17th century Tholdalagi Castle in Koronka could be rebuilt

The Tholdalagi Castle in Koronka, now in ruins, could be rebuilt in the near future: the municipality will purchase the historical estate from its current owner, a French businessman. As Mayor István Szabolcs Takács told the Székelyhon news portal, the property and its 45 acres plot costs EUR 100,000. The municipality plans to rebuild the now derelict castle, which was once the home of one of Transylvania’s oldest aristorcratic families, the Tholdalagi’s.

Jean Claude Moscovici, a French entrepreneur is willing to sell the Tholdalagi Castle in the Maros (Mures) County Koronka (Corunca). He did not invest neither in the renovation, nor the preservation of the historical estate, though in 2005, when he bought the property, he promised to do so. According to Romanian law, the institutions representing the Romanian state – firstly, the Ministry for Culture, then the County Council and the City Hall –  have the right of pre-emption when historic buildings are on sale. As the Ministry for Culture, and the County Council did not use their right of pre-emption, the municipality of Koronka decided to buy the castle. The local council has already approved to spend EUR 100,000 on the purchase. As mayor Szakács noted, the sale will be concluded within 30 days. He added that the estate is in a very bad condition, and parts of it have collapsed; the last trees from its once so impressive park were cut, and residential houses were built in the vicinity of the castle.

“We have already set aside a certain amount for the conservation of the estate; after the condition survey is carried out, we’ll know exactly how much the restoration works would cost”, the mayor detailed. “The municipality is aware of the fact that most part might have to be reconstructed, but the plan is to restore the castle to a state similar to its original appearance”, Szakács said. Once rebuilt, the castle would be used as a nursing home for the local community.

The Tholdalagi castle is situated alongside the motorway running from Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş) to Segesvár. The historical estate, which was once surrounded by a charming grove of 120 acres with a fishpond, now stands derelict in a barren, neglected environment.

In the 16th century, the village of Koronka was the property of the Mihályffy family, a noble family from Sepsiszék (editor’s note: a „szék”, meaning a „seat” was an autonomous territorial unit in Szeklerland in medieval and early modern times). During the reign of Transylvanian prince János Zsigmond, in the year 1562 the Mihályffy mansion was ravaged by rebellious Szeklers. After the downfall of the Mihályffy family, the estate became the property of another nobleman, a dominant personality of the 16th century Transylvanian political life, Chancellor Farkas Kovacsóczy of Körtefája, and from him it passed on to the Tholdalagi family.

The Tholdalagi’s were one of the oldest aristocratic families in Transylvania. In the 1630’s Mihály I. Tholdalagi (1580–1673), one of the most knowledgeable diplomats of the princely age had the noble mansion reconstructed, transforming it into a sizable castle. In 1829 one of his descendants, Ferenc Tholdalagi commissioned a neoclassical façade to the U-plan building, based on the designs of renowned Austrian architect, Joseph Weixelbraun. The library of the Tholdalagi castle in Koronka was known as one of the most complex and beautiful castle libraries in Transylvania, with rare a rare collection of books and incunabula on its shelves. Part of the collection is preserved in the historic public library of Marosvásárhely, the Teleki Téka, which was founded by count Sámuel Teleki in 1802. The Koronka castle was restituted to a descendant of the Tholdalagi’s, Mária Kerekes. She sold the estate to the abovementioned French entrepreneur, who promised to carry out renovations, but failed to do so.

Title image: The current owner failed to carry out renovations, thus parts of the Tholdalagi castle have already collapsed

Source: A kő marad – Közép-erdélyi kastélyok/Facebook

Author: Éva Zay