Photo: Civertan

Sebesvár (Bologa, Resculum) is in Transylvania, it is in Romania, more precisely in Kolozs County.
After the Mongolian invasion of 1241, it was built to guard the important road between Kolozsvár (Cluj, Klausenburg) and Várad (Oradea). After the rule of the Árpád House ended, the castle fell into the hands of a baron in the 14th century. Then, it was taken over by the man of King Károly Róbert in 1319, a nobleman called Elefánti Dezső. In this century the fort was called “Hunyad” which became quite confusing as there is another castle we call “Hunyad” or “Corvin” castle.

Sebesvár castle became part of the hereditary lands of the Transylvanian Voivode in 1362 so it was he who received the income of the neighboring lands. King Zsigmond of Luxembourg gave it to the Voivode of Wallachia, Mircse in 1399 but it was returned to the king in 1408. Sebes Castle was owned by Barons Bánffy István of Losonc and László in 1433 and it has remained the property of the Bánffy family for a long time. (Note, I am using the Eastern name order for Hungarian names where the family names come first.)

photo: Levente Nuber

Its military importance has gradually been gone. Yet, it became part of the Borderland Castle chain of Transylvania against the Ottoman Empire in the middle of the 16th century. Due to this fact, it has been enlarged but remained a second-line private castle, maintained by its owner and not by the monarch. The Noble Estates held a Diet among its walls in 1598.
After the defeat of Szászfenes, in 1660, the heavily wounded Prince Rákóczi György II was brought here by his guardsmen of Ónod. Read more about Prince Rákóczi’s fights against the Ottomans:

When Várad (Oradea) fell to the Turks, Sebesvár became the only obstacle against the Turk raids towards Kolozsvár (Cluj, Klausenburg). As a result of this, its military role has increased. This was why the Sultan demanded its destruction which was finally not carried out by Prince Apafi Mihály in 1669; he could bribe the proper Ottoman officers.

Photo: Levente Nuber

There was an inventory made in 1680 that listed everything in the castle which was already in quite ruined condition.
According to a document from 1687, there were only 11 mercenaries, one artilleryman, and the servants of the Bánffy family in the castle.

Photo: Andrei Kokelburg

The castle was not exploded by the Habsburgs in 1701 because of an unknown reason. Moreover, it had some habitable parts in 1715.
The reconstruction plans were made by a young architect, Kós Károly in 1910 but he could manage only the building of the roof of the tower. However, the tower was not there in 2003.

Photo: h_laca

Sebesvár may have looked like this model in the Castle Park of Dinnyés:
and here is another video of the castle: 

Photo: Levente Nuber

The legend of Sebes castle

The lords of Sebesvár and the castle of Sólyomkő near Élesd lived in good friendship and understanding. One of the lords had a handsome son and the other a fairy-like daughter. Their parents had agreed to marry their children off, and so they were betrothed when they were children.
Later, however, when the country was torn apart by the inner war, the friends became enemies and their children were separated. But the young people refused to give up on each other.

The son of the lord of the castle of Sólyomkő castle eloped with the beautiful daughter of the lord of Sebesvár. The girl’s father caught up with them and slaughtered the boy in a duel. The father, who had lost his son, had his enemy’s castle destroyed in revenge.
(The historical core of the legend is the rivalry between the Gyerőffy and the Tamás family. After the extinction of the Árpád kings, the Tamásfi family supported King Károly Róbert and the Gyerőffy supported Otto in his quest for the royal throne, and this was the cause of much fighting and bloodshed.)

Source: Erdély világa and Erdélyi Gyopár 2001/2 – az E.K.E. közlönye

Sebes castle after 1910


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Sebesvár in 1903 Source: FOTO Fortepan ID 86419

Here are more pictures of Sebesvár: