1. Overview
  2. From the Romans to the Renaissance
  3. A Royal and Princely Residence
  4. Property of the Banffy Family
  5. Barcsay-Banffy Property

Barcsay-Banffy Property

After the death of Bernard Rosenberger de Gyalu in 1909, his heirs decided to sell the property. It was bought on May 21, 1911 by Katherine (Katinka) Barcsay de Nagybarcsa, born Countess Banffy de Losoncz. After a hiatus of 34 years, Gyalu had returned to the Banffy family. The new owners, Thomas and Katherine Barcsay, renovated and modernized the old building while preserving as much of the past as was possible. The rooms were furnished with antique furniture, engravings and family portraits. A 17th century gold-embroidered ceremonial Turkish saddle cloth hung above the fireplace in the salon. It had belonged to Akos Barcsay, Prince of Transylvania, as did the various silver gilt plates, cups and tankards on display.

Following the death of Thomas Barcsay in December 1936, his son, Joseph Barcsay, took over management of the estate. In the early 1940's he and his wife, Eva Dezso, made a number of changes to the castle interior. Several new fireplaces were installed and decorated with old tiles and late 15th century Renaissance fragments. Carved architectural elements from the same period were removed from the garden and walled into the archway of the eastern entrance.

At the end of the Second World War, the castle was looted. A few years later, it was arbitrarily confiscated by the Communist government. After that it suffered the same fate as other manors and castles in Transylvania. Orphanages, schools, camps for young pioneers followed one after the other until 2003, when the building was vacated by the last institution to occupy it. Today it stands silent, empty and desolate. Surrounded by a neglected garden, it awaits a future which is worthy of its past.