Boiu (former Boiu Mare; Saxon German: Bān, Bun; German: Gross-Freudendorf, Freudendorf, Großbun; Hungarian: Bún, Felsőbún, Nagybún) is a village in Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania. It belongs to Albeşti commune, 7 km from Sighişoara.
The Bethlen Castle in Boiu-Ţopa was build in two stages in 1617 and 1675, the first by Bethlen Farkas, prince Gabriel Bethlen's adviser and captain and the second by his son, Janos, the Chancellor Teleki Mihaly's adviser. The castle combines the characters of a nobleman's residence and a fortress: a three storey central building in late Renaissance style, enclosed by walls and four towers and shooting holes under the roof. It consists of a central rectangular body, with diamond-shaped crenelated towers attached, conducted on three levels, a rectangular enclosure with four polygon-shaped corner towers and an annex building on the west side. The enclosure housed a park with rare trees. In time were added the southern entrance to the castle, the arches, the loggia, the protective wall around the main building and one tower designed by Haller Gabor.
Stylistically, the building belongs to the late Renaissance, with Baroque architectural elements. Characteristic are the covering slopes with high oblique angle, the loggia with above flat arches, the Corinthian pilasters and parapet with balusters in stone of the first floor, the windows and doors frames. Basement and ground floor rooms have semi-cylindrical vaults with penetration, a decoration painted in tempera covered floor walls inside and outside.
Similar to the residences of other noblemen, the castle was expropriated (1945) and used as a grain depot. Although it was declared a historical monument in 1957, it endured repeated alterations and destruction. The situation worsened in 1972 when the castle was left in the path of the overflow waters after the government diverted the Târnava River to protect Sighişoara from flooding. The chance of the castle being inundated is estimated to be once every 20 years. This threat and inconsistent policies in protecting historical monuments in Romania have impeded any restoration work. The project drawn up in 1992 has been forgotten and the monument is close to collapse.
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