Until 1944, Transylvania’s most famous parkland enveloped Bánffy Castle.
The earliest documentation relating to the gardens and parkland of the castle date from the eighteenth century when Dénes Bánffy attempted to bring the grandeur of the French garden to Bontida, using Versailles and Schönbrunn as models. Johann Christian Erras reflected the French Baroque concept of estate parkland in his landscape designs for Bánffy Castle.
The formal layouts complimented the fashionable Baroque architecture of this period. Symmetrical avenues, large parterres, clipped trees and shrubs dominated the gardens. Three linden tree avenues, each 1000 meters in length, radiated from the western wall of the castle. These avenues converged at the bridge and a fourth avenue departed northwards.
The park was transformed at the beginning of the nineteenth Century, under the instruction of Count József Bánffy. These works were undertaken in parallel with the major alterations that were being executed at the castle. The geometrical French inspired parkland, was remodelled into the fashionable Romantic style, first by Sámuel Hermann and then again in 1831 by János László.
Originating in England, this romantic style was a reaction to the formal layouts of the French designs. The straight roads and geometric forms were replaced with artificial groves and meandering paths that enabled trees and plants to grow without constraints.
The beauty of the parkland can not be discerned today, the remains are steadily eroding by the establishment of self-seeding plants, the felling /cutting of trees and lack of maintenance. It is hoped that through partnership and international cooperation the parkland will be eventually fully restored, to complement the restoration work being undertaken at the castle.
This will provide a new environment to be enjoyed by local people and visitors, and will restore the setting of the castle.
Supported by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales