Zau de Câmpie Castle

Zau de Câmpie (former Zău; Hungarian: Mezőzáh; German: Sannendorf) is a village in Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania. It was documentary attested in May 25, 1339, and it has a population of 3,509: 80% Romanians, 11% Roma and 9% Hungarians. Zau de Câmpie belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary Empire. Since 1918 it belongs to Romania, after the re-unification of Transylvania with Romania. It was occupied by Hungary between 1940-1944, time when the Jewish community was exterminated by the Nazis.

The summer residence of Baron Ugron István, resembling a French medieval castle, stay hidden for nearly 100 years in Bârsana forest and tells all about the love that crushed the soul of his master. Baron Ugron István was Foreign Affairs Minister and Ambassador of Austria-Hungary in Russia and he fell in love with one of the daughters of Tzar Nikolai II of Russia.

The castle was built between 1909 and 1911 by architect Pákey (or Pákei) Lajos from Cluj, using Italian foremen. It is a really architectural calendar, having 4 towers as the seasons, 12 hallways as the months of the year, 52 rooms as the weeks of the year, 7 terraces as the weekdays, and 365 windows as the days of the year. The castle is surrounded by a dendrological park, many of the rare species of trees being planted by Baron himself.

The Baron tried to convince the Princess to marry him, giving as gift the castle in Zau. She asked that the whole road between the railway station and the palace to be covered with gold coins, and the Baron ordered to do so. But once work started, the Princess asked Ugron to put the gold coins so that no one can step on the Emperor's head. Even if he was very rich and owned immense properties, Ugron István wasn't able to satisfy this desire. Time has solved his problem, but in a manner that crushed his heart and led him to retire permanently from public life. That after the Bolsheviks seized power and killed the entire family of the Tzar, including his beloved. Since then, the Baron came to the castle just for short visits, and died alone and pensive in 1945.

After World War II, the heirs donated for free the building to the Romanian state. The castle received more destinations, and the furniture was moved to Turda. Since 1958 here was an agricultural vocational school, and since 1963 an orphanage. The heirs claim today the domain, the surrounding forests being already returned.


Octavia Salcudean said...

Ce istorie interesanta , romantica si trista... Am vizitat castelul!

mona said...

I loved the orphanage. that is where i grew up until i got adopted. i miss it and it was such a beautiful place when i was there. i miss it very much..HOME SWEET HOME