Brâncoveneşti Castle

Brâncoveneşti (formerly Ieciu and Delavrancea; Hungarian: Marosvécs or Vécs; German: Wetsch) is a commune in Mureş County, Romania. Brâncoveneşti is located at the eastern extremity of Transylvania Plain, on the upper Mureş River, at 10km from Reghin.

On a high terrace near Mureş River was a Roman fortification (Ala Nova Illiricorum), then in the Middle Ages (13th century) there was a fortress surrounded by ditches, visible today. This city was apparently destroyed by the great Mongol invasion of 1242. Brâncoveneşti was first attested in 1228 as Wecheu Fortress, in a document of donation issued by the Hungarian King Andras II.

The construction of Kendy-Kemény Castle began in 15th century, for Losonczi Dezsofi noble family. Over the next 150 years the area changed owners several times (Báthori Zsigmond, Bocskai István). In 1527 were performed important works to the castle. The castle was finished in 1557-1558 by Prince Ferenc Kendy, in the Transylvanian Renaissance style. It was fortified with ditches designed by Sava Armaşu (1599-1600), in the time of Michael the Brave.

In 1610 the area was owned by Gabriel Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania, then by György Rákóczi I. György Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania from 1648, donated the domain consisting of 5 villages, to a military leader named Kemény János. Kemény János becomes Prince of Transylvania in 1660, but died in battle in 1662, and his enemies devastated the domain. It was also devastated during the wars led by Ferenc Rákóczi II (the "Curuţilor" uprising). The Kemény family owned the domain for the next 3 centuries. The Kemény family rebuilt each time the castle.

The last Count, who had the same name as his ancestor, Kemény János, invited in 1926 at the castle 28 of the most prominent literary figures of the time, who founded the cultural association Erdélyi Helikon. From now on, for twenty years the Brâncoveneşti Castle became the center of the literary meetings of Transylvanian Hungarian writers.

The WWII hasn't brought great destruction, but after the Kemény family fled from the area in 1944 the population devastated complete the castle, which after 1945 became the home for severely mentally handicapped children.

The castle have a square-shaped plan, courtyard and corner towers, two larger and two smaller. Several windows have frames in Renaissance style. Built above the entrance is a picturesque stone balcony on consoles. The consoles can be seen at the floors of the towers. The entrance is on the north side, on a bridge over the outside ditch of the castle. Old documents show that the former citadel (13th century) was protected by ditches, walls and towers positioned below the plateau on which was the castle. These were destroyed during the post-war reconstruction works.


Romalien said...

I know this as Bran - is it short for Brâncoveneşti?

Adrian said...

No, not at all. As I said in my post, Brâncoveneşti is in Mures County, Transylvania. Bran is near Brasov and is known (historically incorrect) as 'Dracula's Castle'.

Radu Oltean said...

Bravo! Furi poze si material, tai watermark-ul, traduci si faci articol original, fara sa specifici sursa, macar asa ca link(caci si eu am folosit la randul meu alte surse, dar le-am mentionat). In plus cel putin 2 fotografii de acolo sunt realizate de mine, altele sunt adunate de mine si prelucrate. Nici macar un cuvintel, un link catre blogul meu, art-historia... pai e frumos si corect? Surprising Romania? Corect! Asta e Romania!

Victoria Wetsch said...

Thank you for your research, it's been great. Our family name is Wetsch. My father came to Montana in the US following World War II when he was 17 years old. He was born in Kiev but his family was oringinally from Odessa. I was having difficulties finding our history because Stalin destroyed most of his family. But I have found the name Wetsch mentioned in your information. Do you have any more information on the Wetsch name? Thank you, With Appreciation, Victoria Wetsch