Brukenthal Castle, Sâmbăta de Jos

  • National Heritage Number:
  • BV-II-a-A-11810
  • Address:
  • Sâmbăta de Jos
  • Dated to:
  • XVIIIth – XIXth century
  • Ownership:
  • Private property of the State

Most probably the settlement became the property of the Brukenthal family, after purchase, sometime in the second half of the 18th century. It is said that the construction of the first castle was started by Samuel von Brukenthal, in the mid 18th century and later, at the beginning of the 19th century, his nephew (I) József changed it. The castle is a solid building with over 1 m thick walls.

The building has fifteen axis, its facades are decorated with plaster decorations. The central part of the symmetrical, two-story castle with rectangular ground plan is determined by an avant-corps on both sides. This part of the building is three-story and is covered with a baroque roof. The windows of the first and second story are delimited by pilasters with Ionic capitals. The southern facade of the avant-corps contains an open balcony, built on the first floor. The about 1700 hectare area around the castle was taken on lease from the Treasury for 99 years by Samuel von Brukenthal. Legends say that the castle was built to be so magnificent and impressive in order to welcome the Queen Maria Theresa, but there is no evidence that this visit ever happened.

In 1949 a fire broke out in the castle, but no considerable damage was suffered. In 1950 the castle was reroofed and some parts were repainted, presumably erasing a part of the ballroom's frescoes. The stud farm, probably created by the Brukenthal family, where Lipizzaner horses were bred, was re-established in 1920 by the Romanian government. After 1950 the castle was used for administrative offices, its state worsened rapidly and at the end of  1990s the castle remained unused. Since 2002, the estate is the property of Romsilva and the haras. The restoration of the property was intended in order to operate a museum showing the history of the Lipizzaner horses, but this renovation was not realized, the castle being in a very dilapidated condition.

Source: Bicsok Zoltán-Orbán Zsolt: I have built my yard with God's help – Historic castles in Transylvania. Guttenberg Press, 2012

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