ensemble in Transylvania with an important role in the Principality.

The castle of the Lázár family, passed by the curts in the revolution led by Francisc Rákóczi, was devastated and set on fire by the Habsburgs between 1706-1707, and the most affected body was the residential one. The walls in the center collapsed and only the rooms attached to the eastern wall remained intact.

After regaining the trust of the imperial house, Francis IV. Lázár was named in 1742 counties of Ciuc, Gheorgheni and Cașin chairs and moved his residence again to Lăzarea, raising until 1742 a new baroque style body formerly called "Casa Doamnei". Six years later the castle was again burned down and after that there were no significant reconstructions.


In 1773 the castle was divided between the three family members until the middle of the 19th century, but at that time only a small part of the fortress was inhabited. The most recent researches on the Lázár Fortress were made between 1963-1977 and 1982, and after them the Red Bastion, the "Hall of the Knights", the small bastion behind it, the dungeon, the body of the gate and the southern façade, as well as paintings, were consolidated and reconstructed. from 1532.

Currently, the Lázár Castle is managed by the County Creation Center, an institution under the tutelage of the Harghita County Council, but there are also survivors of the Lázár family who claim it.

The whole of the Lázar castle is included in the new list of historical monuments under the LMI code: HR-II-a-A-12854.