Kornis Castle, Mănăstirea

Mănăstirea (former Benediug, alternate Benediugu Dejului, Hungarian: Szentbenedek), is a village in Cluj County, Transylvania, Romania. It was attested in 1308 and it is located 4 km from Dej and 10 km from Gherla. Here is the Kornis Castle, an important historical monument.

The main building of the castle was built by Keresztúri Kristóf between 1573-1593 in Renaissance style. Over time, the castle has been filled with secondary buildings forming a rectangular enclosure. Once the area becomes the property Kornis family around the year 1673, Kornis Gáspár (1641-1683) II raised the floor of main building, on southern side.

Kornis Castle, as it was in 19th century. Reconstruction by Radu Oltean

His son, Kornis Zsigmond renovated the castle in 1680. He repaired the castle after it was damaged during the Kurutz uprising in the early 18th century, and in 1720 added two new octagonal bastions in the north, and restored the entrance of the castle tower on the west side, which still exists today. During this period were redecorated the rooms with frescoes on the ceilings, were restored the wooden frames of last floor and the staircase decorated with folk motifs, and added decorations made of Dej tuff stone.

At the entrance of the castle was an old suspended bridge, which was raised during the night or in case of danger. The gate was flanked by unicorns, unicorns that appear also on Kornis family coat-of-arms. At the center of the enclosure is an octagonal fountain, surrounded by circular columns and arches. In the north-eastern area is a pavilion built in 1825, decorated on two sides with Doric columns.

During the Second World War part of the castle was destroyed and after the nationalization its collections were burned by the Communists or were stolen. The castle library contained over 9,000 volumes before destruction, consisting of collections of rare books. It was destroyed also the vast collection of natural history. Between 1975-1976 was rebuilt only part of the masonry, but there were no serious work of restoration and the castle is now in ruins.

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Images from Wikipedia.