Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Photo: Compactforever

Miklósvár (Micloșoara) is in the area called Barcaság that is a region in Kovászna County of Transylvania, in Romania. It is famous for its Renaissance fortified palace of the Kálnoky family as well as for its fortified church, now a beloved place of Prince Charles of Wales. The settlement is on the right bank of the River Olt and it is 32 km from Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe, Gergen) to the northwest. You can also see the old ruins of the previously built Tortyogóvár on the 717-meter-high hill above the village, though according to the latest research, it is said to have been just a neolithic fortification. 

Miklósvár got its name from a fortified church that was devoted to St. Miklós (Nicholas) in 1211, called Castrum Sanct Nicolai in the document of King András II. It was the year when the king gave the Barcaság to the German Teutonic Order, and its boundaries were described in this document. These borders were Halmágy castle, Noilgant (Ugra) castle, and Miklós castle aka Miklósvár. However, it must have been not a stone castle, rather a typical palisade fort from the age of the Arpad-dynasty so it perished during the Mongolian invasion in 1241. Next time, Miklósvár was mentioned in 1332.

 The settlement had only 19 “gates” in 1567, each “gate” belonged to an extended family. The inhabitants are Hungarian Székely people, you can read more about the Székelys here:

The place is famous for the castle and palace of the Kálnoky family that was built in the Renaissance style in the 16th and 17th centuries. This family was mentioned as the owner of the place at first in 1588.  It was Kálnoky Bálint, the first owner who may have built a simple stately home there in the 16th century.

It was Kálnoky III István who began the construction of the castle in earnest in 1648. The northern and the southern wall of the two-story-palace building are reinforced by two bigger and two smaller bastions. The beautiful Renaissance window and door frames were made of red andesite. 

Kálnoky Sámuel was enlarging the castle in the 1690s. The great hall of the castle is the nicest example of the late-Renaissance buildings of Transylvania. Its decoration is the same as the ornaments of the Jesuit church of Nagyszombat (Trnava). This landlord was supporting the Jesuits so the connection is very likely. You can read in the castle the slogan of the Kálnoky family, curved in the stone: NON EST MORTALE QUOD OPTO that means “I want no mortal”

At the end of the 1990s, Kálnoky Tibor returned from Germany and took over the renovation of his family’s castle. He had a royal guest there, Prince Charles who is also very fond of Transylvania and who has real-estates there as well. Here is a short video about it:

The fortified church of Miklósvár

As for the original fortified church of the village, it had been destroyed before 1404 but there is another fortified church in the village. After all, Transylvania is the land of Saxon and Hungarian fortified churches.

The first medieval fort of Miklósvár used to stand where this second fortified church of the village presently can be found. This church is on the bank of the Olt River, it was built from the stones of the old fort. It was surrounded by a strong wall but a new church was constructed in 1772-75. According to the great Székely geographer, Orbán Balázs, there was a bell in it that was made in 1400. The bell was made by a Saxon bell-founder who lived in Brassó (Brasov, Kronstadt). Unfortunately, this bell was destroyed in WWI. You can still see the 2,5-meter-high thick walls around the church, fortified with buttresses and with loopholes.

Photo: Peter Gill

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Here are a few pictures of the fortified church of Miklósvár and the fortified Renaissance palace of the Kálnoky family:

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