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Romhány, Prónay palace

Romhány, Prónay Castle

The building was most likely built by Gábor Prónay II (1748-1811), Baron of Tótpróna and Blatnicza, the Lord Lieutenant of the Bars and Gömör Counties in last decade of the 18th century. The Prónay family comes from Turóc County, and has already acquired estate in 1279, in the era of king Béla IV. Then on the members of the family wore county and national offices until the 20th century. The clan was divided into several branches, and Gábor Prónay I founded the Pest county baronial branch. The family won the baronial title from Maria Theresa in 1770. In the 16th century they converted to the Lutheran faith. From that time they have had a significant activity in the Lutheran Church and in organizing of religious life. Gábor Prónay II, Baron of Tótpróna and Blatnicza (1748-1811), Lord Lieutenant of Bars and Gömör Counties, Privy Councillor. In 1770 Maria Theresa raised him together with his brother, Laszló Prónay to the rank of a baron. In 1766 he travelled northern Italy, and for a time joined the military. Later - continuing the tradition of the Prónay family - turned to the Lutheran church affairs. Thus, he was elected to supervisor of a deanery. Under Joseph II he became the Bratislava district school superintendent, then the Lord Lieutenant of Bars County in 1787 and that of Gömör County in 1789. Later, he was relieved from the office of supervisor, but remained Lord Lieutenant of Gömör from 1810 until his death. He had been the school superintendent of Hungary. He also handled the problems of viticulture with great care. His descendants had a huge library owing to him.

The castle is standalone, single-storied building, standing parallel to the street line, with slate covered, hipped, curved gabled roof. Its garden façade is of 4 + 3 + 4 axes, the middle 3 axes divide the rizalite. The openings of the middle rizalite are semicircular, with recessed, rectangular apron-decoration below the windows. The plinth is made of sandstone. The access to the cellar is located under the stairs leading to the entrance. There are two curved skylights on the roof. The main façade has 4 + 3 + 4 axes, similarly of rizalite, which ends with an arched pediment gable here instead of tympanum. The rizalites are divided by slightly protruding pilasters. The western, shorter façade has 4 axes, a + b + b + a. In the middle there is a two-wing door with rectangular windows on both sides. The layout of the façade is otherwise the same as that of the southern, shorter façade. There are standalone, single-storey servant houses at the castle's corner, standing perpendicularly to the line of the street, with tiled, hipped gabled roof, and are in a significantly degraded state by now.

The castle's ascending walls are made largely of red sandstone of Romány with some brick addition. The irregularly layered cracked stones are buffered with bricks lines in some places; in the openings, as far as it can be seen in the wake of the destruction of plaster, the wall texture is coming off the brick walling of the openings. In most places where the original slot framing has left, the window-heads and rails are carved in sandstone, the stalks are plastered. Given the fact that the plaster covering of the façade is from the 20th century, judging by the present state, there is no telling, for example in the case of the northern middle rizalite opening frames, facing the street, how the opening frames were adjusted to the outer wall surface. Anyhow, a multi layered, white, and sometimes yellow elsewhere ochre light whitewash remained on the the stone framework , which indicates that despite their irregularity the stone frameworks were not plastered. This question can be answered only by wall research. Examining the relationship of the current openings and wall texture is also a research subject. The current doors and windows are from the last decades of the 19th century and the second half of the 20th century, and their booths in all probability are from the end of the 19th century. The two doors of the western façade from the end of the 19th century appear to have been opened up subsequently, for example. The repetition of the belt ledge (and of course that of the other plastered parts) is also subject of research. Namely, the belt ledges between the windowsills are plaster, while the end of the profiled rails are curved on either side, suggesting that the belt ledge next to the stone ledge was made subsequently (it is open to discussion whether this phenomenon can be explained by architecture historical or technological reasons). Similarly, the plastered (?) framing of the rizalites' skylights is also to be examined. In the interior tracks of multiple conversion periods are visible even without research. In the eastern and western sections of the basement, spandrel, shoulder of a lower closing, arched vault from a previous-period have remained together with a shorter section in the western part supported by two stone pillars. Although the survey of the cellar is missing from the documents of the Design Collection of the Cultural Heritage Office, it appears that the lower spaces contain cellars belonging to a building constructed prior to the full basement building. The walled-up cellar arch vents in some sections also suggest the same. The ground floor’s historical layout seems not to have gone through very significant conversion. The main corridor remained, larger wall demolition and building of new division walls rather affected the court yard side. The survey done in 1957 by Kálmán Lux, kept in the Design Collection of the Cultural Heritage Office, also describes a relatively original condition. The main walls and the partition walls together with the stove booths are in place, in the street side halls there were made some subsequent walling, and probably it was then that the vault of two staterooms has been replaced by a reinforced concrete slab.

Based on Lajos Bozóki: Romhány, the Prónay Castle, value assessment documentation, 2009.

The laser scanner survey of the castle took place in February and March 2013. Based on the completed works, Gábor Bödő, a student at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics prepared his thesis.


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