History of Ozd and the Castle
According to tradition, the name of the village originates from the period when Hungarians settled the Carpathian Basin. The founding valiant’s name was Ozd. The village, which is so isolated today, was once the centre of the episcopate. Little by little, Luduş, the town in the valley of the Mureş river grew, while Ozd lost its significance.
The castle was built in the 17th century. We do not know the exact date of its construction, nor the name of the original proprietor. It was probably István Radák, but it could also have been Lőrincz Pekri, one of the leaders of the war of independence against the Habsburg Empire.
The most beautiful part of the story is linked to Kata-Szidónia Petrőczi, the wife of Pekri, who lived alone in the castle for a long time while her husband was busy with politics and war. In her loneliness, she translated puritan literature and later started to write poetry about God, her prayers and the surrounding lands. She is considered by many to be the first Hungarian poetess. She often prayed that the castle would become a blessing and an instrument of God in His work.
Later the castle became the property of the Teleki family. The last owner to live in the castle was the Countess Ilona Teleki who had to leave the country in 1944 when the Romanian and Soviet army marched in, and the battlefront was 1-2 km far. The castle became the property of the state and was used by the village as long as was possible without maintenance. In the mid-sixties it was abandoned and each year its condition deteriorated. Finally, in 1997 BPF leased the property from the Romanian state for 99 years. Between 1998 and 2001 we succeeded in halting the process of deterioration by replacing the roof.
The current heir to the property Baroness Maria Konradsheim is the daughter of Ilona Teleki. She currently lives in France. According to new Romanian real estate law it was possible for her to reclaim the property. Baroness Konredscheim submitted the claim and she received the title to the property. She then donated the property to Bonus Pastor Foundation.
Maybe now, after three hundred years, Kata-Szidónia Petrőczi’s prayers are being answered as the property becomes an instrument of spiritual healing.
The Castle Project
The square-shaped castle with four corner towers is relatively small, but has an interesting history. So does the village of Ozd itself.
In 1997, when BPF began to use the estate, the castle was badly deteriorated. Some parts of the roof were missing, there were no windows at all, huge surfaces of wall had no plaster, walls had cracks and were saturated with water.
The first major construction work was the replacement of the roof between 1998 and 2001 to stop rain from entering. This was the most important step for stopping further deterioration of the building. The benefits of the new roof soon became evident: in the following years, walls got drier and drier. Later, temporary windows were installed in the whole second floor to protect the interior from the weather.
Smaller scale works were also done: The two largest rooms on the second floor were given a new base-floor and the building was cleaned up from the huge amount of debris.
BPF intends to restore the castle in its original state, as far as possible.
For this reason, a wall research was performed in two phases: in 1998-99 and 2003. Wall paintings worth preserving or reconstructing were found in some of the rooms, mainly on the second floor. These were sometimes under multiple layers of plaster and paint.
Excavation was done in a section of the cellar filled with debris. We found stucco pieces, carved stones and interesting old stove tiles made by Habans. (The Habans were an Anabaptist community expelled from Switzerland to Austria and later to Bohemia. They moved to Slovakia/Northern Hungary in the 16th century. Haban families lived together in isolation and were self-sufficient in their community.They were skilful craftsmen, excelled especially in pottery.)