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Photographer's Note

village of Bontida (Hungarian: Bonchida, German: Bonisbruck)
district of Cluj
Transylvania
Romania

Bánffy Castle is a Baroque architectural ensemble, north of the city of Cluj-Napoca (Hu: Kolozsvár, Ge: Klausenburg), known as the "Versailles of Transylvania" for the grandeur of its past ages. It was built 1437 by its owners, the Banffy family, which was granted the right from king Albert, to build a fortified residence or a castle. Finished in 1543, it was mentioned in 1680 in a military report, as a fortified manor.

Denes Bánffy (1638-1674), comes of Doboka and Kolozs (Cluj) and councilor to the Transylvanian prince, initiated the construction of the present ensemble, under the guidance of the Italian architect Agostino Serena. In 1745, began the reshaping of the castle in the Baroque style, according to the plan of the Viennese architect Joseph Emmanuel Fischer von Erlach.

During the 1820s, the castle underwent several romantic alterations, including the transformation of the Baroque gardens into the romantic, English style.

In 1944 the German army evacuated the buildings of the castle and used it as a war hospital and upon retreating, devastated the estate.

Already damaged, the estate was misused and neglected, until it was left in ruins during the communist era. The Romanian communist authorities used the castle buildings as the quarters of the local collective farm and as warehouses.

However, during the last two decades, a conservation and restoration campaign was initiated by the proper authorities from Hungary (the Office for the Protection of Patrimony), Romania (Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs) and Great Britain (Institute of Historic Building Conservation). The restoration works, although slow paced and still plagued by the lack of funds and interest, were carried out under the patronage of Prince Charles, who has visited the site several times.

Almost forgot to add:
My inspiration for this type of frame, of which I am fond, came mostly from Didier's work. I find it befitting for this - let's call it - "postcard" style photography.

isabela_sor, bobas, nicol_g, BitterMoon has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Mihai Raul MRB (mikee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 301 W: 117 N: 654] (2354)
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