Miclauseni Castle: Neo-Gothic Architecture and Troubled History
Hidden in a dense forest, Miclauseni is a small Neo-Gothic castle with a history that goes centuries back. It’s part of the legacy of one of the most important noble families in eastern Romania, Sturdza, whose crest and motto ‘Utroque clarescere pluchrum’ (Beauty shines everywhere) are engraved on the external walls of the monument.
Located just some 60 km from Iasi, a major political and cultural center of the 19th century, and in the nearby of another historical monument – Ruginoasa – the castle was built between 1880 and 1904 on the vast property that belonged to the Sturdza family since the late 17th century. Surrounded by an English-style park and a vast forest that still extends on tens of hectares, Miclauseni was famous back in the day for its precious art, books and religious collections.
The castle served as a residence for the members of the family until the Second World War when it was occupied by Russian troops who partially destroyed the monument. The Russian soldiers burnt many of the rare volumes from the castle’s library, estimated to 60,000 books. Just a few years later, the monument was nationalized, and the monastery – settled here on the wish of the family’s last descendant – was evacuated.
During the communist period, the castle faced a period of almost complete degradation, marked by several fires that destroyed it dramatically. The monument was only partially restored after 2004, but even so its Neo-Gothic beauty is still visible.
A visit to Miclauseni is more than worth the trip and is a definite must for those of you who wish to explore the most beautiful castles in Romania.