5 Less Known Castles of Romania
Romania is a very beautiful country with a multitude of places worth visiting. Though they are not spoken about, in Romania, besides the well-known castles of Peles, Bran, Corvinilor, that we wrote about in our previous articles, there are many other castles featuring an impressive history and architecture. Let’s discover them together in the following lines!
The Cantacuzino Castle at Busteni was designed and built in the neo-Romanian style by architect Grigore Cerchez, on the order of prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, former minister of Romania. It was finished in 1908 and inaugurated 3 years later, being not only a very beautiful castle, but very modern as well, having utilities like electricity, running water and a sewage system. Cantacuzino Castle is spread on a surface of 3148 square metres, it is made up of four buildings and surrounded by a park where there is a cave, several waterfalls and spring wells. The attraction point of the castle is the restaurant Canta Cuisine, and from its terrace you can admire the exceptional landscape of Bucegi Mountains.
The Banffy Castle at Bontida, Cluj, is especially known for the Electric Castle Festival taking place here. The Banffy Castle is the largest castle in Transylvania, being one of the baroque attractions of Romania, also known as the “Versailles of Transylvania”. The Banffy Castle was built between 1437 – 1543 by Dionisie Banffy and, throughout time, it was inhabited by several generations of the Banffy family. In 1944, the German troupes transformed the place into a military hospital, and upon leaving, they put it on fire, destroying the portrait gallery, furniture, library and pinacotheca. After the war, the building was used as a warehouse or agricultural cooperative, and starting with 1999, the restauration of the castle began under the patronage of prince Charles.
The Karolyi Castle at Carei was built at the end of the 15th century, after the Karolyi counts received from Matei Corvin, the king of Hungary, the right to build a stone house to live in. Due to the Ottoman threat, the building was turned into a citadel surrounded by fortification walls, with four towers and crenels for firing cannons, endowments they put to use during Ottoman sieges. Between the two world wars, a part of the castle was turned into a sanatorium, the other part hosting a casino. During the communist times, the castle was the location of various cultural institutions, as well as a museum, Carei town library, Cultural Home and a zootechnical high school. Currently, the castle is administered by Carei Township and it was brought back into the tourist circuit, hosting exhibitions, cultural manifestations and various events. Annually, the Carei Castle is visited by approximately 40,000 tourists.
The Sturdza Castle at Miclauseni, Iasi, was built between 1880 and 1904 by George and Maria Sturza, on the location of an ancient mansion and it features a beautiful neo-gothic style with baroque elements. Besides, the already mentioned castle, the assembly features also a church dating back to 1787 and a park from the 19th century. At the castle there numerous and valuable collections of jewellery, documents, arms, books, paintings, tools, some of them extremely rare, and unfortunately, due to stationing of some German prisoners at the castle in the winter of 1944, they were used as fuel in fireplaces, destroyed or later sold to the Central University Library of Bucharest.
Throughout time the castle suffered numerous modifications, operating as a home for special needs abandoned children, as well as a military warehouse. Currently, the castle is the property of the Mitropoly of Moldova and Bucovina and, following numerous restorations, not yet concluded, it was again open to the touristic circuit in 2014.
The Tepes Castle is right in Park Carol in Bucharest and it is a real architectonic gem. the Tepes castle was raised in 1906 given the occasion of the General Romanian Exhibition, an event that marked 40 years of reign of king Carol I. The castle reproduces at a smaller scale the Poienari Citadel built by Vlad Tepes at Cheia Argesului.
Initially, the Tepes Castle was built to operate as a water tower, but throughout time, it changed its destination, serving, in turn, several purposes.