Update Gilau News

A monument commemorating Prince Akos Barcsay was unveiled on November 11, 2011 in Deva, Hunedoara (Hunyad) County, by Hunor Kelemen, the Romanian Minister of Culture.

“ Akos Barcsay de Nagybarcsa (1619-1661), Prince of Transylvania, Ban (Governor) of Lugos(Lugoj) and Karansebes(Caransebes) was Lord-Lieutenant of Hunyad(Hunedoara) County. As a privy councillor during the reign of Prince George II Rakoczy, he was one of the leading figures of Transylvanian political life.

The monument now being unveiled was originally erected during the 19th century in the park of the Barcsay estate at Nagybarcsa (Barcea Mare). After 1947 the park was destroyed and plowed under. Until recently, the monument lay abandoned in the middle of a cornfield.

It was restored on the initiative of Attila Dezsi, Prefect of Hunedoara County, and now has an appropriate place in front of the prefecture, the former county hall.”
MTI (Bucharest) November 11, 2011

An inscription on the monument states that Akos Barcsay was also proprietor of the castle of Deva whose impressive ruins tower above the city today.

The municipality of Deva is considering extending an official invitation to Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales to visit the city. Prince Charles is one the descendants of Prince Akos Barcsay according to Marcel Morar, the deputy mayor.
Radio Romania International November 18, 2011 (In French)

Prince Charles is, in fact, a direct descendant of Prince Akos Barcsay’s half- brother, Michael Barcsay de Nagybarcsa (c.1630-1713), Captain- General of Transylvanian forces, privy councillor and Lord Lieutenant of Feher (Alba) County. His great-grand daughter, Caroline Barcsay de Nagybarcsa, Baroness Inczedy, was the great-grandmother of Princess Mary of Teck, consort of George V King of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India.














Romanian press reports of the unveiling emphasised Akos Barcsay’s role in the publication of a Romanian catechism in 1648, during his tenure as Governor (Ban) of Lugos (Lugoj) and Karansebes (Caransebes). This work – a translation of St. Peter Canisius’ celebrated Short Catechism by the Romanian Jesuit, George Buitul – was the first Romanian book to be printed in the Latin alphabet.

While on the Transylvanian throne, Prince Akos Barcsay also helped to defray the cost of printing the Hungarian Protestant Varad Bible and supported a project for the establishment of a university in Transylvania, submitted to him in 1659 by the Dutch-educated Hungarian scholar John Apaczai Csere.

An exhibition at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest (2012.01.03 – 2012.08.26) entitled, “Heroes, Kings, Saints - Hungarian Paintings and Memories” features among others, “….a collection of manuscript laws considering Transylvania by the Transylvanian Prince Akos Barcsay, including the oldest recorded texts from the religious peace of Torda.’’ (1568) nemzetigaleria.budapest@museum.hu

Gyalu (Gilau) castle has its own ties to the British royal family. Between 1649 and 1651 it was owned by Sigismund Rakoczy, the younger brother of Prince George II. As part of an elaborate dynastic plan to place him on the Polish throne, young Sigismund had to be found a suitable royal bride: She turned out to be Princess Henrietta Maria of the Palatinate, the daughter of Frederick, former King of Bohemia and of Elizabeth daughter of King James I of England and Scotland. Although this marriage placed the Rakoczys within the orbit of west European ruling families, it was not destined to last. Shortly after a sumptuous wedding celebrated in June 1651 at the Rakoczy castle in Sarospatak, both bride and groom died tragically within months of each other.

Princess Henrietta’s younger sister - Sophia - married the Elector of Hannover a few years later. Their son, who became King George I of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714, is the ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II.