BANLOC MANOR – a former Aristocratic and Royal Residence in western Romania

 

The following post has previously been published by Diana Mandache  in her weblog on the history of Romanian royalty. Banloc Manor from the Banat region in western Romania represents one of the many examples of grand period properties that once belonged to Romania’s royals and important aristocrats, which in the last decades suffered abuse and are now left to deteriorate, facing an uncertain future. However, there are also a number of positive examples that signal an encouraging trend and I mention here the Royal Savarsin Castle from the same region as Banloc, which is now back in the property of former King Michael of Romania. That estate is currently undergoing a thorough restoration, planned to function as a private residence and also as an ecofriendly hotel. Another example is Count Kálnoky’s castle in central Transylvania that is now a successful hospitality business and organic farm.

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Princess Elisabeta of Romania, the former Queen of Greece, bought Banloc Manor in 1935 from the Karátsonyi family, local  Hungarian-Italian aristocrats, from the Banat region of Romania. Elisabeta restored and remodelled the manor, using it as a holiday residence for herself and other members of the royal family, among them King Michael of Romania and Helen, the Queen Mother.

Banloc Manor in 1942
Banloc Manor in 1942 – Diana Mandache collection

 

Elisabeta's room -Diana Mandache collection

Banloc Manor, one of Princess Elisabeta's rooms -Diana Mandache collection

 After the communist take over the building and its land were successively used as a care home for the elderly, orphanage or local school.

Banloc Manor as it looks today
Banloc Manor as it looks today

 Even after the fall of communism in 1989, Banloc Manor’s status is uncertain. It was closed down in 1997 and left to deteriorate, open to the elements. In the course of the last five decades it also suffered from earthquakes and vandalism. Some of the old objects were saved by the local authorities.  Paul Lambrino, the son of Carol Mircea Lambrino (collateral descendant branch of King Carol II), claimed it unsuccessfully as an inheritance a couple of years ago. Recently the property was transferred to the administration of the Metropolitan Church of Banat.

In Romania, the Banloc Manor is also known as Banloc Castle, even it does not have the grandeur and architectural characteristics of a proper castle. The furniture, paintings and decorations of of this former local aristocratic and later royal residence is now dissipated even lost, a fate unfortunately shared by countless other the aristocratic and royal Romanian residences since 1948 the year the communists forcibly abolished the monarchy.

©Diana Mandache and  http://royalromania.wordpress.com 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

 

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 If you are interested in acquiring a period property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to assist in locating the property for you, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

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