Luncani Castle

Luna, (Hungarian: Aranyoslóna, German: Lone) is a commune in Cluj County, Romania. Luncani, previously Grindeni (Hungarian: Aranyosgerend, or Gerend; German: Neusatz), is a village in the Luna commune.

The domain was first attested in 1268, in an act of purchase (Terra Gerende) by Peter, Jakab and Saul Gerendi (sons of Samson Gerendi) from a citizen named Cute of Turda, for the price of 15 silver marks. In 1270, Istvan, son of Bela IV (1235-1270) refers to Peter and Jakab Gerendi and to Villa Guerend in the certificate of dedication of settlements Aranyoslóna (Luna) and Hadrévet (Hădăreni). The church (originally Roman-Catholic) in Luncani was probably built by Jakab Gerendi after 1268 and it was completed in 1290. An inscription in stone in the church shows the existence of the church at that time. In 1332, "Monumenta Vaticana" refers to this settlement, calling it Gerend.

It seems that the castle was rebuilt in the 16th century. In 1547 it was attested in a "Diploma" as a property of Gerendi family. In 1553, Apafi György bought it from Gerendi Erzsébet. Gerendi Péter owned also a part of the domain. The same year, he left the castle to his son, Apafi Miklós. In 1597, Báthori Zsigmond donated the castle to Jósika István and his wife, but in the next year Jósika István was charged of treason, was beheaded and his domains were confiscated. The domain was then owned by the widow of Jósika and the Sarmasághy family. In 1600, Michael the Brave occupied the castle.

In 1630, Kemény Boldizsár bought the castle and the domain from Jósika Gabor. Two inventories from 1653 and 1661 describe the castle and the domain, who belonged to Kemény Janos during this period. The last inventory was realized after a Tartar raid. Two inscriptions from 1702 in the basement of the castle show the deployment of extensive construction. In 1824 were finished the bastions at the corners of the castle.

During the Revolution of 1848-1849, the castle was devastated. In 1857 were performed other construction works, including a general rebuilt. An engraving of this period presents the castle in its current form. In 1861 died Kemény Samuel, the last man in the Kemény family, followed by a long process of succession. In 1867, the castle was attributed to Kun Josefine, married with William Klebelsberg. Subsequently, it was inherited by Bánffy and Zichy families.

On the events that followed World War I, the castle was damaged again. In September 1944, the castle was occupied by Russian troops. In 1949, the Bánffy family members are forcibly evicted from the castle by the new communist authorities. Thereafter, there was established the site of an agricultural association. In this period, much of the annex buildings were demolished. In 1990, Bánffy Istvan recovered possession of the castle and domain, and in 2003 donated it to "Bánffy Castle Voluntary Association". The castle has 44 rooms, two annex buildings and 10 ha of terrain. Were donated also 53 valuable paintings, the furniture and other objects. The castle was transformed into a center for handicapped children.


Anonymous said...

Is it really correct, that the castle was donated to a voluntary associaction? (Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre-Bánffy Castle Bontida?)

I've been there this summer and couldn't see any center for handicapped children. BUT I saw that somebody has taken over the buidling and was apparentely living there, I suppose without permission (of course).

Greeting from Munich!