This small castle in Magyarózd, Transylvania, dating from the Renaissance era and still standing, kept a secret for over a century. The countess who lived there between 1681 and 1704 wrote poems that no one knew about during her lifetime. When found, they proved to be of true literary value.
Known as the first Hungarian female poet, Kata Szidónia Petrőczy moved to the castle in Magyarózd (or “Ozd” in Romanian; Magyarózd is the Hungarian name) after marrying a handsome but fickle general. She still loved him when he grew chilled towards her, and instead of confronting him, heartbroken, she spent her days writing poetry, seeking an explanation for her husband’s infidelities.
Though she was writing and translating pious prose of the Hungarian Baroque era for public use, Petrőczy kept her poems for herself, hidden in the castle where she lived raising her five daughters.
A general in the Kurutz army, fighting for independence from the Habsburg empire, her husband, Lőrincz Pekry, was often off at battle, when not chasing other women. During one of these battles, in 1709, the Austrian troops followed him to his castle. He suspected them coming and moved his family out of harm’s way, but finding it empty, the enemy set the castle on fire. Most of the castle burned down, but not all.
In later years, the husband of one of his daughters, Ádám Radák, rebuilt the castle, finishing it in 1732. (Today it is also known as the Radák Pekry Castle.) It still stands on a hill in a tiny village in the Transylvanian countryside, accessible only through a dirt road, where people still drive horse-drawn carriages beside cars.
During the Communist era, the state used the castle as a kindergarten, school, a cultural center, and temporary housing for teachers, but let it fall into disrepair. Today the Bonus Pastor Foundation owns the historic castle, and after a partial renovation, it is being used as a drug addiction rehabilitation center.
Know Before You Go
Getting to the castle is a bit tricky, and there is no guarantee that your GPS will work. The closest town is Ludus, in Mures county, 11 miles (18 km) away. Head to the town’s main train station and cross the railroad, taking Strada Garii. Follow it until it meets Strada Pictor Nicolae Grigorescu. Make a left unto this street. Stay on it for 10 miles (16 km), then at the fork go left towards Atintis, Bichis, and Ozd (you’ll see a sign for at least one of these villages).
Continue for about 4 miles (7 km), and at the next fork, turn left again. Yes, now you will be on a narrow road, and you will feel you are in the middle of nowhere. Enjoy the scenery. For the last few miles, the road will turn to dirt. Keep going, and you will see the castle on your right.