Guided visits schedule at Teleki Castle
(duration 30-45 minutes):
10:00 - 11:00 - 12:00 - 13:00 - 14:00 - 15:00 - 16:00 -17:00

You will find our detailed program on
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address:
castelul Teleki, Str. Principală 479, Gornești 547280, Romania


THE TELEKI CASTLE AND THE PARK IN GERNYESZEG

The Estate.

 The village of Gernyeszeg (Gornesti) is situated in the valley of the River Maros between Marosvásárhely (Targu-Mures) and Régen (Reghin). The history of the village dates back 700 years and is closely connected to the life of its Landlords


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The name of the village listed as ‘Knezeg’ appears in 1319 in documents for the first time as a donation made by the Hungarian King Károly Robert to his subject Szécsényi Simon. Later Sigismund of Luxemburg (1387-1437) gave the property in 1405 to Somkereki Antal who saved his life in the lost battle at Nikapoli in 1396.One of his sons Antal built a fortress in the village first mentioned in 1477.The fortress, mostly built of stone, had three towers and two smaller bastions. It was surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge over it. Its size was mostly similar to that of the baroque castle of today. The family died in 1642 with the widow living there until 1670. The next owner was Bánffy Dénes , but after only 4 years he lost the property in favour of Teleki Mihály.

 

The Teleki Family.

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Teleki Mihály (1634-1690) received Gernyeszeg and other villages as a donation. The family originates from the ancient Garázda family. It got its Coat of Arms of an ibex jumping out of a fire from Sigismund King of Hungary in 1409. Teleki Mihály was the greatest politician of his time in Transylvania and was the closest advisor of Apaffy Mihály, the Regent of the country.


He grounded the wealth and power of the family. He died in the battle of Zernest in 1690. After his death his five sons each received the title of count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1697. The descendants of two of the five sons were the genealogical link of the two current existing branches of the family.
His son Sándor (1679-1754), inherited the fortress and the property. He generously supported the protestant church and several protestant schools. One of Sándor’s sons, Sámuel, became the chancellor of Transylvania and built the famous Teleki Library in Marosvásárhely.
Sándor’s son, László (1710-1778), inherited the fortress at Gernyeszeg. He was a passionate collector of books. He decided to build a castle in place of the old fortress and began to have the old building demolished in 1772. The building of the new castle stood until 1802. László’s son József (1738-1796), has the same love for books as his father. Between 1759-61, he travelled abroad and met Voltaire and J.J. Rousseau among others. His library was donated by his heirs to the Hungarian Academy of Science.
József’s son József (1777-1817), inherited the estate and changed the French park into an English one. His wife, Teleki Zsófia, had a memorial errected in the park for him which can still be seen today. His son Domokos (1810-1876), was a well known politician supporting the ideas of the 1848 revolution and who later wrote books about the history of the country. One of his grandsons,


Bethlen István, Primeminister of Hungary between 1921-1931, was born at Gernyeszeg in 1874. Domokos (1890-1955), his other grandson was interested in antiquity and made a museum in the castle containing many valuable objects. The most important was his collection of old Turkish carpets.

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The last owner of the castle was Count Teleki Mihály(1908-1988) and his wife Countess Tisza Aimée (1914-1991). During and after World War II, the castle was devastated and in 1949 it was nationalised.It was then transformed into a nursing home for children until 2011, from which time it again has been repossesed by the exisiting Teleki family.
 




The Castle and the Park.


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You reach the castle over the former drawbridge across the ditch. The building in baroque style resembles to some extent other castles around Budapest like at Gödöllö, Pecel and Nagytétény.


It is the so called Grassalkowich style, its main features being the „U” form, a large dome in the middle and a festivity hall beaneth.
The walls and the ceiling of the festivity hall have been painted since the beginning of the XIX. century. Above the entrance door and the door leading to the loggia one can see the painted weapons of the family. But the three chandeliers of Murano glass are the most impressive remains of the former wealth.
The park got its actual form at the begining of the XIX century.Valuable and rare trees were planted, like the gingo-biloba(right from the main entrance), lime, willow , oak-trees and cypresses.


Part of the fomer ditch became a lake with a small island in the middle.Once there were swans there too. The Margit spring cherishes the memory of Countess Géza Teleki born Countess Margit Bethlen.

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There are grotesque sculptures around the lake representing some famous figures of the French revolution, like Mirabeau, Les dames des halles (market women) and Louis XVI.
There are some other sculptures in the park representig ancient gods and godesses: Ganymedes on the left, in front of the bridge, Bachus and Ceres to the left and right of the main entrance, Neptun , Pan , Venus in the park behind the castle. They were brought to Gernyeszeg in the early 20th from Budapest by Count Domokos Teleki.