Kendeffy Castle, Santamaria-Orlea

Kendeffy castle in Santamaria-Orlea (Hunedoara) was built in 1782 by Count Elek Kendeffy, member of a very wealthy noble family, one of the oldest families in Transylvania (the oldes attestation dating since 1236). Kendeffy comes from the old name of Ttransylvanian princes family Cândea (or Cindea), a name that was changed after the annexation of the province by the Hungarian kingdom.

Count Kenfeddy and his wife, countess Krisztina Bethlen, built the castle on the foundations of a mansion and was purpose was family residence. It was build in the baroque style and was transformed into ghotic style during a reconstruction carries out between the years 1970 - 1874 by count Arpad Kendeffy.

The building has a rectangular plan and is composed of three bodies. Eye is particular drawn to its monumental tower, situated on the west façade, having a with rectangular plan, four levels and a pyramidal roof. North wing of the building has an asymmetrical composition. In this wing there is the main entrance . The connection between the tower and the main body is through a two-story wing. The central part of the facade has three levels, crowned by an attic, horizontal articulation of the facade being secured by a belt above the first level. A staircase leads to a terrace which lies on the axis of the main entrance and is bounded by a parapet . The most spectacular main façade is a board in the baroque style made by the sculptor József Hoffmayer from Cluj. The arch windows and balconies of the castle are impressive and offer a superb view over the park and the Retezat Mountains, which are seen in the distance.

The castle was owned by the Kendeffy family until 1946, when it was nationalized by the communists. Last noble in the family, Gabor Kendeffy, stripped of his possessions , moved to Haţeg city and died in humility and poverty in 1962 . After nationalization , the building became CAP headquarters and the wine cellar has been converted into a potato warehouse. In 1982 was taken over by Hunedoara county administration and turned inth a hotel.

In 2001 the castle was returned to a nephew of Kendeffy Gabor, Pal Van Barany, but continued to operate as a hotel. The new owner has no financial possibilities to renovate the castle that has degraded over time and the hotel is currently closed.

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