Good Wednesday morning! Géza Teleki Castle, the summer residence of the old Counts of Romania, constructed in the late 1700s and now for sale.
Another Transylvanian castle to treat your imagination today! This castle began as an elegant and mysterious summer residence of Count Teleki, with the castle shrouded in a dark forest garden. Per the listing, “The villagers of Pribilești still remember the Canadian oak forest that surrounded the castle, with a thick shade that frightened them even during the day. It is said that in the cellar the count, who was a hunter, kept stuffed animals, including trophies from Africa: tigers, hippos, rhinos.”
In the late 1800s, the castle was modernized by Géza Teleki. His son, Pai Teleki, then inherited the estate. He was an anti-Semitic nationalist politician during the 1930s, and wound up committing suicide in 1941 the day after German forces invaded Yugoslavia. The castle was then ransacked throughout WWII, robbing it of its library and historical documents.
The castle was then nationalized in 1949 and used for CAP headquarters, plus as grain storage, a movie theater, and ballroom, and the forested park was torn down to use the land for agriculture.
After the fall of communism in the 1990s, the estate went through several hands, including an English descendant of the Teleki family who tried but failed to restore the home.
As the listing says, “Today, the monument full of legends awaits a project in line with its history, to bring it back to life.”
Teleki Castle in Pribilești has an impressive historical value, marking a significant part of Hungarian history. It was used as a summer residence by the nobleman Géza Teleki (1843-1913) and his son, Pál Teleki (1879 –1941), Count of Szék, a controversial figure, Prime Minister of Hungary between July 1920-April 1921 and February 1939 -April 1941. Many Hungarian personalities visited the castle in the summers, enjoying prom evenings, when the large piano lounge upstairs became the main attraction.
The architecture was attributed to the Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl, emblematic of the 19th century constructions in Hungary, promoter of the neo-renaissance style, but there is no clear evidence in this regard. Built at the end of the 18th century, the Teleki family mansion was surrounded by a park of over 16 hectares. In 1897, it was modernized in an eclectic style and extended by another floor by Géza Teleki (1843-1913), writer and politician, for a short time Minister of the Interior. He was married to Irén Murati (1852-1941), the daughter of a wealthy Greek merchant.
In addition to his political duties, the son of the two, Pál Teleki, was a geographer, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The Count of Pribilești sought to maintain the autonomy of Hungary, avoiding the country’s involvement in World War II. He is a controversial figure because he signed a series of anti-Semitic decrees, including “numerus clausus” (limited number in educational institutions and professions). In 1938, he was Minister of Culture and representative of Hungary at the Vienna Dictate. In December, he signed the treaty of friendship with Yugoslavia, but in April 1941 Admiral Miklos Horthy allowed German troops to pass through Hungary to Yugoslavia, a decision that would lead him, in his name, to commit suicide the next day.
From the file from the National Institute of Heritage we find that: “In this mansion were kept the written works of family members, family documents and a famous library. All of this was destroyed during World War II. “
After nationalization in 1949, the castle was used for various purposes, including as a CAP headquarters, grain storage, movie theater and ballroom. On the occasion of its classification as a historical monument, in 1962, the castle was presented as follows: “The castle is located next to the road, with a retreat of 20 meters. Next to it is a house with a ground floor. The castle park was destroyed, being used as agricultural land. The building has 3 levels. The basement is only on one side and under the tower. It is made of rough stone with vaults. The ground floor has two entrances on opposite sides. There is another entrance to the tower. Above the main entrance is a balcony and a glass canopy is on the west side. The secondary entrance, from the east, consists of three arches, with an open porch, from where you enter in three directions. At the main entrance there is a large hall where there is a staircase, and the floor has a balcony all around. Upstairs, from the balcony, you enter a large room where the ceiling is supported by a cement beam and two metal pillars. The other rooms have doors on the ground floor and first floor. The windows above the entrance have a semicircle at the top, the others are straight. There are two towers, one square, the other circular, both with separate entrances from the outside. The square tower has a metal staircase that goes up four levels. On the east side, on the top floor, it has a balcony. The tower has a pyramidal helmet with turrets at the corners. The circular tower communicates with a secondary staircase. It has a conical helmet. The two basement entrances are next to the towers. Upstairs, on the S-E corner, is a banwindow. Above the secondary entrance at the level of the frame is a pediment. ” The same document describes the building materials used: foundation and basement made of rough stone wall and vaults, brick load-bearing wall, floor between the ground floor and the floor made of metal beams with brick vaults, above the floor wooden beams with plastered board, tiled floor mosaic in the hall and oak parquet in the rooms, a fir frame covered with shingles, the square tower covered with tiles, and the other covered with tin. Above the main entrance, there was a metal and glass canopy.
After the fall of communism, the estate was not claimed by the descendants and passed into the private ownership of Satulung commune in 2006. A year later, it was acquired by an English descendant of the Teleki family, who planned to rehabilitate it but failed. and later sold it.
The villagers of Pribilești still remember the Canadian oak forest that surrounded the castle, with a thick shade that frightened them even during the day. It is said that in the cellar the count, who was a hunter, kept stuffed animals, including trophies from Africa: tigers, hippos, rhinos. Today, the monument full of legends awaits a project in line with its history, to bring it back to life.