Bánffy Castle from Bontida is one of the architecture monuments representative for Transylvanian Baroque, the richness of elements specific to this architectonic style bringing it also the name of “Versaille of Transylvania”. It was built by Bánffy family in Bontida Commune, locality situated at approximately 30 km East from Cluj-Napoca. The main buildings of the palace are dominated by the architectonic elements specific to Renaissance style, Baroque extensions being carried out in the 18th century.
King Sigismund of Luxemburg donates in 1387 the estate from Bontida to Bánffy family, initially being built here a fortress surrounded by a system of fortifications.
In the 17th century, Dionisie Bánffy builds the first building designed under the form of a fortified complex, with the positioning of bastions in the four corners. At the entrance was placed a tower and in the Southern part of the complex was arranged a garden.
The castle reconstruction is initiated by Dionisie Bánffy II, starting with 1745, in Austrian Baroque style. The palace is presented in its time as U-shape, in this period being also built the recreation park in the same Baroque style, with alleys, lake, statues and artesian wells.
In the time of József Bánffy, descendent of the family, a new wing of the building is built, perpendicular to the Southern side of the castle precinct, remaking also the park aspect.
In 1944 the castle was used as military hospital, being then severely damaged through vandalism and arson by the German troops in retreat. After 1950, one of the castle wings became the head office of Bontida Cooperative Farm.
In the present the castle is under the administration of Transylvania Trust Foundation which has the purpose to restore and capitalize the potential of the estate from Bontida, here being organized many cultural and artistic activities that attract a large number of visitors.
The castle is not enclosed and the price of the entrance fee for visit during the year is 3 lei.