Transylvania, Sâncrai - Bánffy Castle

Adrian Damian
3 min readApr 11, 2017

In Transylvania in Alba County, not far from the city of Aiud, driving on a country road you will arrive in the village of Sâncrai. Here on a terrace of the river Mures you will find the beautiful Kemeny-Banffy Castle.

The local people are calling it “the castle”, though it was built long after the medieval period and never had a defensive role. The building served as the palace.

The palace was built by the aristocratic family Kemeny in 1805 in Renaissance style. The Kemeny family was one of the most illustrious family of the country, the ancestors went back to the twelfth century and gave a prince and a governor of Transylvania.

It is known to have been bought later by the aristocrat Banffy family in 1890. They changed the architectural style and added baroque and neoclassical elements.

In 1947 with the coming of the Communist regime, the building was nationalized.

Between 1947–1997 the palace was a center for social assistance for children with disabilities.

The building was abandoned in 1997 but remained the property of the Romanian state by 2005.

The palace is currently owned by Alba County that began in 2011 the restoration, which was completed in 2014.

Currently, it is administered by the Cultural Center Castel Sâncrai.

The whole building has an eclectic architecture, built in Renaissance style with elements of Baroque, Neo-classical, and Art Nouveau.