Ernei Castle

Ernei (Hungarian: Nagyernye; German: Rohrdachen or Arn) is a commune in Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania. It is the northernmost commune of the county, and is located at 10 km from Târgu-Mureş.

In 1302, Ernyei István owned the area. Ernei was documentary attested in 1332, as Ernece, and in 1453 as Nagyernye. In 1602, the village was owned by Mósa Gergely, a famous leader. On September 14, 1661, Ali Pasha encamped here and imposed Apaffi Mihály I as Prince of Transylvania. The village 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 during the Shoah (Holocaust).

The settlement began to develop in the 16th century, when the noble family Balint from Teiuş. It is said that the family changed their name in Balintitt when they were made Barons by the Emperor for bravery. During a battle, captain Balint came in front of soldiers to inspire them, and the soldiers got courage, shouting: "Balint itt" (Balint is here! aid arrived, Balint iss here!). The union of two words formed the last name, which it remained so.

Balintitt family started building the castle in the early 1800s, but during the 19th century it has undergone many changes of style. Although the building was not very high, was a massive construction. The Barons had not a remarkable social life, due to the frequent trips abroad. In those trips they have met many foreign writers - from here the passion of Baron Balintitt Jozsef for writing and books. The favorite and best kept place in the castle was his library. Because that housed his own writings, the letters of the humanist Kovacsoczi Farkas, and many books in English, French and German, which he translated into Hungarian, the library had an inestimable sentimental value for him. After World War II, the books were scattered, most of them being lost forever. All he gained from writing and publishing, was donated to the Red Cross, a foundation that led after World War I.

The last owner of the castle was Baron Balintitt Titkaroly, an officer. On March 4, 1949, the domain was nationalized and the Baron fled to Hungary, where he was arrested and imprisoned. After his release from prison, he emigrated in USA, where he became an economist. He is a survivor of the attack of 9/11 at the World Trade Center. The Baron claims his property in justice. Now, the castle houses a kindergarten and is in a very bad condition.