Aranyosmeggyes (Medieșu Aurit) is in Transylvania, in Romania. More precisely, it is in the Partium region that was outside of the Principality. The Lónyai family lived in this castle: see the black-and-white pictures of 1912.

The place was first mentioned as Villa Megyes in a document of the Hungarian King István V. in 1271. At that time, it was an important place in Transylvania as far as the roads were concerned. We can find the early castle on the property of András, son of Jákó of the Kaplon Clan in 1278. Lord András happened to attack his king, László IV, hitting toward the head of the king with his mace, out of sudden anger. As a punishment, the king deprived him of his property and gifted the Castle of Megyes to Móricz, the son of voivode Móricz of Transylvania. 

The sons of the Móricz clan became the heirs of the castle and the surrounding land. The most notable person in this family was Meggyesi Simon, the Bán (Duke) of Dalmatia. We know that Meggyesi Simon and János were the owners of the castle in 1429. However, the place was in the hand of Lord Móriczhidai Móricz in 1442.

The castle was taken over from the Meggyesi family by the Báthory family (Báthory András and István) by force, in 1493. As the property was the subject of a court case, the building was not well-maintained until 1520. It remained in the Báthory family’s hands until 1626, then Lónyai Zsigmond inherited it in 1630. (Please, note that I’m intentionally using the Oriental name order for Hungarians so the family names come first…)

Lord Lónyai was the one who reinforced it in the Renaissance style. It went to Lady Lónyai Anna in 1643. Lónyai Anna was the wife of Prince Kemény János of Transylvania, Kemény took shelter in Aranyosmeggyes when he was forced out of Transylvania. You can read more about him on my page:

The castle today (photo: Imre Lánczi)

Lónyai Anna instigated the noble lords in the neighborhood in 1669 to resist the pillaging German mercenaries of Szatmár castle. After killing the mercenaries, she was sued and charged with treason. The Habsburgs had the tower of the castle destroyed and had the castle explode in 1670. The rest of it was burned down in 1707. As for the domains around the castle, they became part of Szatmár castle after the death of Lónyai Anna.

The signature of Lónyai Anna

It was Wesselényi Ferenc who inherited the lands around the castle in 1732. He bought the pledge from the Treasury and had a palace built in place of the old castle.  The 20th-century building as we can see it now was constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many doors- and window frames came from the old castle, though. These give a very special look to the palace, it is described as a characteristically Transylvanian fortified Renaissance palace. Count Teleki Samuel had it restored in the 20th century Sadly, it exploded in WWII, and since nothing has happened to save it.

Photo: _h_laca

Please, look at the pictures of this magnificent building, and weep. 

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Here are more pictures of Aranyosmeggyes: