The renovation of Ugron Castle in Mezőzáh (Zau de Câmpie) is focused on salvaging the building, Székelyhon.ro news portal reported. The early 20th century aristocratic castle, built in the neo-Gothic style per the plans of the renowned Transylvanian architect Lajos Pákei (1853–1921), has ended up in a horribly degraded condition, with some parts at risk of collapse. The historic castle is now being used by the Maros County Museum, an institution run by the Maros County Municipality.
“Right now, the structural rehabilitation of the castle is paramount. If we manage to move forward with this year’s and also next year’s plans, we will be able to stop any further deterioration of the building,” Koppány Ötvös, the director of the Maros County Museum, told Székelyhon. As he noted, the museum took over the management of the castle in December 2018, and the institution is focusing now on salvaging the valuable building. For the time being, preservation work on the exterior is being carried out. Soon, the unsuitable annexes, built in the last few decades in the yard, will be demolished, and then the restoration of the interior will follow.
As the director noted, the Maros County Museum gets RON 1.5 million from the county budget, which can be used to finance new exhibitions and also maintain the buildings managed by the museum. The structural work on Ugron Castle commenced last year when the roof was repaired and the restoration on the main facades began. The small, characteristic balcony over the main entrance has been restored, and the construction crew is about to start the renovation of the arched terrace to the right of the main entrance, which is at risk of collapsing.
As Székelyhon noted, there were previously two ideas regarding the future utilization of the castle: The first was to create a convention center, where conferences, weddings, balls or other types of events could be organized; the other was to make it into a rehabilitation center. In any case, a few rooms will be reserved for exhibitions organized by the museum. As the director noted, they have to find external funding, as the institution’s financial possibilities are finite.
Ugron Castle in Mezőzáh was built by István Ugron (1862–1948), who, after a 32-year diplomatic career, retired after the First World War and returned to Transylvania, where he held important public and political functions. The building was nationalized in 1949, and its furnishings and all valuable collectibles were looted. During communism, a school and then an orphanage functioned in the historic building, and there were some changes made to the interior. The heirs of the last legal owner sued to reclaim the castle, but with no success: Their claim for restitution was rejected on the grounds that the documentation was not submitted in due time. The castle then became the property of the Maros County Municipality and is currently used by the Mureş County Museum, which functions under the auspices of the Municipality.
Title image: At the moment, the structural rehabilitation of the historic castle is paramount.